What do you do when your family has been declared traitors to the Crown, your mother and father are killed in a rebellion, and your estate confiscated?

If you’re the sons of Riven kan Ingan—sellsword’s son and Francovian warlord—you do the only thing you can: flee the country and wait to grow up and take your revenge.

In Barbarian Blood Royal, the fourth in the Chronicles of Riven the Heretic series, that’s exactly what the boys do. Being young (the eldest not quite twenty-one, the youngest barely nine) and until this moment war-virgins all (eldest son Val was scheduled to receive his knight’s gauntlets that ill-fated Spring), the five bury their parents and split up, each going to a different country, in hopes that way some will survive.

Riven’s son and heir Val heads to Ghermia, the country where his mother was born, only to be attacked and left for dead by the King’s Black Shields who track him through the mountains. Surviving but badly wounded, he’s nursed back to health by a beautiful but deadly creature called a Stroilika…a forest witch…and she wants Val for purposes all her own…

Twins Hroric and Shael head East into the country of Chaleit, where no one asks questions of two identical strangers. There, they find not only deadly magic but love waiting in the form of twin female thieves…

Riven’s bastard son, the soldier-priest Ilke, takes youngest son Merigan and travels through the freezing blizzards of the Snow King into the deserts of Izhmir, where Ilke must make a heartbreaking decision concerning his little brother. When temptation comes in the form of a beautiful village girl, he faces his own doubts as to why he became a priest…

In their new roles in new lands, these exiles grow into men, make friends, and put down roots, but always…in the back of each mind…the desire for revenge burns like a never-dying coal…

This series, the fourth in the story of the rise of the kan Ingans to become the dynasty ruling the Emeraunt Galaxy and the plant Arcanis, sets the stage for my later series The kan Ingan Archives. It’s medieval in tone, a romantic fantasy in which love and war, revenge and hope all play important parts, where sacrifices are made through love so a family line may continue. There’s plenty of action, adventure, and love scenes enough to satisfy the most romantic. I think you’ll like it.


The fox was run to ground and the hounds attacked.

Val barely had time to draw his sword and brace himself before they were upon him. Fending away one sword, he turned to block the thrust of the second Black Shield's blade, trying to maneuver into a position where he could face all three. They continued to circle, darting in, moving away. If they'd bayed and growled, 'twould've been appropriate.

The fox was at bay and they were waiting to pull him down.

Drel's devils! he thought frantically, despairing at the odds. Prince of Demons, help me! Three against one's too unequal!


...the clouds burst into crimson light. Ripping them away with his taloned fingers, Drel forced his dreadful way into the gods’ heavenly cavern.

Father, did you hear? He called for me! The words were a liquid stream of scarlet, directed at Ildred as if in challenge.

I heard, Ildred replied, unmoved by neither Drel's blood-smeared aspect nor his words. And you shall have him--for now.

Y-you relinquish him? A look of puzzlement appearing on what could be seen of Drel’s gore-stained face under the cheek-guards of his horned helm.

For this moment. The boy's belonged to you in body for some time, my bloody son. The Bloodsong rages through his veins and 'tis your path he'll follow for many years. Go! Send your minion to answer his call and make him your own, but be ready to release him when the time comes. Take his body--but I'll keep his soul!

With a roar sweeping through the sky as a screaming wind, darkness gleaming through the rents in his blood-dark robes, Drel rushed from the Cavern...


Val swung his sword but the man leaped away and the blow which should've driven the point through his chest merely struck his shoulder. Still, the Black went down, weapon falling from his hand.

One out of the way!

'Twas awkward, fighting with his left hand, trying to swing the sword around to meet theirs. One moved in, and as their blades clashed in the air, the other Black stepped behind him. Out of the corner of his eye, Val saw the man raise his sword.

Even as he dodged and lifted his own weapon to catch the downward-moving blade, he knew 'twas too late. He had a sudden glimpse of metal glittering in the sun as it fell to bury itself through forehead, eye, and cheek.

Dropping his sword, Val clutched at his face, and the world burst into a raw and crimson wound.

Barbarian Blood Royal and other entries in the series are available at: http://www.double-dragon-ebooks.com/


  1. Mary Marvella // April 15, 2011 at 1:21 AM  

    Well, you have done it again! Amazing the way your mind works. Another great story unfolds.

  2. Autumn Jordon // April 15, 2011 at 8:20 AM  

    Isn't it, MM? You do have an imagination, Toni. Congrats on the new release. I hope you sell a ton.

  3. Nightingale // April 15, 2011 at 9:37 AM  

    Another interesting premise and great book I'm sure. The trailer is dynamic. I second Autumn's wish that you sell a ton of books.

  4. Judy // April 15, 2011 at 10:59 AM  

    Toni, This sounds fabulous! Love the way the whole series is set up! Good luck with it!

  5. Scarlet Pumpernickel // April 15, 2011 at 9:26 PM  

    Toni, congrats on the new release. It sounds like a really good read. I love historicals and look forward to reading this one. Will it be available as an ebook?

  6. Josie // April 16, 2011 at 2:46 PM  

    Thanks for sharing your excerpt. You are such an exceptional writer.