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LORDS OF KERBALLA, VOL 1 of THE MORDUC TRILOGY

Children/Young Adult; Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror; (Market)

Morduc, an immortal Elven prince, discovers the young knight, Red John, alone and bound hand and foot with black briars on the King of Time’s banqueting floor. John tells Morduc that just as he was about to answer a riddle that might have won him a quest to win the hand of the Princess of Time, a rival suitor, The Master of Darkness, disputed his right to attempt the riddle, at which John lost consciousness. The Master of Darkness, presumably has kidnapped the Princess and her father, taking them back to his castle stronghold in the coastal city of Kerballa. Charmed by John’s determination to free the Princess even if he does not win the quest to win her, Morduc volunteers to accompany him in that effort. Although a flood separates him from John as they are crossing a river, Morduc makes his way westward alone, as agreed with John, toward the castle of the King of Darkness to free the Princess by himself if possible. In the course of that journey he meets and wins his true love Marianna, learns to speak Froggan from the Old Wise One of the frogs, and with the help of a star stone given him by the OWO, survives a trip through danger-filled caverns beneath the mountains separating the interior from the coast. Meanwhile, a jungle tribe saves John, who was washed far downriver by the flood. He returns the favor by saving the tribe’s chief during an attack by the hoards of the Monkey King. Hailed as the tribe’s divine savior and therefore expected to marry the chief’s daughter, he remains faithful to the Princess and stages his own death escaping downriver with the help of two new jungle companions, Palla Nad and his grandson, Yanibo. Eventually the three arrive at the port city of Imbal and sign on to perform in a local circus. Subsequently the circus is summoned to Kerballa by The Master Of Darkness to provide entertainment for his captive guests in an effort to persuade the Princess to marry the Master of Darkness, giving him control of the King of Time’s realm. John and the circus dock in Kerballa on the same day that Morduc enters the city disguised as a seedy old street magician. When both are separately invited to the fortress to entertain the Princess, they develop a plan to free her. This they succeed in doing during the performance when it is interrupted by violent lightning strikes drawn to Morduc’s star stone. During the melee, Morduc loses the stone to the Master of Darkness who retreats with it into the castle, which is demolished around him by the continued lightning strikes. Since the tyrant’s fortress is now but a steaming pile of stone, and the Master and his ship have vanished, Red John is elected as the new governor of the city on condition that he win, marry and rule with the Princess. He answers the riddle correctly and she accepts him. In a triple wedding in the town square, L’Orka, a comrade in arms in toppling the tyrant marries his true love, Red John marries the Princess, and Morduc, sacrificing his immortality by marrying a mortal, joyfully marries his beloved Marianna.

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