Ladies & Gentlemen!
We are thrilled to announce the upcoming arrival of The Gryphon Chronicles, Book Three: THE DARK PORTAL, on sale Thursday, October 10th (10-10-13) in both e-book and paperback! (May show up sooner in some outlets, but 10/10 is official date.)
Just in time for Halloween, this is the spookiest tale in the series yet! We've upped the danger, but kept the humor that balances it out. We're back in the UK with this tale (Wales this time) and once again, the gang is back together for the adventure.
Last time, we visited with giants way above the world, at the top of the great "Beanstalk" (the Tree of Legend, Yggdrasil). This time, we'll be going underground to explore the world of the noble dwarven folk. Meanwhile, the stakes in the series continue to rise for our young hero.
In Book One, THE LOST HEIR, Jake finally learned the truth about who he really is. In Book Two, JAKE AND THE GIANT, he started getting the hang of using his powers and seeing the pattern of what his future life could be like as Lightrider, following in his parents' footsteps.
Now, in Book Three, THE DARK PORTAL, he will be tested on a deeper level...to find out where his allegiances truly lie.
And so, without further ado, E.G. Foley proudly presents THE DARK PORTAL!
The only way out is through....
Download this PDF to read sample chapters - The Prologue through Chapter Two.
(Or scroll down for back cover blurb as well as opening pages.)
From the Back Jacket:
The Pickpocket Who Inherited a Goldmine
After his harsh beginnings as a rough-and-tumble orphan on the streets of London, Jake Everton takes his rightful place as the long-lost heir of an aristocratic family with magical powers – his personal quest, to follow in his slain parents’ footsteps as a Lightrider in the age-old battle of good versus evil. In the fantastical nooks and crannies of the Victorian Age, Jake and his friends
(including his pet Gryphon!) find no shortage of adventure – righting magic-related wrongs, solving supernatural mysteries, and exploring wondrous new worlds.
A Dark Presence…
Something stalks a quaint town in the misty mountains of Wales, attacking humans and magic folk
alike. Jake and his friends must get to the bottom of it – and in the land of deep, dwarven mines, the bottom can be very dark, indeed.
Dive into The Gryphon Chronicles, a rollicking historical fantasy series (with a hint of steampunk!) that’s as much fun for grownups as it is for kids, from the imagination of New York Times bestselling author, E.G. Foley.
“A wonderful novel in the same vein as Harry Potter, full of nonstop action, magical creatures, and the reality that was Queen Victoria’s England.” ~The Reading Café
Prologue: The Sorcerer's Tomb
A hundred and fifty feet underground in perfect darkness, a labyrinth of black,
twisty tunnels snaked beneath the mountains of Wales. And in one such little-explored passage of the Harris Mine, a simple man called Barney had just discovered a curious phenomenon.
He angled his handheld wedge against a big, tough knuckle of coal and gave it a whack with his hammer to show his fellow miners. “See what I mean? Got a funny sound just there, ain’t it?” He tapped again, harder. “Sounds…I dunno, hollow.”
“Yer head’s hollow,” grumbled crew chief Martin. Nevertheless, to Mr. Martin’s experienced eye, the problem was plain: They’d hit a stubborn section of the coal seam. He gave his men a nod. “Let’s blast it.”
Crawling about awkwardly in the narrow, claustrophobic space barely four feet tall, the men
fetched the heavy hand-cranked drill and started churning it.
The tip of the drill slowly pierced a thin hole into the rock face, where they would soon pour in the blasting powder. Cranking the drill was backbreaking labor, just like every other job in the coalmine and its sister company, the Harris Ironworks. But coal made the steam that forged the iron that ran the British Empire, which, in turn, ruled the world. And so these rough, rugged miners saw themselves as unsung heroes of a sort. To be sure, not a one of them was ever afraid of the dark.
Even when they should be.
At length, the skinny hole into the bedrock was drilled, the blasting powder carefully poured in.
Daredevil Collins volunteered to light it—always a dangerous job. Cocky as ever, he held the squib carelessly between his teeth and lit it as if it were a cigar instead of a type of firecracker. Swiping it quickly out of his mouth, Collins shoved it into the hole the men had drilled.
As it burned its way toward the little pile of blasting powder, he scrambled after his crew, who had already scuttled out of range to wait for the explosion.
All four men held their ears and opened their mouths slightly, waiting for the shift in
“Ha, ha!” The miners cheered out of habit at the blast.
“That’ll teach her!” said Martin.
With pickaxes and hammers at the ready, the men crawled back to harvest the chunks of coal that had been knocked loose from the mountain’s grip by the explosion.
As they approached, the air was so thick with dust and smoke that it blackened their faces until all they could see of their mates was the whites of each other’s eyes. As the men pressed on, the tiny
oil lanterns on their hats glowed like four lonely lighthouses in that thickest type of fog, known as a London Peculiar.
Martin whistled for Jones to bring the coal cart so they could load up their fresh haul and carry it
The more coal they brought up to the surface each day, the more money they made for their families. Of course, their pay went right back to the Company through the rent on their houses, owned by the Harris Mine, or through the goods they bought at the Harris Company Store.
The Company, in short, was more powerful around here than Queen Victoria.
“Look!” Barney suddenly burst out with a gasp. “I don’t believe it! I-I was right! It was hollow!” He pointed as the smoke cleared to a hole they had blasted in the underground wall.
It should not have been there.
Indeed, it was impossible. There shouldn’t be a hollow space left after their controlled blast, just an indentation exposing deeper layers of the earth’s solid bedrock holding up the mountain.
“Well, beggar me,” he murmured, marveling at it.
Bending forward to shine his headlamp in, Barney peered through the hole that opened into a darkness ten times blacker than even the rest of the mine. Then he waved his crewmates over. “Fellas, come and see!”
“What is it now?” Martin grumbled, coming up behind him.
“You got to see for yourself. There’s some kind of room in there!” Barney said in wonder,
“Don’t be daft. A room? Underground cavern, maybe…”
But as the others crowded round, even stern Mr. Martin had to admit that it was, indeed, an ancient-looking room with smooth, chiseled walls.
Smith squinted into the midnight darkness beyond the hole. “What’s a room doing all the way down here?”
“How should I know,” Martin said. An uneasy chill ran down his spine, for Wales was not just
the land of coal and mist and unexpected spellings. It was also a place of legend. The sacred homeland of countless bards and sorcerers of old; the birthplace of Merlin himself, according to some; a land of ancient magic, mighty castles, and time-forgotten kings.
Collins had that daredevil gleam in his eyes once again as he glanced around at the others. “Fancy a look, boys? C’mon, let’s go in!”
“I’m not so sure that’s such a good idea,” Barney warned him, but coalminers as a rule were not afraid of much.
Even when they really should be.
“C’mon, leave it. We’ve got to cut our support timbers to prop up that hole,” Martin said. “It ain’t stable.”
“Ah, just for a moment.” With a laugh, Collins vaulted through the hole, and so was the first to see the ancient, heavy table in the center of the mysterious chamber and the chair…
With a skeleton sitting in it.
A skeleton decked in strange jewelry and wearing the floppy hat and moldy velvet robes of a Renaissance-era scholar.
Collins stopped in his tracks when he saw it and pointed, aghast. “Bones!”
Barney, who was following right behind him, ran into Collins’s back on account of not watching where he was going. He was too busy staring all around at the strange subterranean chamber, his eyes wide.
The rest followed, and when they all saw the skeleton, they let out exclamations of
wonder and shock; the four big, fearless coalminers unconsciously started huddling together with a creeping, superstitious sense of doom.
For they now realized that they had just disturbed the dead.
“This is no ordinary chamber, my lads,” Martin said in a hushed voice, taking control of the situation, as their leader. He looked around at all the odd things inside the chamber, and the bones. “It’s a tomb.”
To continue reading, download the Dark Portal Sample Chapters here.