Paperback: New Blood

In worlds beset by war between legendary beings and forces, a young boy is dragged into one such conflict in an insidious gambit to tip the scales in a certain favour. But there are other forces at work besides that of evil, and in the struggle between elves, vampires, and more over his fate, he will discover loss, vengeance, and the price of innocence.

New Blood is a snapshot story of a much larger universe told from the perspective of a young boy that is drawn into a world much bigger and deadlier than his own. The boy, Shex, lives in a small township by a well trafficked river, with the townsfolk that adopted him and his lifelong best friend Fannolie after the disappearance of their respective parents many years ago. Unbeknownst to him however, he is also the distant descendant of an ancient group of nigh invincible warriors, and has inherited a small portion of their legendary invulnerability. The arrival of an unnaturally large figure clad all in black then heralds the end of his carefree life, as Fannolie ends up being used as bait to kidnap Shex by a vampire queen, Lamashtu, intent on utilising his blood to create a stronger breed of vampire.

Attempts to escape fail as Lamashtu forcibly turns Shex into a vampire and pressgangs him into doing the same to others, so that they will share his durability and give the vampires the edge they need in their eternal war with the elves. And all under the threat of Fannolie’s life. The man in black however, who is in fact a nephilim (half-angel) and long time pursuer of Lamashtu, mounts a rescue siege of Lamashtu's castle, made up of various allies including a contingent of elven warriors, and liberates the two children from her clutches after a drawn out battle. However, Shex cannot now return home now that he is a vampire himself, with only Fannolie able to be sent back. Instead Zachariah, the nephilim, offers him a new home, one made with outcasts like the two of them in mind. The story ends with Shex asking to be trained in combat, so that he may seek revenge on Lamashtu for robbing him of his life, and Zachariah warning him of the dangers of such a course of action before asking if he’s ready to begin.

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