Although the original cover of Journey of the Hunted actually looked quite compelling in person on a paperback, I never liked its digital presentation online. Ebook images are generally quite small at retail sites, so I created a bolder look for the ebook version of Journey of the Hunted that might stand out better when people scan images online.
Journey of the Hunted continues the story of Thal and Altea that began in Werelord Thal: A Renaissance Werewolf Tale.
About the novel:
The folklore beliefs of the 16th century Renaissance come wildly to life in the werewolf hero Thal. Created by the infamous sorcerer Sarputeen, Thal now battles the dark servants of Tekax, wizard to the Turks and nemesis of Sarputeen. While escaping the Holy Roman Empire, Thal discovers more about his werewolf powers as he struggles to reach a refuge shrouded in mystery.
They drew closer to the cultivated lands, homesteads, and little villages at the outskirts of the city. Hugging a big bend in the river, Pardubice was busy with trade by land and water. Locals paid little attention to the little group of travelers wandering out of the logging area. Thal joined the traffic of peddlers and citizens bound for one of the city’s gates.
Men-at-arms wearing red surcoats emblazoned with a silver horse watched the gate. They were talking among themselves and appeared to be paying little attention to the people coming and going. Their number concerned Thal. A full dozen men seemed a heavy force at a gate on a peaceful afternoon.
Thal avoided eye contact and made an effort to slink by. His companions adopted the same demeanor. They hung close to a wagon creaking along with a fluffy load of hay, but just before they entered the gateway, a man-at-arms stepped in front of Thal. His helmet was embellished with silver accents, denoting some rank, and he slapped a hand on Thal’s chest.
“I haven’t seen this lot before,” the captain declared. His eleven men spread quickly around Thal’s group.
Thal resisted batting away the hand and remained outwardly calm.
“Are you going to speak?” the captain demanded.
Thal cleared his throat. “We’re a traveling troupe of entertainers. May I introduce three fine musicians of Venice, a songstress of Prague, and a magician worthy of the court of kings,” he said. Mileko glared at Thal because he disliked being labeled as some mere performer.
“Oh!” the captain said. He looked to his closest man for an opinion.
“A squirrely lot of tramps I see. Have the look of ne’er-do-wells that’ve been spending too much time eating mushrooms in the forest,” the other man-at-arms declared.
The captain nodded, well pleased with the assessment. “Off to the circus camp with them,” he said.
The gang of men-at-arms prodded everyone off the road.
“Where are you sending us?” Thal demanded.
“The other side of the city where performers stay,” the captain said.
“We can find our own way,” Thal insisted.
“I think you need an escort,” the captain said as if he won this same argument every day.
“Why can we not just go through the city?” Thal asked and gestured to the open gate where others were still passing through.
“Because this gate isn’t for beggar musicians and magicians now is it?” the captain said.
A raven settled on top of the wall and screeched down at Thal. He recognized the bird and sniffed the place suspiciously.
“Very well. Show us the way,” Thal said, suddenly meek.
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