The Splintered Crown by Larry N. Martin Book Tour and Giveaway :)

The Splintered Crown
A Tankards and Heroes Novel
by Larry N. Martin
Genre: Epic Fantasy, Adventure Quest 

A medieval fantasy with a party of adventurers all ready to make a name for themselves and earn some gold.

Tankards and Heroes is set in the city of Kortufan, where spies, assassins, mercenaries, arms dealers, rebels, smugglers, and informants do dirty deals dirt cheap.

The Poxy Dragon is a rough bar outside the worst part of the medieval Silk Road. It takes serious courage just to walk into the place, not only from its reputation but because of the rough clientele, questionable food, awful beer, and abysmal hygiene. Lots of taverns in Kortufan are home to ruffians and illegal dealings, but the Poxy Dragon is the proving ground for heroes - with a cemetery out back for the ones who don’t make the cut.

Lady Leota, the resident demigoddess at the Poxy Dragon, sends would-be heroes to different realms on quests. Once committed, there is no turning back, and if they want their reward, every party member must return through the portal – dead or alive.

As if this job could get worse,” Kieron Lucero muttered under his breath. His companion, Mitchell Calderon, grimaced in agreement.
You there! Guards! Get into place and watch the cargo. I’m not paying you to gossip.” Alphonse, the overfed merchant who had hired them for this job, glared at them. “There are brigands in these woods. I need you to stay sharp!”
Kieron and Mitchell had worked lousy jobs before. Kieron’s military background, along with his impressive height and strong muscles, made him a natural sell-sword – despite having the face of an angel, curly brown hair, and blue eyes that won over the ladies.
Mitchell’s past was more brawler than soldier, but even those who didn’t guess that he was a wolf-shifter knew to keep their distance. They took one look at his muscular build, slate gray hair, and yellow eyes, and knew a predator when they saw it.
Jobs had been scarce, and money tight. Normally, Kieron and Mitchell could pick and choose. But lately, with the bad harvest and some unrest to the north, caravans and traveling merchants weren’t plentiful. He’d been too quick to agree to the job and let down the people depending on his judgment. There would be time to berate himself for his mistake later. They’d signed on without asking enough questions, and this is what it got them. Trouble.
Alphonse reminded Kieron of a slug, all the more so once he and Mitchell discovered what the cargo actually was.
People. They’d been hired by a fawking slaver.
Kieron’s molars ground together. As soon as he and Mitchell had found out, they’d made plans. But as Kieron knew well from his time in the army, things could—and did—go wrong, even with the best strategy. And what the two of them had dreamed up didn’t come close to being anyone’s “best” plan. On the other hand, it beat the shite out of the alternatives.
Aside from Kieron and Mitchell, their party included Alphonse, the wagon driver, two other guards who had probably been hired out of an alley behind a local tavern, and the hapless prisoners in the wagon. Alphonse, Kieron, and Mitchell rode their own mounts. The other guards either rode with the driver of the wagon or walked beside it.
Kieron had stolen a look inside and counted five men and women, likely bought from the debtor’s prison in Kortufan. The wagon that carried them was a big wooden box with a single, barred window. A heavy lock secured the door. Kieron had listened for the drag and clink of manacles, relieved when he only heard the shuffle of feet and low voices.

The Rhone Forest cut a swath across the kingdom of Trinadon, impossible for travelers to avoid. The steep Shahoran Mountains and the white-capped rapids of the mighty Tellgran River restricted the paths of the highways that cut through the forest.

Larry N. Martin Larry N. Martin is the author of the new sci-fi adventure novel Salvage Rat, and the new portal fantasy series, The Splintered Crown, A Tankards and Heroes novel. He is the co-author (with Gail Z. Martin) of the Spells, Salt, and Steel: New Templar Knights series; the Steampunk series Iron & Blood; and a collection of short stories and novellas: The Storm & Fury Adventures set in the Iron & Blood universe. He is also the co-author (with Gail) of the Wasteland Marshals series and the Joe Mack - Shadow Council series from Falstaff Books.

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