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Released: April 2018
ISBN: 9781370623341
ASIN: B07BGCRV9V
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ASTA AND THE BARBARIANS
Author: Becca Fox
Length: Novel
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Price: $5.99
WHAT THE REVIEWERS ARE SAYING

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On the day the Holgarians attack her town, twenty-year-old Asta is blessed by a warrior god and is empowered with the heightened senses and unnatural healing abilities these foreign invaders possess. Grief-stricken and paralyzed by terror, she’s hauled onto the conquering general’s ship and taken to the island of Holger across the sea.

One year later, Asta graduates from warrior academy with honors and is chosen as one of the king’s personal defenders. She will finally have the opportunity to kill the man who gave the general his orders, and avenge her family. She doesn’t expect the king to be young or kind, or completely oblivious of what his men are doing overseas. He has been told peaceful negotiations are going well, and the natural resources and ambassadors from the mainland seem to support this report. But Asta knows better.

Asta must find proof of the general’s treachery and bring it before the king so that she can save unconquered provinces from meeting the same fate as her hometown. But the king’s counselors suddenly start dying, and the king himself is hounded by foreign assassins. Revenge will have to wait if Asta’s going to keep the king, the mainland’s only hope, alive.

Excerpt
General Halvar placed a hand on my shoulder as the ship pulled into the harbor. “Welcome home, Asta.”

I winced at his touch.

“Do you remember why I brought you here?” he asked.

I looked up at the land mass before us.

Holger, the Island of Spears. I knew only rumors about this country. Their warriors couldn’t be defeated in battle, their population was larger than any other nation, and their schools offered the best curriculums. I used to think of it as a massive piece of land floating in the middle of the ocean, with foreboding clouds constantly roiling above. I used to have such an active imagination.

The actual island was far smaller than I pictured. I could see the whole of it with a turn of my head. Food vendors along the pier called out to passersby, women shopped, children played and weaved around horse-drawn carriages. Laughter drew my gaze to a couple attempting to take a schooner out to open waters. Fishing ships heavily laden with full nets pulled in beside us. I could smell the dead fish from my place on the poop deck.

I swallowed the bile traveling up my throat. “I’ve been chosen for a special task.”

“That’s right.” The general finally released my shoulder and stepped around me. His mismatched eyes, one misty white and the other gleaming like liquid copper, bored into mine. “Are you ready?”

I cowered out of habit, but straightened when I realized what I was doing. “Yes, sir.”

A grin stretched the burned side of the general’s face. “Praise be to Dotharr.”

“Praise be to Dotharr,” I said.

“Shall we?”

I stared at the elbow he offered me for a moment, entertaining fantasies about grabbing it and tossing the general overboard. I forced myself to take the elbow and follow him across the main deck instead. He waited patiently while I lifted the skirt of my dress and stepped onto the gangplank. After two weeks of suffering in men’s clothing, I had been given a bath and a new dress this morning. It didn’t make up for what had been done to me, but I couldn’t help feeling slightly grateful. Suddenly, I was a lady again and not a prisoner. Letters along the ship’s hull caught my eye: The Great Disaster.

I remembered everything then with a sudden clarity that made me gasp. My family. My home in Kenshore. The raid. The fires. Being dragged, kicking and screaming, out of the ruins of my town and onto this vessel. I tore my gaze from the hull and blinked away tears.

“Something wrong?” the general asked.

I swallowed hard. “I was simply admiring the ship from this new vantage point, sir.”

The double-masted ship was painted red-brown, with cream-colored sails and a single red flag. A wooden carving of a scantily-clad woman with a devilish smile and an outstretched sword clung to the bow. The seamen scurried up the ratlines to secure the sails while the copper-eyed warriors clamored down the gangplank. I shied away from them as they passed.

The noises of the city and the light of the sun made my head pound. I kept my sensitive eyes half-lidded and fixed on the planks of wood that made up the pier. I had gotten into the habit of breathing through my mouth to avoid overwhelming my nose on the ship, but the open air helped minimize the potency of the different odors wafting toward me.

“Dotharr’s blessings might seem even more burdensome the deeper into the city we go,” General Halvar said. “But you’ll learn to better control your abilities at Dotharr’s Academy.”

I nodded. “Yes, sir.”

The last two men to disembark from the ship stopped beside us.

“Asta, you remember Tarben and Manning?” the general said, gesturing to each as he named them. “They will be your personal guards while I’m away.”

“D-Do I need protecting, sir?”

General Halvar chuckled. “You’re the first woman and outsider to be chosen by our Heavenly Master of Warriors. Until you’ve learned how to use your new abilities to properly defend yourself, you will most definitely need protecting. Come along now.”

What the reviewers are saying
This book hooked me from the start and I couldn't put it down! Asta is such a strong and amazing, kick-@ss heroine!! I loved her and loved her story; this book was awesome! I just wish there was more, all the characters were so great and the story flowed so well. I'll be looking forward to more from this author! ~ Alexis, Goodreads

• • •

This is a relatively new author for me so I’m just getting into her style of writing and I can honestly say that she has a way with words. Each page pulls you in and takes you on an adventure. I loved reading this story, the characters were well thought out and brilliantly written. Can’t wait to see what’s next from this author. ~ Nikki, Goodreads

• • •

What an amazing book! I’ll admit that I was critical when I first began reading, after all, finding a good book is difficult. As the first chapter began, I became interested, the story of Asta is intriguing and mysterious starting at the beginning. It didn’t take long before I was hooked and dying to know how the story was going to unfold.
This book has fantastic characters that will steal your heart! ~ Renee, Goodreads

 

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