A Scholar's Journey: The Divine TempestA Scholar’s Journey: The Divine Tempest is a no-holds-barred fantasy brawl. It begins when the God of Justice and Retribution opens The Abyss and unleashes a vengeful demon upon the mortal realm of Therra. Now it is up to scholar Penndarius Greyson and his tormented protector, martial artist Soren Luna Mortalitas, to stop a crisis that would send shockwaves through the very fabric of creation. In addition, Penndarius is waging an internal battle with a disembodied presence attempting to possess his mind. The two heroes must avoid death or capture, but there is a catch: They have only one day to solve a riddle older than history before a dark host of unstoppable demons is released into the world. The Divine Tempest includes warring factions, betrayal and redemption, and of course, Herrick Erickson-Brigl's trademark: epic fight scenes. This is the lean, hard-hitting first installment in a series that follows Penndarius’s growth as the avatar of the God of Creation and Soren’s reclamation of his lethal family’s humanity.
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Check out book excerpt below.
The kick impacted Craven's face and knocked him to the side. Soren landed on the ground between Craven's arms and spun around into a back stance, holding his hand out. "Come on!" he taunted.
Craven spat out a fang and then punched, trying to hit Soren in the chest. Once again Soren dodged the attack and landed dexterously on Craven's powerful outstretched arm, like a circus performer. He ran up the big arm and vaulted over Craven's shoulder. Then he grabbed Craven's neck, mid-flight, and swung onto the creature's back.
The anthra reached back and attempted to grab Soren's clothing, but he was in an awkward position.
From atop Craven's back, Soren started an assault by punching the anthra repeatedly in the back of his head. Despite Craven's size, the force of Soren's blows caused his head to be thrown forward and rebound back again.
Craven roared in frustration and bent down and violently threw his torso forward, which caused Soren to rise above his neck for the briefest instant. The anthra spun quickly and grabbed Soren by the shirt collar, then used the momentum to slam his body flat into the ground. The breath was expelled from Soren's lungs.
The anthra then followed the slam by attempting to cannonball the crimson warrior toward the same wall that Soren had been thrown through earlier. Craven's arm was so large that, before Soren was catapulted, and despite being partially stunned, he was able to spin his legs around and push off Craven's paw, allowing him to control his flight.
This time Soren did not impact in the same way but flipped toward the wall in full control of his arc. When he neared the wall, Soren reached with his legs and absorbed the impact fully. Then he turned the attack to his advantage by coiling his legs like a spring.
Soren rebounded off the wall and hurled himself toward Craven. He led with his elbow and planted his other hand on the curled fist of the same arm.
The creativity of the attack caught Craven completely off guard, and he was unable to block the hit. The impact from the elbow was as strong as the throw he had used against Soren, multiplied double fold from the rebound off the wall. Craven was hit hard in the jaw, which lifted the anthra completely off his feet and rolled him to the opposite wall.
Soren flipped again and landed with both feet on the ground in the same stance and place where he had started the fight. He closed his right eye in pain as his head pounded painfully. The rest of his body felt like as if had been crushed and expanded at the same time.
"Respect, warrior!" Craven complimented him sincerely as he struggled to his feet. "I did not expect such an attack from you." With a titanic effort, despite being dazed by the attack, he cleared his head by shaking it violently, a testament to his tough constitution.
"The same to you," Soren replied, groaning in pain as he quickly rolled one of his shoulders back into its socket. Then he rushed at Craven to surprise the anthra with a renewed attack.
"That does not work twice," Craven snarled and seemed truly unimpressed. He reached out and caught Soren's flying roundhouse kick in one of his massive paws. The anthra then threw Soren into the air.
Soren's eyes opened wide as he realized what was going to happen next. "Ow...!" he said with a preliminary wince.
Craven started sending a series of uppercuts into Soren's abdomen with his massive fist. The hits were so strong that they propelled Soren into the ceiling, and Craven was tall enough to hit Soren even while he was pressed up against it. Soren uttered painful gasps with each hit.
The first strike sent Soren into the ceiling, and the second caused an indentation. The third caused a spurt of blood to be propelled from his mouth as it created a jagged crater; it pushed the hard wood upward and caused splinters to rain down on the anthra's furred face.
Craven roared in triumph as he struck Soren for a fourth time with one of his massive fists. Suddenly a loud cracking and snapping sound was heard, and for a moment Penndarius was afraid it was coming from Soren's body, but it was the ceiling giving way. The next punch sent Soren flying into the second floor of the building.
Soren was blinded with pain but was aware enough to react and grab hold of the edges of the broken floor of the second-story room. He rolled to the side, just out of reach and sight of Craven. He took a moment to gather himself, then pushed the pain from his mind and focused on the fight.
To Soren's right, a small family of three huddled in fear in the corner. "Sorry about the mess," Soren said and looked back to the ceiling. He saw that the roof was supported by rafters that were long wooden beams, and an idea popped into his head.
Craven grabbed the torn edge of the hole in the ceiling and pushed up and into the room above. When the little family saw him enter, they huddled even closer to one another in horror, though the anthra seemed not even to notice them. But its prey was nowhere to be seen.
While Craven had been clambering through the hole, Soren had jumped up to grab the rafters of the second floor and had suspended himself by his legs, hanging much like a bat. Then he had curled up to the top so that he was hidden from sight.
"Where are you, little warrior? Come out! Your smell lingers," Craven said as he sniffed the air. "I know you are here."
His nose soon drew his eyes to the rafters. He was shocked to find himself looking directly at Soren, who was just a hair's breadth above his head.
"Right here," Soren whispered into Craven's ear, which infuriated the huge anthra, but Craven was slow to react. Soren dropped from the rafters and encircled the anthra's neck tightly with his knees as he flipped behind his back. Soren continued head first past Craven's shoulders. His arms were even with the joints of Craven's knees when his gripping legs stopped him mid-fall.
Soren punched with both of his hands into the soft area at the back of the anthra's knees. Then he squeezed the anthra's neck with his knees and pushed hard with his hands.
The force of the pull and thrust caused the anthra to lose his balance and fall backwards through the hole in the upstairs floor. Soren continued to pull and thrust and was able to flip Craven a complete hundred-and-eighty degrees, so that he overbalanced and was falling head first toward the ground.
Craven drilled face-first into the wooden floor with a resounding crash. The giant anthra hit hard enough to send ripples from the impact throughout the first floor, which caused neighboring floorboards to bend and break. The rest of the structure groaned in protest and threatened to collapse.
The almost suicidal attack hurt Soren, as well. When they hit the ground he was thrown from the anthra and into a wall, then rebounded with a loud popping sound from his shoulder. He collapsed to the ground and rolled onto his back.