Allison D. Reid was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her love for medieval fantasy was sparked by the Narnia Chronicles by C.S. Lewis, which fed both her imagination and her spiritual development. When at the age of thirteen her family moved to Germany, her passion for medieval history and legend only increased, and she found herself captivated by the ancient towns and castles of Europe. Allison returned to the United States to study art and writing at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. She earned her B.A. under the tutelage of the well-renowned and prolific writer Andrew Salkey, a student of her other great inspiration, and the father of fantasy, J. R. R. Tolkien. After graduating from Hampshire College, Allison moved to Connecticut. There she got the opportunity to attend seminary and further explore her faith before returning to her home state of Ohio. Allison now lives in the Miami Valley area with her husband and children. She continues to work on her first published series while taking care of her family, editing for other independent writers, and managing a home business.
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About the Book
Once a proud member of the Sovereign’s prestigious personal guard, Einar has lost everything: his home, his Sovereign, and his purpose. Most of his closest friends have either been killed in battle or executed. His friend Nevon died trying to fulfill a dangerous oath…one that Einar disagreed with, but now feels honor-bound to take up in his stead. The quest plunges Einar into the depths of the dark and twisted Shadow Wood, testing the limits of his strength, his beliefs, and his sanity. What he finds in the Wood is far more ominous than anything he’d expected. If he’s not careful, Nevon’s fate might end up being his own.
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Through the haze, I saw a red-yellow glow. A torch? A distant fire? I stopped watching my commander, and squinted in the direction of this new threat as I tried to distinguish form from shadow. But everything was muddled and in motion. Two red lights appeared, like burning coals; then two more, then four more. I heard a low, threatening growl that set my heart racing. A smoky howl lifted up, hanging suspended on the air as though it was a living thing of its own. My blood chilled and a heavy sense of dread came over me. Hounds. My greatest fear upon entering this wood was that we would encounter them and their master. This was their domain, and as far as I knew, no man who had stood against them in battle had lived to tell about it. They were circling us, surrounding us, just as they had surrounded Nevon. And it was too late to run. I raised my bow and aimed it between two of the smaller lights, which I took to be eyes. I might go down, but not without a good fight.
My arrow released, and though I expected to hear the satisfying thunk of its tip penetrating flesh, it whistled on into the distance and disappeared, leaving the two red eyes still steadily fixed on me. What new devilment was this? I knew the Hounds were flesh and bone, because I had killed one to save Elowyn. The red eyes lunged toward me with a snarl and I released another arrow with no effect. What came at me looked like a Hound, breathed what seemed to be fire, and had the full throaty voice of a true beast, but was in fact nothing but a vapor. And yet as it passed through me, I felt as though my blood had turned to ice, and my skin burned with a searing pain I was not eager to feel again.
Alaric swung his sword erratically at the swirling targets moving all around him. His inability to strike something solid had completely unnerved him.
"Steady!" I called out. "They aren't real."
"They're real enough to kill us," our commander responded. "This is it, men, we've found it.”
"Found what?" Alaric asked. "Whatever secret this place is hiding...one the darkness is trying to protect."