Greg Loui would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Shadows of a Sundered Soul

By Greg Loui All Rights Reserved ©

Adventure / Fantasy

Blurb

There is the Chosen One, then there is Kālam Ultor, the brother destined for evil. He fulfilled his destiny when he was seven, when he murdered his younger brother, Brand. Now, ten years later, the Fates offer Kālam one chance to right his wrong. Enter Kālam’s second brother, Andros, who must rise as the Hero of Cinder and rekindle the world’s fading flames. Kālam knows how the legends unfold; more importantly, he must squash his desire for glory and find the hero - a task mildly complicated by the fact his brother disappeared over a decade ago in a convergence between human and spirit realms. Fleeing from ghosts, driven by an unescapable need to prove himself, Kālam readies to sacrifice everything as he journeys across the Eternal Empire, but rival Heroes and alien worlds block him, eager to argue their own theses on prophecy through blood and elemental magic. SHADOWS OF A SUNDERED SOUL is an Epic fantasy with a self-aware twist on the Eternal Hero myth, journeying to a primal landscape inspired by polytheistic mythologies such as Graeco-Roman and Aztec – one where living gods and spirits still dance to the Fate’s inescapable tune. And yes, there are dragons.

Interlude

“What is a hero but Destiny’s favorite pawn?”

A young warrior waited. In the depths of an ancient tower, buried amongst gods and monsters and beings whose very existence must be forgotten, he waited in chains.

Bleeding and broken. No longer a threat to the worlds. Chains wrapped around his bloodied form and mind, both ones of steel and ones of something far stronger. Though the Warrior had not yet seen two dozen winters, scores of scars formed a tapestry across dark skin.

A singular eye glared out into the dark, black as the abyss itself. The other, once violet but now dripping tears of blood, had been gouged out by the Warrior’s best friend. One of two wounds that still bled. The other was his right hand or at least the stump where it had been. The Warrior had hacked the limb off himself. Betrayed and beaten, the young man waited for his death.

It came for him. If not through steel than through his very blood, creeping in his veins to his heart. But death’s sweet release would not come soon enough.

The warrior had many names, the Black Blade, Oath-breaker, Walker of the Crimson Path, Corpse-Eater, God-killer, Kinslayer, Bastard of the Eagle… Those were given to him by both Gods and men, in both fear and in admiration, in hope and acknowledgment of his destiny. But the young man had chosen one for himself, Brand of the clan Ultor. The name meant sword. A weapon to be used. An unthinking object. A reminder of what he was and always would be. Once he had found pride in knowing fate had a purpose for him.

Now, at the end of his path, he only tasted ash.

“Where are you, Kālam?” Brand asked, though he knew the answer and knew his question lay just as he did, forever lost in darkness, never to be found.

“Talking to the dead again?” murmured a voice within Brand’s skull.

His words awoke another being. The cold death creeping in his veins.

A dragon stirred within Brand. The Abyss twisted together, convalescing through rage and despair. Frozen claws scraped up from the pit in his stomach and found their way into his skull. Long fangs gnawed on his brain, sending waves of pain throughout his body.

The abyssal dragon, bones clacking and rumbling like thunder in the mountains, grinding against Brand’s ear, whispered, “Why not surrender to my power? You have suffered long enough. Together, we could destroy this world, punish those who betrayed you. We could live. Forever”

“No,” murmured Brand. But the word rang hollow. And the dragon knew it.

“You would rather die? Be remembered as a traitor and a fool?”

“I’ve tried worse. I tried being a hero,” quipped Brand but they both knew the words were only just that. Words. All the strength in his body and soul had already left him. Taken, ripped out along with his eye. No. Before then.

The dragon slithered around, tail wrapped around Brand’s throat. Scales bristled, leaving long scratches in his flesh. Only a little while back, Brand might have tried to resist and sent the dragon back into the abyss. A familiar song. But now Brand rejected its tune.

He turned his gaze upwards. To the light.

Moonlight filtered down through a long shaft in the prison ceiling, pooling on the cold water covering the prison floor. The prison was a perfectly circular cavern with a hole in the center descending into the bowels of the earth. Brand could only just make out the shaft’s opening, a speck of light amidst an ocean of black. Crystals lined the walls, hidden by the darkness, enchanted with layers upon layers of the oldest magics, ready to shred his flesh if he so much as brushed against them.

“So you lie here, broken and bowed to fate once more. Pathetic.”

Closing his eye, Brand searched for the will to care. He searched his heart for a reason to fight. To try once more. To shed the yoke of fate. To destroy this rotted, dying world.

Brand turned to the scene imbedded in his broken eye, burned into his mind. He saw his hand turning black before he severed it at the wrist. He saw the brother he had saved and the mage who had walked at their side since the beginning, both turning their backs to him in his hour of need. He saw his best friend’s claw reach out before half his world fell into darkness.

Thousand times. That same scene of betrayal played in front of him. A thousand and one…

His eye snapped open as the fires lit within.

Vengeance. Good enough.

A snarl erupted from his throat, and Brand stood up, water sloshing off his body. No more waiting. The chain rattled and threatened to pull him down. The dragon screaming as though blades twisted into its side, Brand clenched his fists tight, preparing to rip the chains apart.

No more chains, steel or otherwise. Soon, he would do the same to the world. No. Not simply break. He would rip the world apart at its seams, cast down the false idols, devour those he had once loved in a storm of blood and steel and rage.

This was not the end of his story nor was it the beginning. His story began long ago with another’s life.

Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

Lydia Walters: I really enjoyed this novel. It gives us a view of what could be if we really tried.Also that there's nothing wrong with loving our LORD and our fellow humans. couldn't wait to get to each new chapter (mission). Thanks, Joe!

Ruby O'Keeffe: I'm only a few chapters in and I love this book! The writing style fits the setting and theme perfectly, and the descriptions of the characters, setting and more are beautiful! I would love to read to read more from this author!

Carole Troup: A good read for a paranormal lover. There are multiple different types of beings here a dragon ,warlock , witch, vampire Slayer, gargoyle, vampires a few more I am not listing. this is a nice read not overly violent. However there is fighting and bloodshed. A Love story, wrapped in a vampire war,...

Aditya Harikrish: It had me on tenterhooks since the very first page. Excllently developed plot and characters. You've done an amazing job of building a fantasy world from scratch. Hats off to you!A sequel is a must.

spatiaangelus : Loved reading this novel. the intricacy of the storyline, the amount of detail and the development of the plot was amazing.Not only is it a unique read, I found it utterly enjoyable and cannot wait to read more

More Recommendations

Sonali Srivastava: It is very Fancinating to read a story full of Fantasy and specially when love is not complete as story , I really like the Imagination of Author and his writing skill, u dictated everything so beautifuly that when I read it I lost in the story and I hope I will read soon the second year of Zakir...

Drew C. Elyon: I've only read one chapter so far, but from what I've seen, this is steampunk at its best. The narrative flows so beautifully I could envision every scene in an almost cinematic fashion. I believe in the complexity of simplicity, and this story has that in its descriptions.

larry: I’ m not a professional book reviewer, but this is a good one! I liked it enough to read it non stop!

Warren Bull: I thought this was a fast=paced thriller with elements of several other genres woven seamlessly in. It hooked me early and held my attention throughout. I liked the humor and surprises along the way. I really enjoyed the novel. I am not a big fan of romances or paranormal works,but when those ele...

{{ contest.story_page_sticky_bar_text }} Be the first to recommend this story.

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.