Bones, Crowns and Gaman (AXP2): Crowns

Photo Sep 16, 11 42 37 PMHer Royal Majesty Queen Anastasia Dianna Helena Elizabeth Victoria Elise of the House Catamount, Absolute and Sovereign Ruler of the Empire and all its Known and Unknown Territories, Supreme Warrior, Defender, and Chief Commander of Military Services on Land and Out at Sea, Ordained Defender of the Faiths, Most Absolute Majesty and Imperial Power, Divinely Ordained since the Great Evolution and Destined Ruler of the World Entire, sat upon her throne like a stiff, quietly seething, effigy of power.

When the Great Evolution came, it struck quickly. There was change in the air. Every animal could sense it. Only the foolish ones ignored it. The smart animals survived the rapid change and became creatures and beings. The rest became extinct. In the confusion there was a move for sustenance, territory, and eventually, power.

Territoriality is an animal’s basest instinct. The Empire was not founded on any ideal, or design, or long held passion. It was founded on the necessity to consolidate and acquire power and territory and to create commerce and trade in order to secure that power.

By order of her Royal Majesty Queen Anastasia, a fort was commissioned and built. The fort was located on the largest of the small islands in an island and reef chain known as the Tortures. Composed of over sixteen million bricks, Queen’s Fort was the largest masonry structure in all the Empire at the time.

The three-tiered, six-sided, four hundred and ten heavy gun fort had two sides measuring three hundred and twenty-five feet and four sides measuring four hundred and seventy seven feet.  The walls met at corner bastions allowing defensive fire along the faces of the walls they joined. The heavy guns were mounted inside the walls in a string of open casemates facing outward toward the sea through large open embrasures.

Queen’s Fort was designed to be an impressive coastal maritime fortress with a massive gun platform that would make it impervious to assault and fully capable of annihilating any enemy ships foolhardy enough to come within range of its fury and might. This bombastic monument to power was built because as a young girl Queen Anastasia had a nightmare.

On the eve of the Battle of Bourne, as the Queen slept in her chamber, she dreamt of things that young queens dream of; she dreamt of conquest, adventures, and power. She woke when a sound made her body twitch and there at the foot of her bed was a crow. Though the room was dark she could see that he was young just like she was and then he started to age. He began as a quietly sobbing adolescent and grew into an imposing male figure right before her.

Then a fire lit in his eyes.

”Death to the crown.”

He rasped as the fire grew with him.

“Long live the Crow.”

He screamed as the fire engulfed him.

There at the foot of her bed, in her darkened chamber, the flaming crow put out his hand and threw a gold coin at the Queen. It struck her in the head and she could feel the sting of metallic heat. The crow vanished but he left his flame. The fire began consuming everything around her. She watched it all burn including her bed, and the heat of the fire, and the pain of its wrath, made her wake with a hysterical scream.

Immediately after news of her defeat at Bourne reached the palace, Anastasia ordered Queen’s Fort designed and built as a place for her to hide and be safe from the crow she was convinced was coming for her and her crown. Back then she was adored by her subjects and known to them as the Child Queen. Only her attendants knew of her growing raging temperament. Anastasia had been having nightmares ever since that day. Anastasia’s physicians considered lack of sleep a contributing factor to her volatility.

The Queen had recently taken up residence at the fort in order to make sure her plans to annihilate Benjamin Nightthorn were carried out to the letter. What began as a place to cower and simper had turned into a headquarters for vengeance at the Queen’s command. Anastasia needed to be done with all of this. She had to remove this most immanent threat to her reign. The plan that had been developed at the Conference at Largess had to be executed in order to bring an end to her nightmares and exact revenge upon the architect of her night terrors.

Photo Nov 24, 11 05 21 PMBones, Crowns and Gaman is the second novella in the Adventures of the X Pirates series. Amazon readers have already made both A Murder of Crows, the prolog to these tales, and The Demise of Foxy Jack the first adventure Amazon best sellers in both the Fantasy and Action Adventure categories.

This installment will tell us how a murderous villain established his secret island base and began spreading his agenda of terror. How a young Queen came to power while those around her plotted against the throne and the ruling family. There’s a masked soothsayer with dire warnings, a mysterious foreign lover with plans of her own, a master architect of death’s design, and a hero who wakes on a rowboat far out at sea with no recollection as to how he got there.

Bones, Crowns and Gaman returns you to an all animal world full of epic pirate fantasy, where nothing is what it seems, and everything is suspect. A world where both heroes and villains have a tortured past and every twist and turn tests their resolve. This is a tale of power and politics, questioned faith and questionable motives, and it’s your next port of call in the Adventures of the X Pirates.

”Bones, Crowns and Gaman is full of drama, love, lust, mystery, intrigue, betrayal, and political mischief. I’m hesitant to say any more without spoiling the plot but I’ve now read all three of these novellas and each one gets better and better. I love how the characters keep growing and the world keeps expanding. The Adventures of the X Pirates series is just like Game of Thrones but with an all animal cast. I highly recommend these books to anyone looking for a grand adventure.” – Amazon Reader

Bones, Crowns and Gaman debuted in the top five on the Amazon bestseller lists for both Fantasy and Action Adventure. To date the Adventures of the X Pirates series has earned 32 Amazon and Goodreads ★★★★★ reviews from readers, reviewers, teachers, authors, and bloggers.

Bones, Crowns and Gaman is available on Amazon.

Edward MedinaEdward Medina is an Amazon KDP bestselling author of high fantasy, dark horror, and epic adventure books, short stories, and poems. To date his combined works have earned over one hundred and fifty Amazon and Goodreads five star reviews from readers, reviewers, bloggers, teachers and fellow authors.

He is a native New Yorker who over time has built a significant and multifaceted career. He has been a producer, director, and writer for both digital media and the New York Off and Off – Off Broadway stages. He also had the honor and the privilege to work for the late great Jim Henson creator of the Muppets.

Edward founded a successful independent production company dedicated to family entertainment and children’s causes. He also established a multimedia company in order to assist nonprofits achieve their own cause related goals. He went on to become a theme park designer. For fun he became a steam train engineer and has been since childhood a sometime magician.

Currently Edward is a critic and feature entertainment columnist covering Broadway, Off Broadway, Off-Off Broadway, Clubs and Cabarets for TheaterScene and The Fire Island Sun. He also maintains his love of theatrical production by continuing to create new works for both stage and screen. And his dream of building a fully realized world of fantasy on tropical shores is still very much alive and well.

If you’d like more detailed information on Edward’s work, visit his LinkedIn profile or his website. You can also explore his books, follow him on Twitter, like his page on Facebook, and subscribe to his blog on WordPress.

Edward Medina is proud to be a member of the American Theatre Critics Association, the Dramatists Guild, the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, and the Horror Writers Association.

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