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Cover Reveal

Jason by Mark Knowles


Hey book lovers

Today is the cover reveal day for the second instalment in the Blades Of Glory series by Mark Knowles, a gripping and unputdownable greek mythology story.


The first book Argo is an action-filled reimagining of the famous Greek myth, Jason and the Golden Fleece. ( see synopsis below ) the cover is a stunning blue and like the first Jason is also a rich and vivid cover but this time in red.


I have included an extract of Jason for you all and then below are the synopsis’s for both books in this series.


Jason is available to pre order now 😃


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Jason

Oileus was dying and it felt serene. He perceived himself leaving his pain-racked body and looking down upon his supine form, Medea next to him, the hissing fires and the crowns of the Argonauts’ heads, as he soared high above. The speed of his ascent became dizzying but he was unable to tear his gaze from his vertiginous ascent.

He blacked out.


When he comes to, he can feel no pain. All around him is a silvery light that he realises, as his vision begins to focus, emanates from gauzy clouds. At first, his body feels benumbed, as if frozen, and he can only move his head side to side. He can see he is in a soaring chamber, carved from stone. Down the rock face opposite falls a magnificent waterfall of silent light. He is not alone. What he thought was a slippage of rocks or scree begins to morph into an intelligible voice, even though the words are unlike anything he has ever heard before... not for us to end up wraiths, like these Titans!


Now, as the numbness subsides, he is able to haul himself onto his elbows, though he has to cover his eyes. Released from the pain and privations of his mortal body, it now seems entirely natural that he should be watching a council of gods. The figure doused in the wondrous light at the bottom of the waterfall, seated on the graven throne, is surely Zeus. He has blazing eyes beneath a brow that glowers like lightning, and a countenance so dazzling it is painful to look upon.

Around him are other Olympians, though none so huge and effulgent: some are almost translucent. They are looking in the direction of Zeus’ extended hand and Oileus follows it, too. Flitting about in a corner of the cavernous chamber, little more than shreds of green light that occasionally coalesce into luminous, writhing forms, are the very wraiths he is talking about.

The chamber rumbles with the sound of a rockfall. Zeus is chuckling.

Oileus notices, every few seconds, a wisp of smoke seeping through the chamber floor and into Zeus’ form, making it glow a little brighter. Occasionally the same happens for the other


deities, though it doesn’t have so marked an effect on their candescence. He catches the faint scent of charred fat and bones.

Another deity is speaking now. To Oileus it sounds like a torrent of ice crystals. The cadence is mesmeric, almost soothing. The corona of light is not so dazzling but somehow warmer, like rays of sun upon a brightly polished goblet. Oileus is certain he is gazing upon The Great Mother, whom some call Hera, though it takes a few seconds for her speech to percolate through his mind.

...savour of mortal sacrifices is not something you lack, Husband, who can rely on a hecatomb of cattle as surely as the moon fills her horns. Men have become neglectful of us, however. We all feel this in our godheads. Even She has lost something of her lustre...


Her words fade like waves seething on the shore. The gods turn towards a shimmering figure. No metalsmith alive could hope to come close to fashioning her aura of burnished bronze upon ebony. It radiates and pulses with a force that makes Oileus want to reach out for it, to thrill in its essence. He is looking upon the lovely back of Aphrodite and none but him will ever know! If he was not already dead, he surely would be if She turned to face him. He longs for the release.

Do not mock me, queen of the gods. Without me, there will be no vengeance upon the one who has offended you so.

As She speaks, he feels a feather brushing the nerves within his spine. Hers is the voice of late summer sun against soft wax. It purrs like the wings of a hummingbird.

It is Love.

Enough.

The chamber rumbles as Zeus raises an impatient arm. I accept the complaint. The worship of gods is in decline.

Not all gods. Just Olympians.

The chamber falls silent. Another god, stood slightly apart from the others, now speaks. The voice is cold and sharp, like a wind through winter mountains. He is leaning insouciantly on a protruding rock, fingering the string of an ivory bow. His form is the most proximate to a human: a towering athlete, both beautiful and cruel.

Speak your mind.

I just did, Father. I see no lack of piety where the Sun stables His horses, nor the west, where they fly. Only here. Oileus thinks he sees a smirk crease those divine features. Only here, where gods will die.

Zeus fulminates and the other gods flicker, like candles in the wind. There is a blinding flash of light and, all around, cracks of thunder that make Oileus’ bones rattle.


Begone, all of you! Begone!

The gods drift away through yawning fissures that now open in the rock face. All except Hera. When they are alone, Zeus stands and turns his back on her. You remain to press your issue?

Why do you not see that a favourable outcome for me benefits us all?

Your pet is a nobody. A son of a dead provincial king. Indeed, a provincial king with more virtues than his son. I might have understood your favouring him, but his heir...

A pressure now begins to fill Oileus’ head, like the tension of the earth before an earthquake. He feels the king of the gods shift his gaze to him for a moment, blinding him. Is this why we now share my chamber with this greying creature?

Oileus sees another wisp of smoke drift through the rock, dissipating into Zeus’ body. It brings his booming laughter up short.


Hera’s voice is laced with sarcasm. I trust Jason’s sacrifice pleases you?

A sigh like a sudden gale of wind sweeps through the room and is gone. I have already seen to it, Queen. The mortal is already born who will restore the faith of men. The Spinners are already at their cloth. But leave me now. Do as you must with your pet. Avenge your disrespect and be done with it.

It makes you dull.

**

Medea was sat slightly apart from the others whilst they stripped the hogs to the bone and spoke in hushed tones. She threaded her way between them to fetch the bronze ewer of near-boiling water and returned to Oileus, soaking strips of Phrontis’ unbloodied clothing in the water. She knew by the way their voices dropped that they were watching her, full of suspicion. There was lust there, too, though they were not yet at the stage where they would openly talk of it.

Yet.

Focusing upon Oileus at first gave her something to preoccupy her mind but there were other compelling reasons now. He had begun to twitch and mumble, at first incoherently, but now she could discern a few words. As she leaned over him, the sheathed knife swung from between her breasts to press against the fabric of her dress, reminding her of its reassuring presence. It had been stained by the blood of several men who had tried to dishonour her and she would not hesitate to use it again. She removed it now, glancing over at the Argonauts as she did so. Those in her eyeline did a double take, and she saw their eyes widen and their faces freeze in horror, too far away to intercept as the keen blade approached Oileus’ defenceless body. She deftly sliced the boiled rags in half, smirking at the Argonauts and blowing a tendril of hair away from her lips. She could feel the heat of their stares as she cleaned his wound.

‘Why am I here?’

She leaned closer to him.

‘Oh, gods...’

She suspected he was on the point of death and it fascinated her. This was Hekate’s domain and she was almost jealous of the man. She closed her eyes, attuning herself to his mutterings.

‘What are you doing there?’

Her concentration broke and she shot the man an irritable glance. He was the hard-faced one they called Peleus, and the fat from the meat he had eaten stained his tawny beard. He wiped it with the back of his hand. Others were now looking her way. From the corner of her eye, she saw Jason glancing at her from by the shore.

‘I want to make sure he still breathes. If this is acceptable?’

He narrowed his eyes at her, leaned to the side to spit and carried on talking to another. Jason had seen the exchange and returned to Medea. Her jaw was set and he could see she was rattled.

‘What was that about?’

‘We must do what I say. If you want to escape.’

________


Argo

He has come to take what is yours...


Kingdom of Iolkos, Thessaly. 1230 BC. King Pelias has grown paranoid. Twenty years after deposing his half-brother Aeson, his murderous past comes back to torment him with dreams, headaches and a prophecy: a one-sandaled man who would someday destroy him.

When a stranger descends from the mountains to compete in the games, Pelias is horrified by his resemblance to Aeson. The baby whose death he ordered has become a man. And Jason wants his revenge. But Pelias is as cunning as he is powerful. He gives Jason an impossible challenge: to claim the throne he must first steal the Golden Fleece from the distant kingdom of Colchis.

Jason assembles a band of Greece's finest warriors to crew Argo. But even with these mighty athletes by his side, he will have to overcome the brutal challenges hurled his way and quickly distinguish friend from foe. His mission, and many lives, depend on his wits and skills with a blade...



Jason

They may have won the prize, but will any of them make it home alive?


Jason has fulfilled the mission set him by his uncle, the scheming King Pelias of Iolkos: he and the Argonauts have won the fabled Golden Fleece of Colchis. Jason dreams of glory – of taking his uncle's throne, rightfully his – and, like his warrior shipmates, of home.

But it is not only Pelias who wishes Jason ill. Before the Argonauts can make it back to Iolkos, they must contend with a legion of foes who would see them dead – and a web of allies who are not quite what they seem.

Jason and his warriors must outwit the recondite Circe and the spies of mighty Troy, overcome hostile tribes beyond the Danube, and sail the troubled waters of the Archipelagos, where the Sirens wait to snare unwary seafarers.

Yet Jason's perils are only beginning, for he will soon discover that a truer evil lies closer to home...




________

Preorder Jason Here

order Argo Here







I hope you have enjoyed reading this special reveal extract.








 

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