Thursday, September 20, 2012

Swords of Artaius

By William H. Russeth
Historical Romance ● 326 pages ● Cover art by Pat Evans
Set in ancient Gaul 200 years before the Roman conquest, “Swords of Artaius” is a thrilling, fast moving adventure with mythological overtones and a strong element of romance. The fates of two desperate souls collide who find themselves clinging together in the face of a massive invasion of barbarous tribes led by the dreadful chieftain, Morga Raven Wings. 

As they run for their lives, they watch the invading horde sweep through Celtica behind them, scourging the land and ravaging the impregnable fortress, Lugdunum. They find solace in each other’s arms, believing each night together will be their last. Artaius, cursed with episodes of unbridled anger, finds inner peace and relief from the demons that haunt him with Lughin’s affection. Trapped in the Brigantes stockade, the last bastion of protection, the only thing standing between them and annihilation is the bear-like trance and rage of Artaius the Bear.


Long moon shadows striped the forest floor. Her eyes strained into the depths of the wood. She turned and jerked her head to the night sounds and leaves rustling around her. A dark shape streaked across an open glen, then another, and then two more. Her hand reached for the knife and she stood slowly, sliding up, with her back pressed against the tree trunk. Edging around the bole, she peeked behind it. Black shapes loped out of the forest and lined up on the edge of the trench. Bushy tails wagged and pointed ears twitched. The largest wolf snarled and a bolt of fear stopped her heart, then it started pounding. Wolves were not a part of the plan. Their yellow eyes caught the moonlight and glowed maliciously. Her chest seemed as if it would explode. A wolf could easily jump the ditch. The pack paced impatiently along the rim of the trench as if they could sense the trap. An animal jumped forward landing on the thin saplings. It squealed in surprise and tumbled through the cover, disappearing into the trench. She felt pawing and snarling circle around her as the animal frantically paced at the bottom of trench. The others growled and followed above their fallen comrade, ringing the tree and Lughin.

“Morga!” Lughin screamed in terror. “Morga!”

The wolves stopped. The largest animal’s ears perked up, his head cocked, and the pack scampered away in unison into the darkness, abandoning their companion. Lughin sighed aloud in relief. It was over; the trap was compromised and Morga would have to come. Leaning against the tree, she slid down and slumped over on the ground until the dead silence disturbed her. Even the wolf trapped below in the insidious ring was silent. She lifted her head and opened her eyes slowly. A tall lean figure stood across the trench.

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