Creeping through the fir trees in deep snow, ShadowAspect wheeled around. No sign of anyone.
But sitting in my cave, my Finistra zoomed in on a disturbance in the snow twenty metres behind him.
Footprints. Multiple pairs.
ShadowAspect picked up the pace. Ha glanced over his shoulder.
Something shot through the air and struck him in his shoulder, sending him reeling.
I felt a thud against the shoulder of my outer body.
A second projectile hit him in the chest.
My ribs sang with pain.
A third smacked ShadowAspect in the forehead and knocked him off his feet. He landed with a crunch in the snow.
My head spun. Stars fizzed in my eyes.
ShadowAspect touched his hand to his head and examined what clung to his fingers.
Snow. Snow that had been tightly packed into a snowball. He’d been taken down by three snowballs – that had been flung as hard as if they’d been shot out of a cannon.
Light feet darted over the snow.
Three arrows were aimed at ShadowAspect, just centimetres from his face.
Hamedall was the place just the other side of the Margullring. It was on the outskirts of Alvahame itself and was populated by Perrodin and other elves whose job it was to guard the city.
Perrodin himself was standing guard at the South Passage, the sleigh path leading down into Alvahame. There were more guards than I’d expected. They looked edgy, like they were expecting trouble.
ShadowAspect crept through the fir trees, hidden in the shadows, past a scattering of wooden chalet houses with pointed roofs. He made his way toward a gap in the trees ahead, which opened out into the spetacular view over Alvahame. Something was wrong. ShadowAspect stopped dead.
He was being followed.
ShadowAspect emerged at night under a large fir tree in the hidden elven realm in the Arctic. It was so ridiculously cold I could feel it in my cave – through all my bones. It was freezing cold and he was standing knee deep in pure, white snow. Barring his way into Alvahame was a wall of ice that stretched as far as he could see to the East and the West. Looking up, it curved up into the sky. Locals called it the Margullring – a giant ice dome protecting Alvahame.
ShadowAspect stepped into the thick wall of ice. He stood still for a second, listening to the faint whisper of many voices coming from inside the Margullring, then he slid out of the ice into Alvahame.
Henry Frey and the Elf King is a Christmas fantasy adventure.
The Ebook is available on Amazon for 99p/$0.99/EUR 0,99 and is free on Kindle Unlimited.
Santa Claus is an elf. His real name is Klasodin. He lives in his Madjikal, snow-covered city of Alvahame with his elves.
Santa Claus is in trouble. Sabotaged by enemies inside and outside Alvahame, his Madjik is failing and gifts are going missing. Then, just days before Christmas, he disappears.
Henry Frey is the last human child with the Affinity for Madjik. Hunted by Santa’s enemies, he embarks on a dangerous journey by sleigh, sledge and snowboard to find Santa and restore his Madjik. If he fails, there will be no Christmas.
The book is also now available in paperback for £6.99/$11.99.
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The biggest images by far on my Infinistra had been the war in Angharia and Alex Clay’s desperately slow progress. It was so bad, I was expecting another visit from the Caeromancer any day.
I’d dreaded sending ShadowAspect out into the world again, but it could only be avoided for so long. Jason Rybak’s situation was getting more dangerous and with Christmas approaching, anyone featured in Henry Frey and the Elf King would leap at the chance to take me down. Especially the Elf King.
Part of me yearned for adventure – and for danger. I could feel ShadowAspect getting restless. Jason was going to need him and I had to see what my enemies were planning. So I sent him to one of the few places I couldn’t see into. The home of the Elf King.
Alexander leaned against cold grey stone with his arms folded. The floating golden flames of Kraiberg’s windowless Great Hall flickered nervously.
Gentlemen in silk doublets and ladies in floor-length gowns gathered at the far end. They crowded around a bald figure in red robes, shouting and protesting at the tops of their voices.
“NO,” the bald figure roared suddenly. The Great Hall went silent. “We will not be requesting help from Konigsberg because a messenger told of an even greater army marching on them. We are at war. Now you can either don some armour and assist in defending the castle, your home, or you can run for your lives.”
“Where would we go?” one lady wailed.
“Head for Nordumbra, smile nicely at the border guards and tell the Nordumbran Governor, whichever poor sap took over that death sentence, that you now pledge your allegiance to Vudri. I’m sure the ensuing servitude and lack of drunken debauchery will be a small price to pay for your lives – such as they are. I suggest you avoid Westmoria – for obvious reasons.”
Alexander gave a low laugh. Cyrus was a pompous idiot – sauntering around the castle in those ridiculous red robes. But he put those nobles in their place.
Alexander’s eyes rested on a beautiful young lady. She flashed him an irresistible smile and threw her arms around his neck.
Sitting in his cinema seat, Alex blinked. His pulse pounded. He realised he was smiling.
Then the smile dissolved. Tom still had his arm around her. Something else wasn’t right.
Deborah let go and backed away. Her parents, Francesca and Marcus, waited behind her with Cyrus. The three of them were dressed for travelling. Deborah was leaving Kraiberg – and she hadn’t told him.
Debbie ignored Alex all day. Once school finished, he took the Underground into central London. Last thing he needed was an evening at home on his own and he’d given up on fencing for good.
He wandered through Leicester Square to the cinema, looking for a film to distract him for a couple of hours, when he felt someone watching him. Alex wheeled around, his eyes scanning every face in Leicester Square. No sign of the strange man with the glasses.
A hand grabbed his arm and hauled him into a nearby side street. Two dirty hands shoved him against a wall. Wild eyes stared into his. He was a short man in filthy clothes with bushy hair and a beard. And he stank. Alex took one whiff and nearly threw up.
“You,” the tramp uttered. “You.”
Alex wrenched himself free. He ran for it. The tramp shouted something after him. Alex ran into the cinema, bought a ticket and hurried into the main screen.
He sank into his seat at the back, his heart pounding and slowly relaxed. Then he spotted the long, dark curly hair he’d know anywhere.
Debbie was sitting two rows in front of him. She was with Tom Parkin. He had his arm around her.
Alex slumped lower in his chair. He fixed his eyes on the screen and tried not to look at them.