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Stones of Quentaris - Michael Pryor

With Stones of Quentaris, for the first ever time I’ve written a book with a cover in mind.

I’ve been so impressed with Marc McBride’s art for the Quentaris books that when it came time to write a book for the 2004 additions to The Quentaris Chronicles, I began thinking of what sort of a scene would make a good cover. I thought that if I could imagine with a striking scene, I could write a story that would give rise to such an image.

On top of this, I’m a fan of old monster movies. I remember King Kong, The Thing, and, of course, Godzilla. The image of a huge monster towering over a city, wreaking destruction, has always impressed me, so I began thinking how I could make this work in a fantasy context. What sort of a monster could rise over Quentaris, spreading ruin and panic? Slowly, I began working with the idea of a rampaging elemental, a special elemental. Other questions quickly presented themselves. Who commanded such a colossus? Why did they want to destroy Quentaris? Who defended the city against it? How could you stop such a monster?

Answering those questions was the basis of Stones of Quentaris. A lot of fun!
Who is stealing the stones of Quentaris? With Quentaris preparing for the annual Carnivale celebration, Jaq Coblin is thrown into an adventure with four mysterious strangers, powerful magic and a horde of barbarians made of sand. What can Jaq do but use his wits and hold on tight?
Jaq Coblin hurried his barrow past a trio of musicians who were haggling at the front door of a hat shop, then he cursed. The way ahead was blocked by a company from the Leatherworkers’ Guild. Getting ready for Carnival, they were practising a human pyramid—the leatherworkers’ traditional Carnival offering – right in the middle of the street.

Jaq swerved his barrow, setting the trinkets, knick-knacks and cheap jewellery rattling. An annoyed shout came from a well-dressed woman carrying a small pig. He grinned at her, then plunged into the nearest laneway.

It opened onto a makeshift fish market. Wagons and carts loaded with trout, cod, flatfish and crabs lined the street, and business was brisk. Jaq paused. He saw a landmark — the Obelisk of Mun — at the end of the street and he knew that he’d nearly reached the Simesian Stairs.

The Simesian Stairs were a wonder in a city full of wonders. Over four hundred years old, the white marble construction glowed in sunlight as if it had been built yesterday. The neighbouring city-state of Simesia had given the stairs to Quentaris in the hope of gaining favour. The marble had come from a rift and the architect was Tamoleo Tamminias, whose fame had spread far beyond his Simesian birthplace.

The stairs were a favourite place for artists to gather, sketching the graceful curve. Poets, too, enjoyed the masterpiece as a source of inspiration. Many citizens came because it was a pleasant place to sit and enjoy the sun or to meet friends before a night of revelry.

It was one of Jaq’s favourite places to sell his wares.
He rushed past the Obelisk of Mun and the workers erecting scaffolding around it, then he flung the barrow around a tight corner, wincing as his brightly painted barrow scraped brickwork.

The barrow rumbled along a narrow lane, then Jaq heaved it over a gutter and down a dark alley. If he had worked it out properly, right turn, then a left, and once he squeezed through the gap between the two buildings ahead, the Simesian Stairs should be just ahead..
Rounding the corner, Jaq was suddenly confronted by two burly men right at the top of the Simesian Stairs. They were shuffling along, wiry black hair standing out on top of their heads, extravagant moustaches bristling. They were straining to hold a huge slab of stone between them. Jaq goggled as they spilled sand from their clothes, leaving a trail of it behind them.

Jaq stopped suddenly barely avoiding them.

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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