King Severn Argentine’s fearsome reputation precedes him: usurper of the throne, killer of rightful heirs, ruthless punisher of traitors. Attempting to depose him, the Duke of Kiskaddon gambles…and loses. Now the duke must atone by handing over his young son, Owen, as the king’s hostage. And should his loyalty falter again, the boy will pay with his life.
Seeking allies and eluding Severn’s spies, Owen learns to survive in the court of Kingfountain. But when new evidence of his father’s betrayal threatens to seal his fate, Owen must win the vengeful king’s favor by proving his worth—through extraordinary means. And only one person can aid his desperate cause: a mysterious woman, dwelling in secrecy, who truly wields power over life, death, and destiny.
THE QUEEN'S POISONER, BOOK 1 EXCERPT
The wild frenzied feeling of plummeting reminded him partway down that he should be terrified, but then the shock of cold water met his face and he plunged into its depths. His feet touched the bottom of the cistern. His hand still gripped hers.
Owen opened his eyes and found himself surrounded by a pile of treasure. He felt a huge burst of excitement in his ribs as he stared at the sword hilts, the jewels and necklaces. The Mortimer girl was tugging at his hand and trying to swim up, but he pulled back, not wanting to lose sight of the treasure. There was so much! But then he noticed something awry. There was a gap in the treasure, as if someone had dragged a rake through it. No, that wasn’t it. One of the chests appeared to have been dragged back towards the stairs. The dragging motion had cleared a path through the bounty and knocked other bits over.
His companion was yanking hard on his hand now, and when he looked up, he saw bubbles were coming out of her mouth, obscuring her face.
Owen wanted to stay down and figure out what had happened to the treasure, but they both needed to breathe. He pushed with his legs and they started towards the surface. As they moved through the water, a loud grinding noise filled his water-soaked ears.
When Owen’s face broke the surface, he gulped in a chest full of air to stop his lungs from burning. The Mortimer girl was spluttering and paddling on the waters.
“Owen! Did you hear that noise?”
Owen looked and saw they were farther away from stairs. In fact, they were gliding away from it at a fast pace.
Book 2 - Available now!
Owen Kiskaddon first came to the court of the formidable King Severn as a prisoner, winning favor with the stormy monarch by masquerading as a boy truly blessed by the Fountain. Nine years hence, the once-fearful Owen has grown into a confident young man, mentored in battle and politics by Duke Horwath and deeply in love with his childhood friend, the duke’s granddaughter. But the blissful future Owen and Elysabeth Mortimer anticipate seems doomed by the king’s machinations.
A pretender to Severn’s throne has vowed to seize the crown of Kingfountain. But Severn means to combat the threat by using Elysabeth as bait to snare the imposter—and forcing Owen, as a pawn in the dangerous charade, to choose between duty and devotion. With poisoners and spies circling ominously, and war looming on the horizon, Owen must make painful sacrifices to beat back the advancing shadows of death and disaster. Will Owen’s conflicted heart follow the king’s path or risk everything for his love?
Book 3 - Available September 6, 2016
Against all odds, Owen Kiskaddon grew from frightened boy to confident youth to trusted officer in the court of Kingfountain—and watched its regent, Severn Argentine, grow ever more ruthless and power-mad. Robbed of his beloved protector, his noble mentor, and his true love, Owen has anticipated the day when the king he fears and reviles, yet loyally serves, will be toppled. Now, as Severn plots a campaign of conquest, the time has come to take action…and Owen’s destiny demands that he lead the strike.
Ordered to incite war with a neighboring kingdom, Owen discovers its beautiful, reclusive ruler, whose powerful magic might even exceed his own. Together they mount a daring plot to overthrow the corrupt monarch, crown the rightful heir, and defeat the prophesied curse threatening Kingfountain with wintry death. But Severn’s evil is as bottomless as the fabled Deep Fathoms. To keep his ill-gotten throne, he’ll gladly spill the blood of enemies and innocents alike.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeff Wheeler took an early retirement from his career at Intel in 2014 to become a full-time author. He is, most importantly, a husband and father, and a devout member of his church. He is occasionally spotted roaming among the oak trees and granite boulders in the hills of California or in any number of the state’s majestic redwood groves. He is the author of The Covenant of Muirwood Trilogy, The Legends of Muirwood Trilogy, the Whispers from Mirrowen Trilogy, and the Landmoor Series.
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