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Tallanderís Apprentice
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ISBN-10: 1-55404-266-6
Genre: Fantasy/SF/Medieval
eBook Length: 192 Pages
Published: June 2005

From inside the flap

Tobin is a timid boy who works as a servant for the Mage Tallander, and would happily continue to do so for the rest of his life. But just before his fourteenth birthday his world is tipped upside down. Tallander is murdered by a man named Gothar. Gothar wants to become the most powerful Mage in the world, and to achieve this aim heís summoning demons and learning how to summon more.

He orders his first demon, Raen, to kill Tobin....

Tallanderís Apprentice (Excerpt)

Chapter One: The Mageís Servant

Tobin wasn?t the sort who longed to go on wild quests in strange lands. Thoughts of such adventures scared him. He would have been content to spend rest of his life just like this, standing in his masterís kitchen, elbow deep in a sink filled to the brim with steaming suds, never having any adventures at all.

The plates and glasses all done, he picked up the first of the pots and wondered which tool he should use to scrape off the layer of encrusted gunk the bottom. Scrubbing brush? Knife? Chisel?

Before he could make up his mind, Tobin heard someone pounding on the front door. He put the pot back into the sink. Let it soak, he thought.

The pounding repeated before he got to the door, this time to the tune of a raspy voice swearing loudly. "By the gods of boils and backsides, open up!"

Had he been anywhere else, such blatant anger would have frightened him, but here, in his masterís home, he felt safe. Instead of opening the door as swiftly as possible, he paused to listen.

The raspy voice continued to swear. "Son of a maggot!" it said. "Fungus and filth! Why do I waste my time?"

Tobin smiled, enjoying the colourful language. Eventually the tirade died down and the banging stopped.

He waited for a handful of heartbeats, heard a more distant, "Pox!" then swung the door wide.

A small man was striding away as if he meant to walk through the gate without opening it. The man wore what looked like oversized mageís robes -- except for the colour. Tobinís master, like every other mage in the land, wore blue. As far as Tobin knew, no one wore purple.

"Can I help you?" he called.

The man whirled. He glared from beneath heavy brows and stomped back up to the door. Tobin wasn?t tall for his age, but he only had to look up very slightly when the man came close. The stranger was broader though, and looked much more powerful.

The man thrust out his chin so his nose almost touched Tobinís face. "If you were my servant, I?d have you flogged for tardiness. Do you know how long I?ve been standing here beating my knuckles bloody against your door?"

Tobin stepped backwards, but he was still in his masterís home. Still safe. "I-I?m sorry," he said. "Master Tallanderís house is quite large. Some-sometimes guests can stand here all day and nobody will notice."

The lines of bitterness that creased the skin between the small manís brows remained. His mouth continued to curve downwards at the corners.

Nervous now, Tobin stepped further back and gestured the man inside. "Co-come in. Make yourself comfortable. If you?ll give me your name, I?ll tell my master you?re here."

"Thatís more like it," the man said, shouldering his way past into the sitting room. He chose a seat and put his feet up on a stool. Despite the dayís warmth, he pulled his robes tight.

Tobin waited.

The man noticed and levelled a glare that could have split a rock. "Well? Go and get your master!"

"And, um, when I find him, who should I say is calling?"

"Lord Gothar, thatís who." He said it as if it were the most important name in the land, as if Tobin should have known it already. "Now go, before I lose my patience!"

Tobin nodded, bowed politely and left.