Book: Prince of Kartoon by Robert Marquiss
|5 stars, 1 review on Amazon|
Robert Marquissabout this book: The wizard, Raspin De Fau, dressed in an old weathered robe shuffles along a beach. He carries a long, magical wooden staff on his back, with a gleaming silver half moon for a headpiece and runes carved into the shaft. He quickly approaches a large, flat rock. When he reaches it he unrolls an ancient map across the rock's surface.
He holds the staff above his head. It begins to radiate a brilliant white glow. With one finger, he traces the inked markings of a desolate looking stretch of sea and as he touches them they come alive. The surface of the map leaps outwards and expands until the beach with the rock and the wizard disappears from view and is replaced by the foam crested, deep blue swells the sea. On the horizon, in the direction that the sea is flowing, is the island of Kartoon where our story unfolds.
It began a thousand years ago when the island had five inhabited regions, naturally separated by the island's terrain with one at each point of the compass and an ancient city at the island's hub. Each of the four outer areas was dominated by a war-like tribe or clan.
To the north were the Cretans and Willow Becks of the mountains. On any given day, they could be seen scurrying about a village, bringing in fruits and vegetables from the forest. Some handled livestock.
To the south lived the Manchu and Mole people of the rain forest. They lived in tree forts and rough huts on the jungle floor that were made of pine boughs and logs. Some fished in the small rivers in boats made from hollowed-out logs.
To the east were the Long Ears and Thumpers of the lowlands. A large group of Long Ears might be found repairing straw huts in a village. Some Thumpers would carry a dead deer from a hunt to a large open fire pit.
To the west were the Radaks and Skimmers, nomads of the Low Desert. A group of eight Radaks, wearing white robes, might be seen riding strange four legged animals past their dwellings. Some Skimmers would glide along the surface of the sand catching lizards for their morning meal.
And in the center was the ancient city of Tomas, a world unto itself, where hideous creatures lived. The city was encircled by a moat filled with foul black water and by huge high walls covered in thorny vines and topped by evil-looking gargoyles. In the city, the dwellings, streets and walkways were overgrown with plant life. Weird creatures would slink about, and Trolls and Wolflocks stood guard.
The Ancients foretold that a prince would come and unite the kingdom. But to these people it was folk lore, fantasy, the whims of some old forgotten man. Their present was dog-eat-dog, a time for constant vigilance, a time of war. In the land of Kartoon there would be no peace. Then a shipwrecked boy washed up on the rocky shore.
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