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Released: February 2018
ISBN: 9781370011438
Kindle US, Kindle UK
Apple, Kobo, Nook
Author: Margaret Pearce
Length: Novel
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Price: $3.99

Amazon US - Amazon UK - Goodreads

Deep in a dungeon beneath the streets of the Black City, three men await their fate. To escape, Rofe, a crusading knight, Olaf, the Barbarian, and Merc, ‘Prince of Thieves’, must put aside their differences and band together.

They journey through enemy territory, fighting gargantuan reptiles, man-eating plants, and voodoo poisons. Their survival is dependent on their swords, courage and sheer cunning.

Rofe the Younger returned to consciousness after the battle. His head ached. Disoriented, he opened his eyes. It took time for his eyes to adjust to the faint flickering light. It took even longer for him to realise he was not lying on the battleground but on a damp stone green-slimed floor covered in the mouldering bones of previous occupants.

He sat up slowly. Torchlight flickered on the stone walls of the cell. Outside the cell, a blank faced guard in the dreaded Black City armour leaned against the wall and stared at him.

Rofe absorbed his predicament. Stripped of his armour and weapons, he wore only his soft cotton tunic and leggings. He dwelled regretfully on the loss of his linked-chain shirt. Apart from his sword, it was the only thing he had inherited that he valued. There had been some curious legends around the linked shirt. It had been softer and stronger than any other, no matter how skilfully made. It had protected his body from the pain and cuts of broad swords.

He set up a makeshift altar on the stone platform that rose from the floor. He hoped the long-dead owners would forgive him his disrespect in tying two of the bones together to make a cross, but he would seek their forgiveness when he joined them. It was his duty to spend his last night of life praying for the soul of his young squire, and forgiveness of his sins. He squeezed shut his eyes and bowed his head lower ignoring the stench coming from the floor. Again he saw his young squire crumple, a poisoned dart falling from his jugular vein and the ferocious battle waged amidst smoke and stench of death around them.

This alien world had been a complete disaster despite the righteousness of their crusade. There had been the hellish journey to transport everything across the swamp when the army disembarked from the galleys and barges. Then the days spent dragging the horses, as they heaved and strained to pull the wooden-wheeled siege machines through the swamp. Then more tedious days floating the wagons, siege machines, and horses over the treacherous waterways and the valuable equipment lost through the quicksands.

The Crusaders had succeeded in setting up their fortified encampment on the high ground above the swamp almost within sight of the sinister dark walls, but the attacks towards the Black City always ended in disaster as the slightest scratch from the enemy’s weapons poisoned and paralyzed the attackers.

They had suspected that there were secret routes in and out of the swamp. Otherwise, the Black City raiders could never have made such lightning raids and vanished so quickly, but no one had ever found them.

His concentration was disturbed as two soldiers came down the steps heaving a barbarian and came to a halt outside Rofe’s cell. They stripped the barbarian of his heavy helmet, breastplate and greaves, two large worn and balding bear skins, the knee-length leather jerkin with its overlapping discs, his tunic, and the studded belts carrying sword, axe, and daggers.

The guard on duty gestured to the barbarian. “He looks more beast than man.”

“That he is,” said the bigger of the two solders. “He fights like one too.”

In a coordinated action, the soldiers pitched the longhaired man face down into the slime on the floor of the cell floor. His arms and legs flung out as he thumped into the stone. They did not even glance at Rofe kneeling on the platform in the gloom of the cell.

The taller soldier spoke to the guard. “This one brings tomorrow’s feed count to three hundred. Our Dark Lords will grow even greater when they feed on the undamaged, healthy bodies we offer.”

The cell doors clanged shut. The two soldiers left carrying the barbarian’s weapons, armour, and skins. The guard resumed his stance against the wall staring at the prisoners in the cell.

Rofe counted the soldiers’ paces up the steps until he could no longer hear them. From the sound of it, they had passed through three heavy iron barred doors. No escape that way.

The burbling sound of the barbarian breathing in the slime brought Rofe to his feet. It took sweat and time to pull the barbarian out of the grunge and onto the platform. Exhausted by the effort, Rofe sat on the edge of the platform and wondered at his odd weakness.

Rofe lifted his head at the sound of the tread of a single man descending. He held a tray with two stone plates and two mugs on it. The smell of the food on the plates preceded him. He came closer. The plates of high piled roasted meat, bread, and cheese looked appetising.

The guard spoke to the newcomer. “By the looks of it a heartier meal than I’ve had for weeks.”

The newcomer said, “Food for these bodies is food for the Dark Lord. Be glad he has no need for your sacrifice. He will soon be strong enough to claim the three kingdoms.”

Top Reviews
A well-crafted sci-fi fantasy tale!
Author Margaret Pearce weaves a fascinating sci-fi fantasy with intriguing twists and turns that will easily captivate the reader’s attention from the beginning. The author paints a unique, creative and dark tale of swords and sorcery in a very vivid and convincing way. In addition, the characters are drawn with great credibility and conviction. It’s a relatively fast-paced novel that will keep you engaged from the first page to the last . . . It’s my first time reading this author and I must say I was very impressed. I enjoyed the story, character development, and dialogue. There were plenty of plot twists that I didn’t see coming and that added to the book's mystique. When I stopped reading to work, I found myself wondering what happened in the book, and replaying parts of the novel in my head to see if I could figure more out. It has been a while since I enjoyed a book this much . . . Mission Perilous had every element a good story should have. An exciting plot, attention to detail, but best of all fleshed out, well-written and well-rounded character development. There’s an abundance of well-illustrated scenes that make you feel like you are right there in the story, and that’s something I really look for in a good book. It’s one of those stories that come along once in a while that makes you want to read it non-stop until you get to the end. I’m giving nothing further away here. And this, I hope, will only add to the mystery and enjoyment for the reader! I’ll certainly be looking forward to reading more from Margaret Pearce the future. I would definitely recommend this book. Five stars from me. ~ Piaras, Amazon

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Mission Perilous is my first book by Margaret Pearce. The blurb doesn't do justice to what the book packs really ... The book itself is divided into four parts and the journey was interesting, enticing and moved from strength to strength. For those who still love the good old swords, this book is a book you're going to love :) The book cover is what clued me in for the role of Swords in this book and being a fan of historic tales and everything historic, Sword fighting is an art I love. So, I grabbed the copy when I was offered an ARC. What better way to come out of a sabbatical than with a good book by an author I haven't read before? The blurb also promised an interesting premise - a Knight, a Thief, a Barbarian banding together for a common cause. And what a ride it was! Mission Perilous lived up to its name and kept me hooked right through to the end. This book is fairly longer than the ones I read regularly but I would say it was worth it. Want to know what happened? Grab it NOW and read it. Trust me, it's worth it and make sure you have your tall glass of coffee and some snacks before you get started! ~Sherin, Amazon

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An endearing story!
As the book's title suggests, the characters embark on a journey that is adrenaline inducing, thrilling, and a dangerous penchant for death. Three men who are all different in their own way must set aside what separates them and work together to survive. Filled with magic, mystery, voodoo, and the occasional humor, this story is sure to set you on the edge of your seats. You won't be able to withstand the suspense! The story also embarks on a journey of friendship and how differences are the only things that bring you together. Courage, strength, and wit will come from the most unlikely experiences but are sure to leave you with an endearing story. ~ Jewel, Amazon



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