The Ydron Saga Book 1
How does a world armed with bows, arrows and catapults, where steam power is just beginning to replace horses and sailing ships, avert a conquest from beyond the stars?
Prince Regilius has been engineered to combat the Dalthin, a predatory alien species that enslaves worlds telepathically, and to do so he must unite his people. But when his mother murders his father, the land descends into chaos and his task may prove impossible. Faced with slaying the one who gave him life in order to protect his world, he seeks a better way. Set in a vast and varied land where telepaths and those with unusual mental abilities tip the course of events, Awakening goes to the heart of family, friendship and betrayal.
“In AWAKENING Raymond Bolton presents us with an intricate and interesting problem, characters you care for, aliens who -are- alien, and a carefully-thought-out future.”—Mike Resnick
“Raymond Bolton’s genre shattering Awakening is a skillfully woven hybrid of science fiction and fantasy that brings cultural conflict to a whole new, thoroughly believable level that goes straight to the heart of what really matters.”—Matthew J. Pallamary – author of Land Without Evil and Spirit Matters.
“Bolton navigates through the plot lines and the mixed genres (Science Fiction but not exactly, Fantasy but not entirely, Paranormal but not completely) with the clear gesture of the conductor of a large orchestra. A new voice and author who is bound to grow a faithful readership.”—Massimo Marino, international award-winning author of The Daimones Trilogy
“it’s a grand debut. An ambitious and well considered SF crossover [that] breathes originality into the genre"—BookViral
Fear struck Ai’Lorc like a blow to his middle, leaving him on his knees, shaking and crying. Yet, while his flesh seemed to come apart one moment, then swell and bloat, ready to explode in the next, he knew it was all a lie. Though sickened to the depths of his being by the sea of vile fluids and stench through which the boat seemed to sail, he knew this nightmare was only a contrivance. That the Dalthin were manipulating him so caused a far stronger emotion to well through the revulsion and horror. Ai’Lorc was furious these creatures would so dispassionately inflict such pain and terror. As he sat, immobilized and overwhelmed by it all, indignity and frustration began to override the other feelings. He located the crossbow and took it, ignoring the swarm of wriggling, biting creatures upon it. Then, after making sure he carried enough bolts, he grabbed the rail and pulled himself erect.READ MORE
Though trembling and weak, he made his way aft and the tears that coursed down his cheeks angered him all the more.
I am not a toy! he protested.
As he made his way toward the stern, the intensity of the illusion grew and his vision tunneled. With great effort, he focused on his goal and strained to hold all other thoughts at bay. Although he stumbled unseeing past Pedreth, he paused and knelt over Leovar’s rocking, trembling form and placed a hand on his arm. He tried to reassure him, but his emotions welled in his throat and it was all he could do to stifle a sob. Rising again, he made his way past the helm and braced himself against the railing, freeing his hands. Placing a foot in the crossbow’s stirrup, he drew back the bowstring and fitted a bolt into the groove. His knees threatened to buckle and the world began to spin. He leaned against a backstay, bracing his knees against the railing and lifted the weapon to take sight on his target. Drawing a breath, he faced his pursuers.
The small boat had nearly overtaken the ketch. As he focused on its bow, Ai’Lorc found himself looking into the eyes of two madmen. One of the pair was whirling something over head. Suddenly he threw the object and Ai’Lorc saw, almost too late, the hook. He ducked as the claw flew past and fell clattering onto the deck. As its talons dug in, Ai’Lorc returned to his task.
He might have considered either man on the forepeak his target, but he was loathe to shoot anyone the Dalthin controlled. While these poor souls were probably his most immediate threat, his eyes sought only Dalthin hides. One was visible over the cabin, so he fixed his sight upon it. Slowing his breath to steady his hand, he tried to calculate what he must do. Following his target with the bow would send the bolt to where the creature had been at the time he fired. He would have to anticipate the craft’s rise and fall and allow not only for its progress, but for the force of the wind. Thankfully, the wind blew steadily. Were it not for the two vessels’ proximity, he would have considered his task futile, especially in view of his condition. The small, writhing creatures that hung from his hair and reached for his eyes had become minor distractions.
A second grappling hook snagged the rail to his left, yet Ai’Lorc tried to relax and get in synch with the rhythm of the sea. Almost as if to assist him, the gray slug behind the cabin drew itself upright. Ai’Lorc’s finger closed on the trigger and began to flex. Then, while he watched, the creature shimmered and changed form, turning into a large bird of prey, but with such claws as he had never seen. The bird rose from the boat, took to the air and flew straight toward him. He was about to raise his bow to follow it, when intuition struck. He fixed his sights on the spot where the Dalthin had been. As the boat wallowed in a trough and wings beat the air and delirium seemed the only reality, Ai’Lorc fired.COLLAPSE