by Andy Peloquin
A faceless, nameless assassin. A forgotten past. The Hunter of Voramis–a killer devoid of morals, or something else altogether?
(The Last Bucelarii–dark fantasy with a look at the underside of human nature)
Title: The Last Bucelarii (Book 3): Gateway to the Past
Author: Andy Peloquin
Publication Date: March 31st, 2017
Paperback Price: 15.99
Digital Price: 3.99
The Hunter, legendary assassin of Voramis, has a purpose: protect Hailen, the boy he rescued from a demon in Malandria.
He joins a caravan in the hope of safe passage across the Advanat Desert. Yet he cannot outrun his enemies: the Illusionist Cleric on a holy mission to capture him, the bloodthirsty raiders out for blood and gold, and the Abiarazi, demons who masquerade as humans.
Every step north reveals who he was before becoming the Hunter, unlocking the truth about the woman who haunts his memories.
Fans of Joe Abercrombie, Brandon Sanderson, and Brent Weeks will love the Hunter…
Join Andy and Guests at the Book Launch Event:
The Art of (Hopefully) Writing a Book Blurb
Want to make a writer cringe? Speak the two words that they hate most of all: book blurb.
Book blurbs are THE WORST! They’re bloody hard to write, and the fact that they’re so important—after all, they’re what sell the book on first glance—makes them even more dreaded. Most writers (myself included) would rather lose our favorite typing finger than have to write another book blurb.
Why is a book blurb so hard?
Basically, you have to write 100-150 words about a 60,000 to 130,000-word novel that summarizes the main theme and plot points of the book WITHOUT spoiling anything. You have to make it interesting enough that people will want to read it, yet concise enough that it’s a quick read. It’s probably the single most challenging part of the book-writing process.
I have written precisely five book blurbs to date, and I’m happy with all of them. However, it took A LOT of work to refine them from my original creation. By no means have I mastered the art—I know I’m going to struggle with every book blurb I write from here on. However, here are the things that help me to write a good book blurb:
Start off with the character – The first sentence of the book should always introduce the character by name, as well as who/what they are. For example, a line from the blurb for the third book in my The Last Bucelarii series:
“The Hunter, legendary assassin of Voramis, has a purpose”
I assume that everyone who’s read Books 1 and 2 will know who/what the Hunter is. But I have to also write the blurb for new readers. By using that qualifier “legendary assassin”, I pique new readers’ interest and make them more likely to take a second look.
Introduce the problem as early as possible – The sooner you can tell the reader of the danger/s your character/s face, the better. From the book blurb for Blade of the Destroyer:
“Yet he is haunted by lost memories, bonded to a cursed dagger that feeds him power yet denies him peace of mind. Within him rages an unquenchable need for blood and death.”
That showcases the Hunter’s primary problems: the voices in his head and his need to kill. Those are the PERSONAL problems that make for the true journey—the journey of your character. Story is secondary to character. Use the character’s problem to help the reader connect with your character before they ever open the book.
Give them action – People want to know at least some of the thrilling highs and chilling lows of your book. Give it to them in a few short, snappy sentences. From the book blurb for Gateway to the Past:
“Yet he cannot outrun his enemies: the Illusionist Cleric on a holy mission to capture him, the bloodthirsty raiders out for blood and gold, and the Abiarazi, demons who masquerade as humans.”
This single sentence introduces the three main obstacles he’ll face in the book. Notice the dramatic words used: outrun, enemies, holy mission, bloodthirsty, gold, demons. These are all bold words that will arrest the attention of those reading.
End with the real hook – The ending of the blurb is the hardest part. Some people like to ask a question:
(From Blade of the Destroyer:
“The death of a seemingly random target sends him hurtling toward destruction, yet could his path also lead to the truth of his buried past?”
Some people like to use it to connect the book to the overarching theme of the series:
(From Lament of the Fallen):
“His discoveries will shed light on who he really is…what he really is.”
Either way, that last sentence has to get the reader thinking about what the book could offer them. If they’re thinking, they’re more likely to turn the first few pages and give the book a chance. With a killer blurb, a great cover, and an addicting opening scene, you have everything you need to get people to buy/read your book!
Andy Peloquin: Lover of All Things Dark and Mysterious
I am, first and foremost, a storyteller and an artist–words are my palette. Fantasy is my genre of choice, and I love to explore the darker side of human nature through the filter of fantasy heroes, villains, and everything in between. I’m also a freelance writer, a book lover, and a guy who just loves to meet new people and spend hours talking about my fascination for the worlds I encounter in the pages of fantasy novels.
Fantasy provides us with an escape, a way to forget about our mundane problems and step into worlds where anything is possible. It transcends age, gender, religion, race, or lifestyle–it is our way of believing what cannot be, delving into the unknowable, and discovering hidden truths about ourselves and our world in a brand new way. Fiction at its very best!
A Few of My Favorite Things:
- The Gentlemen Bastards by Scott Lynch, The Stormlight Archives by Brandon Sanderson, Sherlock Holmes by A.C. Doyle, Warlord of Mars by E.R. Burroughs
- Wrong Side of Heaven by Five Finger Death Punch, Prayer by Disturbed, I’m an Albatraoz by AronChupa, Look Down from Les Miserables, Shatter Me by Lindsay Sterling and Lizzi Hale
- 300, Red Cliff, Shoot Em Up, Love Actually, Princess Bride
- Anything with Deadpool, Wolverine or Doop in it
- Hot Wings, Meat-Lover’s Salad, A good sandwich (made by me), Yaki Soba, Sushi
Favorite TV Shows:
- The Flash, Daredevil, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Hawaii Five-0, Brooklyn 99, Firefly (too soon!), The Last Ship, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones
Other Books in the Series:
The Last Bucelarii (Book 1): Blade of the Destroyer
The Hunter of Voramis is the perfect assassin: ruthless, unrelenting, immortal. Yet he is haunted by lost memories, bonded to a cursed dagger that feeds him power yet denies him peace of mind. Within him rages an unquenchable need for blood and death.
When he accepts a contract to avenge the stolen innocence of a girl, the Hunter becomes the prey. The death of a seemingly random target sends him hurtling toward destruction, yet could his path also lead to the truth of his buried past?
The Last Bucelarii (Book 2): Lament of the Fallen
The Hunter of Voramis is no more.
Alone with the bloodthirsty voices in his head, fleeing the pain of loss, he has one objective: travel north to find Her, the mystery woman who plagues his dreams and haunts his memories.
When he stumbles upon a bandit attack, something within urges him to help. His actions set him at odds with the warrior priests commanded to hunt down the Bucelarii.
Left for dead, the Hunter must travel to Malandria to recover his stolen birthright. There, he is inexorably drawn into direct conflict with the Order of Midas, the faceless, nameless group of magicians that holds the city in a grip of terror. All while struggling to silence the ever-louder voice in his mind that drives him to kill.
From feared assassin to wretched outcast, the Hunter’s journey leads him to truths about his forgotten past and the Abiarazi he has pledged to hunt. His discoveries will shed light on who he really is…what he really is.
An Excerpt from The Last Bucelarii (Book 3): Gateway to the Past:
The Hunter peered out from behind the silent wagon. Good. No sign of Kellen or Graden. He’d have to keep an ear out for the caravan guards, but he should have plenty of time. The patrol had a lot of ground to cover.
Grunting, he shifted the heavy load on his shoulder and darted out from the row of shelters, hurrying toward the outcropping of boulders he’d chosen specifically for his task. He ducked behind the boulders and hurled his burden to the ground. A grunt and muffled cry came from the bundle, and something squirmed within.
He’s coming to. Good timing.
The Hunter pulled back the canvas, and moonlight shone on Rill’s pale, sweat-soaked face and wide eyes. Blood oozed from a wound on the bald man’s temple. The Hunter hadn’t bothered to be gentle.
“W-What?” Rill’s eyes darted around, and his gaze fell on the Hunter. “What is this?”
The Hunter struck the man hard. “Justice.”
Rill made to cry out, but the Hunter stuffed canvas into his mouth. “Ironic, isn’t it?” His fingers twitched a corner of the thick cloth. “You spend every waking hour stitching up canvas. Fitting that it will serve as your funeral shroud. There was more than enough of it around your area to wrap you up.”
The bald man’s eyes widened, and he mumbled something through the mouthful of fabric.
The Hunter shook his head. “Better you don’t speak. Nothing you say can change what’s coming. Best you die with a bit of dignity. Watcher knows you had little enough while you lived.”
Soulhunger, sensing blood, pounded louder in his mind, and the demon added its eager demands.
“I never understood men like you, knocking around your women.” He squatted on his haunches. “Just doesn’t make sense.”
Rill tried in vain to shout through his gag.
The Hunter narrowed his eyes. “Did you know there is a special hell reserved for your kind? Those who take advantage of the helpless.”
He slipped Soulhunger from its sheath, and held the glinting blade before Rill’s eyes. “You may tell yourself she belongs to you, you can do whatever you want.” He leaned forward, and his voice dropped to a low growl. “Just because you can, that doesn’t mean you should.”
Rill’s eyebrows shot up, and his expression turned pleading.
The Hunter shook his head. “Save your excuses for the Long Keeper. You’ll be with him soon enough.”
With a vicious smile, he drove Soulhunger through the canvas and into the man’s chest. The gag muffled Rill’s scream, but the dagger’s shriek echoed in his head with mind-numbing force. Soulhunger’s gem flared, red light bright in the darkness. The Hunter grunted as a finger of fire etched a line in his chest. Power coursed through him, setting his muscles twitching, flooding him with life, and pushing back the voices in his mind.
Slowly, the brilliance leaking from the gemstone faded to nothing, and Rill’s screams of agony and terror fell silent. The Hunter basked in the stillness of the night. A soothing breeze washed over him, the chill soothing the burning of his new scar. Glorious silence echoed in his head. The voices had been sated. He had peace, for a time.
He straightened and stared down at the bundled corpse. Perhaps the Long Keeper will have mercy on you.
An image flashed through his mind: a pitiful figure huddled at the entrance to Rill’s tent, covered in filthy rags and reeking of blood and coitus. Rill’s desire to punish Gwen had made it easier for the Hunter to slip in, knock the fat bastard out, wrap him in his own canvas, and slip out unnoticed. The man’s absence wouldn’t be discovered until morning. Few would care.
He took a deep breath, relishing the cool scents of the desert at night. He would wait a few minutes until he was certain Graden and Kellen had passed, then he would dispose of the body, bury the canvas, and slip back into camp. Without the voices shrieking and pleading in his mind, he might even be able to catch a few hours of undisturbed sleep before the morning breakfast bell.
Tonight would be a good night.