Book Feature: Wizard of Ends Book 1 and 2 by Vanessa Finaughty

When Lashlor Leaflin offers to escort Queen Narraki Dragonsbane to the Jeltar Woods, he’s unwittingly caught up in a magical adventure of the type he would rather not have.

The sorceress Assassa believes the Land of Ends to be rightfully hers, but King Lanaran refuses to hand over his crown. In retaliation, the sorceress conjures creatures of darkness to hunt the queen and end her life. Lashlor helps where he can, but it isn’t easy when the Guards of Ends who protect the queen believe him to be false.

A confrontation with Assassa will be the death of him, Lashlor is certain. However, the king insists on his help and it soon becomes apparent that he may have no choice.

Escorted by soldiers of Ends, Lashlor sets out to find an old flame, Rune Arcana, the only person who can help to remove the curse placed on the Queen of Ends. Lashlor believes that Rune currently resides in the Mountains of Eclador – a place from which no one has returned in all of recorded history. She could refuse his request. She could be dead. Lashlor and his companions could meet the same fate.

If they do not brave the mountains, however, Queen Narraki will remain in the form of a rabid creature of darkness… forever.

Forever is a long time, and King Lanaran fears the Wizard of Ends will not return. Ignoring Lashlor’s advice not to meddle with the curse, the king employs other magic users to attempt to undo the dark magic.

Extract from Wizard of Ends, Book 2: Dark Creature by Vanessa Finaughty

Captain Amkesh ordered the group to stop when they reached the valley entrance. A colourful landscape lay before them, abundant with trees, flowers and wildlife. The wind was not as boisterous here, to Lashlor’s relief. The scene was so peaceful he wasn’t surprised Rune had never wanted to leave. Assuming she was still here, of course – but she must be, because her aura trail was far stronger here than at the mountains’ entrance.

Lashlor focussed his inner vision. “She was here, all right. She went this way.” He pointed ahead, towards the valley centre.

Amkesh sent the scouts ahead, and the others munched on some dried fruit while they waited.

The scouts returned, reporting only wildlife so tame it seemed there were no predators in the valley. Lashlor might have found it odd that the kreag didn’t venture here, but Rune would, mostly likely, have seen them as a threat and spelled them away.

Lashlor led the way down into the valley, his stomach churning at the thought of seeing his ex-betrothed again. He despised her, but – and he hated to admit it – a part of him still loved her too. However, he would not – could not – forgive her past accusations. Others, he could forgive, but she was the one person who should have always given him the benefit of the doubt, who should always have trusted him.

“Trail go that way?” Amkesh asked.

Lashlor shook himself from his thoughts and looked at where the captain pointed. A small log cabin peeked out from the trees ahead, a pond’s clear waters glistening invitingly a few paces from it.

“Yes. Furthermore, that cabin was created using magic.”

“How can you tell?” asked a blond soldier.

“All magic leaves a trail of sorts. Only the most powerful can hide it, and most don’t bother, for there’s rarely a need.”

Lashlor started forward, but Amkesh put a restraining hand on his arm. “What worries me is that no one has ever returned from these mountains, yet not much danger seems to lurk here. Why, then, has no one ever returned?”

Xain looked around. “It’s so peaceful here. No responsibilities. One can simply enjoy life. It doesn’t surprise me so many would want to stay.”

“But surely not everyone,” Amkesh insisted.

Lashlor frowned at the beautiful landscape. “Well, there are the kreag.”

Xain shook his head. “But my guess is they don’t come to this valley, or the wildlife would not be so tame.”

“Not many would let their families believe they had perished if they had not,” Amkesh said. “There must be something dangerous in these mountains.”

“Maybe it’s just not dangerous to the wildlife,” suggested the blond soldier.

Everyone stared at him, then Lashlor murmured, “Maybe. Let’s get to the cabin. The queen may not have much time left.”

“Be on the alert, men,” Amkesh ordered. “Perhaps these cute little rabbits and striped deer are not as harmless as they appear.”

Author biography

Vanessa Finaughty is an author of many genres who now focuses on fantasy and science fiction. She’s published 15 books, of which 6 are fantasy. Vanessa grew up in Cape Town, South Africa, and still lives there with her husband of fifteen years, her baby daughter and plenty of furry, four-legged ‘children’.

Vanessa has always been passionate about books, and knew from a young age that she wanted to write them one day. She loves animals, coffee and the smell of wet grass, and hates liars, sweltering weather and long queues. Her interests include reading, photography, the supernatural, mythology, aliens and outer space, ancient history, life’s mysteries and martial arts, of which she has five years’ experience.


Publication dates

Wizard of Ends, Book 1: 9 October 2014
Wizard of Ends, Book 2: Dark Creature: 23 October 2014 


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