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Slaves of Quentaris - Paul Collins

One of my favourite movies was about a slave called Spartacus. Although a romantic version of what could have really happened - there might have been a Spartacus, but did he lead such a successful revolt against the Romans? - Spartacus showed that even someone of low standing, a slave in this case, can fight to become someone.

In Slaves of Quentaris I have Yukin running from the slavemasters. He and his mate, Yulen, are caught. But at what cost?
Yukin and his mate, Yulen, flee their campsite when Akcarum slave-traders attack. Unable to escape the Akcarum hunter birds, they are caught and transported to Quentaris. On their journey through the rift caves Yukin discovers a power that taps into the senses of insects and animals. But can it save them in time?
‘Yukin ran faster than he had ever run before. He had chosen his escape route carefully. Here the ground sloped towards the white waters of the Kredish River Gorge. If he could outrun the hunting birds and make it to the river, he would be free.

He had lost track of his mate, Yulen. She had insisted they part company, to make it difficult for the hunter birds to capture them both. As the gorge appeared, Yukin wished he hadn’t bowed to Yulen’s suggestion. If he had been firmer, perhaps they would both have escaped the slavers.

Yulen’s features flashed before him: tall and lithe, a thatch of straw-blonde braided hair pulled to the back of her head and fastened by fishbone clips; small snub nose with flaring nostrils and a mischievous smile. She was the Chieftain’s daughter, chosen to be the clan’s Wise One.

Yukin’s heart lurched. There was still time. He should find her, he thought foolishly. He should never have… Those few moments of indecision were to cost him dearly.

Losing concentration, Yukin almost fell as the land dipped beneath the grasses of the plains. Somehow he kept his footing, aware that the hunter birds even now were cruising the air currents in search of him. Despite his anguish, he knew he had no choice other than to flee.

He daren’t look for them. Even if he did, there was nowhere to hide on the plains. Only the gorge up ahead offered any salvation. Once he was in the water the birds would have trouble plucking him out. Besides, the slavers would not waste the time or effort to recover him. The drop to the rugged gorge below would injure anyone. And crippled clanspeople were of no use to slavers.

The squawk from overhead was enough to rob Yukin of vital energy. The gorge was rushing up at him as though it were magically meeting him halfway. Closer it came … closer … so close that he could now hear the meltwater cascading down the sandstone escarpment.

He raced faster over the tough range grass. Again he almost lost his footing, but a fall at that moment would have saved him. He righted himself, ready to dive forward and risk smashing himself against the jagged rock face, but the leather-sheathed talons of a hunter bird clamped down on his shoulders and he was lifted into the air.

For a moment the bird of prey swung out over the gorge. It dipped and lost height. Yukin’s freedom yawned below him. If only he had had a weapon to strike at the bird’s legs. He flailed, scratched, kicked, bit, but to no avail. His struggling only increased the bird’s vicelike grip on him.

The bird spread its wings and soared triumphantly back across the gorge. The grassy plains blurred beneath them. Yukin felt defeat. He hung slack in the clutches of the monstrous bird.’

bullet The Gimlet Eye
Equen Queen
Battle for Quentaris
The Spell of Undoing
Vampires of Quentaris
The Skyflower
The Prisoner of Quentaris
Pirates of Quentaris
The Forgotten Prince
Stars of Quentaris
Stolen Children of Quentaris
Nightmare in Quentaris
The Murderers’ Apprentice
The Cat Dreamer
Princess of Shadows
Rifts Through Quentaris
The Plague of Quentaris
The Mind Master
Treasure Hunters of Q.
The Ancient Hero
Angel Fever
Stones of Quentaris
Dragonlords of Quentaris
Quentaris in Flames
Swords of Quentaris
The Revognase
The Perfect Princess
Slaves of Quentaris
Beneath Quentaris

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