The Rising Wind
Ken Floro III
Have you ever dreamed of being swept into adventure alongside a dashing knight or two? Would you be outraged if you were suddenly thrust into terrifying dangers against your will? What if you found yourself trapped on a cursed island, in the middle of a haunted sea, surrounded by your worst enemies? When a conniving treasure-hunter hijacks the Rising Wind, its passengers will find themselves facing all this and more!
“The same trick didn’t work a third time. When Marc stepped into the ring of firelight and shouted a challenge, his adversaries shrank into the shadows across from him – more cautious now than they had been earlier. Their broad limbs and hulking silhouettes prowled the darkness at the edge of the forest, disguising their numbers. Standing exposed, in the open clearing, Marc felt vulnerable, but he knew he couldn’t run. For an anxious moment, he just stood there, uncertain what to do next. The curse of inexperience was lack of foresight, and Marc hadn’t stopped to calculate an alternative in case his original plan failed. Now he had to think on the spot. Unfortunately the present circumstance was no place for contemplation. So, in that dangerous moment, he acted on instinct.”
About the Author:
Ken was born and raised in the Southside of Saint Louis. After earning a degree in World Literature, followed by a degree in Culinary Arts, Ken soon made the obvious career move and went to work in medicine. If you’re having any trouble guessing why, then you’ve probably never served time in the literary or culinary fields. A little taste of reality can suddenly turn a healthy paycheck, normal working hours, and long-term job security into sumptuous delicacies. Despite the sudden change in his employment trajectory, Ken never turned away from his dream of writing. He’d nurtured a lifelong creative ambition, which had gained direction when a funny true story he wrote for a high school English class became so popular with his classmates they traded copies of it in the hall and passed them up and down the bus. Ever since that catalytic moment, Ken has been writing as a hobby and a passion. Thus far, he’s published eight books, along with several other tidbits, all of which are available on his website, southsidecavaliers.
I loved this novel. The characters were all very well written. The names fit the story and the persona of the characters. The characters were very intelligent but they were also quite amusing. The character development is perfect.
The novel is action packed. There wasn't a boring page in the entire 406 pages. I love that the chapters are named. The story is well edited, well written, and very well laid out. I love that Floro ended the story about the island. I will have to read the sequel when it's available!
Read an excerpt:
The same trick didn’t work a third time. When Marc stepped into the ring of firelight and shouted a challenge, his adversaries shrank into the shadows across from him – more cautious now than they had been earlier. Their broad limbs and hulking silhouettes prowled the darkness at the edge of the forest, disguising their numbers. Standing exposed, in the open clearing, Marc felt vulnerable, but he knew he couldn’t run.
For an anxious moment, he just stood there, uncertain what to do next. The curse of inexperience was lack of foresight, and Marc hadn’t stopped to calculate an alternative in case his original plan failed. Now he had to think on the spot. Unfortunately the present circumstance was no place for contemplation. So, in that dangerous moment, he acted on instinct.
With a mighty roar he charged forward! Wild courage lit his eyes. He leapt over the dying fire – not because he needed to but because it made his reckless charge feel more heroic. If he was going to die, he certainly wasn’t going to die a coward!
His cry roused the others. Monty raced up from his hiding place, and the Gray Fox peeked out from the cave. They emerged just in time to see Marc vanish into the forest, accompanied by the rustle of brutish figures racing through the foliage. Driven by the same reflex, they both rushed after him immediately.
The next moments were frantic. Shadows spun. Monstrous jaws snapped. Steel crunched against hide, and human voices punctuated a tide of grunting moans.
Struggling to orient in the commotion, Marc gasped with relief when he saw the glow of Monty’s sword flicker toward him through the undergrowth. He dashed in that direction, but a shadow next to him suddenly turned to block his path. As a pair of bulging eyes glared down at him, the monster groaned – an ominous sound that rumbled in its broad chest.
Marc didn’t waste a moment. He jumped straight toward the creature’s face. Not many men had such audacity, and it seemed to catch the beast off-guard. Instead of snapping off a limb with its fangs, or shredding flesh with its talons, it recoiled in surprise and staggered backward.
Marc exploited this momentary advantage, hooking his forearm over one of the bony plates on the monster’s chest – Imperial mail protected his flesh from the jagged edge. This grip gave him purchase and held him close to the creature’s soft neck. He stabbed his sword overhead immediately, knowing it wouldn’t take long for the beast to brush him off.
Once, twice, three times he lunged blind. Two of his strokes passed through empty air. Then the blade finally bit into something. Fragile veins instantly gave way to steel. As the sword sliced free, blood pumped from the wound in heavy, mortal gouts, showering the troll’s plated chest, and Marc’s bare head.
Just then a massive fist struck the knight. It caught him in the ribs with such force that it flung him from his perch, and knocked the breath from his lungs. His arm wrenched free of its grip, and he cart-wheeled into a tangle of weeds.
A moment later the bulk of the troll crashed down in a nearby bush. The creature fumbled at its crimsoned throat and made panicked gurgles as it gasped for life. Marc rolled away, also gasping. Somehow he’d managed to hold onto his sword – a reflex bred by Imperial discipline. As he climbed to his feet he swung the weapon to guard and scanned the forest.
The deep grunts of the trolls were fading. It sounded like they were in retreat. Could it really be over; could it have been that easy? Marc winced as he felt his tender ribs. Had it really been easy? Scowling at the dying troll beside him with sudden worry, he ran to check on the others.
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