The Dawning of Firebird Alex
Author: Orren Merton
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Eighteen-year-old Alexandra Gold is a Seduman: her humanity and compassion come from her deceased human mother, and her powers over spirit fire and super-human strength from her demon-like Sedu father. Collecting the first three novels in The Sedumen Chronicles, this volume includes:
Firebird Alex: When Alex unearths her father’s Sedu blade, it sets in motion a journey that challenges everything she thought she was. Rescuing her friends from another Seduman gives her a taste of the heroine she might become.
Lady Firebird: Her old nemesis, down but not out, executes a horrific plan to conquer both Earth and Sediin. It’s up to Alex to assume the mantle of Lady Firebird and hunt her adversary across universes.
Firebird Vengeance: Just when Alex thought she’d won, she discovers her victory has unleashed a horrible vengeance that threatens to destroy human and Sedu alike. In order to save everyone, she must convince skeptics in both universes that she truly is the heroine that she claims to be.
Also in this collection Firebird Manor: In this bonus novelette, Alex and her friends unwittingly awaken a murderous eldritch horror in a beachside manor. They must defeat the monster before it kills again.
Zedek lowered to the ground. “Everyone off,” he hissed. “And stay behind me.”
From a crevasse in the hill to our left a huge screaming monster the size of my dad ran full bore at us. It was bipedal, with two giant legs that each ended in two toed feet. Four muscular arms waved huge stone fists at us as it charged. Its head consisted of a dozen or so long barbed tentacles surrounding a wide, razor toothed mouth, with two wide and wild purple glowing solid orbs behind its tentacles on each side.
I shuddered involuntarily and drew my Sedu blade, thinking it from its resting form of an ornate fountain pen into a longsword, glowing with blue flame. I went full Sedu, my hair and eyes igniting and my skin hardening.
An instant later, another being, much like the first but without the tentacles around its mouth and with six legs ran from another crevasse next to the first.
“We’re being attacked by Rishonim!” I yelled.
“No—these are Greater Mazzikim,” Zedek said. “Stay behind me!”
He breathed out a long jet of blue fire that washed both of them in flames, but despite their burns they just kept running and screaming.
“They are oblivious to pain,” Garz said, pulling both a huge battle axe and longsword from his belt. “They won’t stop while they live.”
“Protect Lady Firebird and Jake!” he ordered our Mazzikim, and then he charged.
In a moment, from both behind us and from the right, more creatures rushed us. There seemed to be no strategy, no coordination to their attacks, just crazed, angry beings bent on destruction.
One of those monsters with what looked like four front-facing eyes and gigantic suckers for mouths grabbed the Mazzik in front of Jake with its six barbed arms and split him open. Zaebos leaped on it and bit off one of its arms while I slashed at its thick neck and cut half-way through it, blue goo spewing out from its wound. I pulled out my blade just as another of those huge beasts wrapped its mouth-tentacles around my sword arm. I turned toward it and saw that Leeik and two of our Mazzikim were stabbing into its side and biting its arms, trying to peel it off me. It wrapped more tentacles around me and pulled me closer to its gaping wide jaws, filled with what looked like endless rows of sharp, pointy teeth. I grabbed one of its mouth-tentacles with my left hand; I willed my left-hand to ignite the tentacle, which blackened and tore away from my arm, but there were still many more to go. Its screams were so loud I couldn’t think—but I could still breathe, so I breathed as long and hot a jet of fire as I could. The flames startled the being just long enough for me to stab my blade right into its open mouth, almost to the hilt. It sputtered and spasmed on its feet as I removed my sword for another strike, but my Mazzikim knocked it to the ground and leaped on top of it.
Jake’s scream turned my blood to ice.
I spun around, swinging wildly. I sliced through the arm of one of those huge beasts as it fell on top of Jake and Zaebos. I ran my blade through the side of its head as I pushed it off of my friends with all my might. Oh God, please don’t let Jake be hurt…or worse…
About the Author
Orren Merton started writing fantasy and science fiction at an embarrassingly young age. In high school, he picked up guitar and start playing up and down California in a few bands, culminating in his industrial rock band Ember After. During that time, magazines, developers, and corporations began to pay him to write and edit music software related articles, manuals, and books. Since then he has written the urban fantasy novel The Deviant and the science fiction novel Skye Entity before working on his current series of YA novels. He lives in Southern California with his family, pets, collection of sci-fi/fantasy memorabilia, and curiously large stuffed animal collection.
5 ecopies of The Dawning of Firebird Alex.
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