Southerner Sergeant Kearney "Red" Redguard is the last of a disgraced family, and a loyal guardsman. And with a murderer stalking the streets, the city guard is his city's best defense.
But in the North, King Caedmon Taranisäii is gathering his army, and the cruel Night God prepares for the downfall of the South. A new dark griffin roams the land, warning of the war to come.
Betrayed and sent on the run, Red must fight to save his homeland.
But it may already be too late...
The Last Guard — sample chapter
By KJ Taylor
As he ran out into the city, he heard the bell ringing in the tower that rose over the barracks – the bell that was only used when every guard in the city had to be put on full alert. Any in the barracks themselves had to report to the barracks Captain immediately. Then they would be sent out to hunt down the criminal. To hunt him.
Red didn’t know where to go, or what to do. His only thought was to run.
And so he ran.
He kept away from the main streets, and used alleys and other shortcuts wherever he could. All he knew was that he had to get as far away from the barracks as possible, and as far away from other guards as he could. For now those who were out in the city would be heading back to the barracks. They weren’t supposed to, but they would anyway. They would want to know what the alert was about. Others would do as they were supposed to and stay at their posts, ready for when word came.
Until then, he had this brief time of confusion before anyone knew exactly what was going on, and whether he used it well or not could make the difference to whether he would be caught, or escape.
Running made his neck hurt, and it wasn’t long before his left leg started to weaken again. He slowed, gasping for air, and the panicked struggle to keep going made his thoughts go faster.
He had to find a place to hide. Getting out of the city now would only be possible for a short time, and trying would probably only get him captured. A better option would be to hide somewhere until things calmed down.
The west side, then? That was where criminals usually hid…
Criminals, he thought, and the word plunged sickeningly into his stomach. Am I a criminal now?
Of course not. He had been framed, that was obvious. But by who? And how could he possibly prove his innocence if he didn’t know?
He shook those worries off; they didn’t matter now. All that mattered right now was escaping. If he was caught, he was done for – they’d hang him in a heartbeat, innocence be damned.
He skidded to a halt, as a pair of guards came around a corner in front of him. It was too late to run back the way he’d come without being seen, so he flattened himself against a wall.
‘Hey!’ a voice hissed off to his left. ‘This way!’
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About the publisher:
About the publisher:
Based in Toowoomba, Queensland, but with members across the world, Black Phoenix is a publishing collective made up of editors, writers and book specialists with a passion for book culture. Black Phoenix publishes a handful of carefully selected titles each year with an emphasis on Australian writers, stories and settings. We have come together to add our own flavour to the rich tapestry that is Australian publishing. Black Phoenix Publishing Collective (bPPc) is committed to giving our authors strong editorial and marketing support, a fair contract and global distribution capitalising on digital and print-on-demand technologies. Find us online at www.blackphoenixpublishing.
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