The Warlord's Secret (CHAPTER FIVE, page 1 of 12)

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Excerpt from The Book of the Damned,

Fifth Warlord of Tiyan

My cousin tells me I've lost my way in the lessons of my forefathers. I never knew these lessons. My father died soon after my birth. There were no lessons to be learned, except what the creature taught me.

It showed me the world outside of Tiyan.

It's dirty and angry and cruel. No wonder so many seek refuge in Tiyan. The neighboring kingdoms rape and kill even their own!

The creature was right. I cannot allow such a world to exist, because it threatens Tiyan. We have the thickest walls, and the creature promised to help me build the strongest armies with the strongest warriors. It promised me I'd have the power to seize all the kingdoms around Tiyan and bring them to heel, to purge them of evil and rescue their people.

It gives me all its power and strength, to use to crush the barbarians and throw them all from the cliffs. Its power is great - -it makes me giddy! I want more…


"If she is your mate, the kingdom is rightfully yours," Memon said. "We are near- equals."

The king of Landis offered him a cup of rare wine. Taran accepted, never believing anything could make him ally with the devil he meant to kill. All it took was a pair of teal eyes.

Memon wanted Tiyan on its knees, and the warlord of Tiyan owed him one oath, the gift of his choice. If he could fool Memon into believing him loyal, and the warlord of Tiyan into giving him her armies, he would have his revenge.

"Her people will not recognize such a claim," he said.

Part of him reeled at the turn of events that found him sitting with a man who had never before acknowledged him. They and Memon's son, Vara, were alone in a small room together. Taran knew dozens of ways to kill a man. He could not help but consider several of them as he took in Memon's inky black eyes and relaxed frame.

He forced himself to be patient, to ignore the blood pulsing through his veins at the thought of leaving Memon's lifeless body on the dirt floor and walking away. Killing Memon here would not win him armies or Rissa.

"You would be surprised what support this claim will win you," Memon said. "My first mate was the queen of Landis."

"Then you killed my mother and took the kingdom," Vara muttered with a dark look at his father. The prince shifted in his seat, his large frame tense. The lanky youth had grown into a muscular man with icy green eyes, curly black hair, and chiseled features as cold as his father's. Taran sensed the tension between the two men.

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