6:40 pm , February 17, 2012 0

Three Fugitives, the exciting first book in the Six Stones Trilogy is available for purchase from Tate Publishing. Click on the following link:

Three Fugitives in Book Store

or read the first three chapters for free.  Just click on the Three Fugitives Book link in the Free Book Download box, located on the right side of the page.

So what is Three Fugitives about?

Six ancient stones of unequalled magical power, known as the gwellen, exist hidden in remote corners of the wilderness. The ability to use these stones is limited to very few individuals. Two such individuals are Lord Berthus Randolphus, the young tyrant who rules the narrow, windswept Corcadine Peninsula, and his thirteen-year-old half brother, Orren, who Berthus despises and has forced to live in filthy pig sties. One fateful morning, the aged guardian of both young men dies, leaving Orren with a warning that he must flee the Corcadine, because Berthus desires to kill him. Orren escapes, but in the process, steals a beautiful blue stone, not knowing that it is one of the gwellen, the only one so far revealed. In time, Orren learns that Berthus wants all six stones so he can use their powers to gain mastery over all.

Orren decides to prevent his brother from obtaining them, so he is determined to find them and spirit them away. Berthus, however, raises an army of thugs, cutthroats, and allied lords, to hunt Orren down, kill him, and take the stone back, before finding the other five. Orren is joined by two individuals–a clumsy, awkward goblin and an arrogant, controlling heiress from an ancient bloodline, both of whom join his quest. Together, the three fugitives face winter storms, wild beasts, bandits, peasant uprisings, and a strange cult with a sinister reputation, while attempting to overcome their personal differences. All the while, they must stay ahead of Berthus’s army, and it soon becomes clear that if they cannot hake off the tyrant’s pursuit, all will be lost.

9:11 pm , June 15, 2010 0
Three Fugitives: Book One of the Six Stones Trilogy

by Nat HowlerFour Stars (out of Five)

A crop of fantasy writers, apparently inspired by their youthful exposure to Mary Stewart, C.S. Lewis, Lloyd Alexander, Ursula K. Le Guin, and J.R.R. Tolkien, have turned to self-publishing and small presses as an alternative to mainstream publishing, which tends not to take chances on unknown authors. While many of their works are amateurish or poorly written, some authors immediately prove themselves to be professionals and excellent storytellers. Nat Howler sets a good example with his novel, Three Fugitives, the first book in the Six Stones Trilogy. Despite a few typos, Howler delivers a fantasy and adventure tale that will leave readers eager for more.

Thirteen-year-old Orren has spent his entire life living in the pigsties of the merciless Lord Berthus Randolphus. Treated like the swine he cohabitates with, Orren discovers that he is actually the half brother to Lord Berthus. After the dead of Richard, Orren’s protector and servant to Lord Berthus, Orren learns that Lord Berthus has ordered his execution. He escapes his executioners and steals from Lord Berthus one of the fabled six Gwellen, a magical stone that controls the properties of water and can only be handled by someone from the House of Randolphus.

While trying to escape his would-be killers, Orren rescues a creature called a Zhiv, “a head shorter than Orren, and lightly built. His skin was leathery and nut brown. His legs were very long in relation to his torso and they were also thin. His equally thin  arms were even longer than his legs.” Later, he and the Zhiv named Haxel, meet up with a haughty young woman with great knowledge, named Marett. Together these three battle bandits, armies, cults, and magical creatures and become caught up in a war that could destroy their entire world.

Three Fugitives will at first appear to be similar to The Book of Three, the first volume of Alexander’s the Chronicles of Prydain. Both feature youthful male main characters who are raised in poverty and are associated with pigs; both characters are accompanied on their adventures by bizarre creatures; both novels contain the themes of good versus evil. But while Alexander’s works are chiefly for children, Howler’s novel is darker and oriented toward adults. It contains vivid realism as it deals with subjects like poverty, human sacrifice, and war.

Three Fugitives pulls readers into a fantasy realm with action, adventure, and characters that are easy to love. Even though Howler has created a world full of monsters, mayhem, heroes, and heroines, the novel is also a mirror of our own disturbing reality where the borders of good and evil are not clearly defined.

By the Clarion Review