Excerpt - Anabar Rises

In this, the second book in the Anabar trilogy, Anabar begins his new life as a Scout and finds excitement, success, and even fame. Unfortunately, fame is the one thing a Scout, duty bound to remain secretive, should never achieve. He is then banished to the dangerous border region as war threatens to engulf Semdela and Ricamareth. Soldiers capture Anabar and send him to prison, an event that ultimately leads him to the arms of Princess Astrida. In the end, Anabar faces his most difficult decision: whether to perform his duty as a Scout, to seek the love of Astrida, or to risk everything to try to bring peace to the land.

Anabar patrolled for several hours and saw no sign of trouble. He was about to check out the meadow when he heard a muffled thud from somewhere out in the water. He dropped to his hands and knees and disappeared into an alley between two warehouses.

He heard nothing else for a few minutes and was about to get up and finish his patrol when he heard another thud and then a whispered voice from the direction of the meadow. He lowered himself onto his stomach and crawled to the edge the high grass in the meadow.

At this point, Anabar was reacting more than thinking. His training took over, and he moved without making a sound through the grass and crept toward the water. He got to within a few feet from the beach and lay flat, listening.

He heard a soft splash and then another thud. It was definitely a boat approaching the beach. Whoever was in it was trying to be quiet. Staying flat, Anabar wriggled to the edge of the grass and raised his head just enough to be able to see the water. He spotted the boat, some type of small rowing craft, about 200 feet from the beach. He was able to make out several forms in the boat, but was not able to see for sure how many there were.

Anabar then lowered his head back down and crawled backward about 20 feet away from the beach. He reached to his side and slid his sword out of its scabbard. Then he waited as the boat approached the sand.

Three men were in the boat. When they felt the bottom touch the shore, one of them stepped over the side without a word. He grabbed the gunwale on the right side of the boat and dragged it onto the beach. None of them spoke as the other two climbed out onto the sand. They all grabbed onto the boat and pulled it out of the water. They dragged it across the beach and into the grass. They had no idea they left the boat less than three feet from Anabar.

The men then turned toward the docks and hesitated for a few seconds. One of the men pointed to the nearest building and motioned for the other two to start moving. They each took one step when they heard a stern voice say, “Stop” from behind them.

The three men spun around and saw Anabar standing just a few feet away. They were startled to see someone so close when they thought they had been alone. One of the men recovered from the shock of seeing Anabar and reached to his side with his right hand. Anabar’s sword flashed up, and the man screamed out and staggered backward...

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