The Queen’s Poisoner
Author: Jeff Wheeler
Series: The Kingfountain Series, #1
Publication Date: April 1st, 2016
Summary: King Severn Argentine’s fearsome reputation precedes him: usurper of the throne, killer of rightful heirs, ruthless punisher of traitors. Attempting to depose him, the Duke of Kiskaddon gambles…and loses. Now the duke must atone by handing over his young son, Owen, as the king’s hostage. And should his loyalty falter again, the boy will pay with his life.
Seeking allies and eluding Severn’s spies, Owen learns to survive in the court of Kingfountain. But when new evidence of his father’s betrayal threatens to seal his fate, Owen must win the vengeful king’s favor by proving his worth—through extraordinary means. And only one person can aid his desperate cause: a mysterious woman, dwelling in secrecy, who truly wields power over life, death, and destiny.
The wild frenzied feeling of plummeting reminded him partway down that he should be terrified, but then the shock of cold water met his face and he plunged into its depths. His feet touched the bottom of the cistern. His hand still gripped hers.
Owen opened his eyes and found himself surrounded by a pile of treasure. He felt a huge burst of excitement in his ribs as he stared at the sword hilts, the jewels and necklaces. The Mortimer girl was tugging at his hand and trying to swim up, but he pulled back, not wanting to lose sight of the treasure. There was so much! But then he noticed something awry. There was a gap in the treasure, as if someone had dragged a rake through it. No, that wasn’t it. One of the chests appeared to have been dragged back towards the stairs. The dragging motion had cleared a path through the bounty and knocked other bits over.
His companion was yanking hard on his hand now, and when he looked up, he saw bubbles were coming out of her mouth, obscuring her face.
Owen wanted to stay down and figure out what had happened to the treasure, but they both needed to breathe. He pushed with his legs and they started towards the surface. As they moved through the water, a loud grinding noise filled his water-soaked ears.
When Owen’s face broke the surface, he gulped in a chest full of air to stop his lungs from burning. The Mortimer girl was spluttering and paddling on the waters.
“Owen! Did you hear that noise?”
Owen looked and saw they were farther away from stairs. In fact, they were gliding away from it at a fast pace.
“What’s wrong?” Owen asked, kicking around. The water was tugging them deeper into the dark cistern.
About the Author
Jeff Wheeler took an early retirement from his career at Intel in 2014 to become a full-time author. He is, most importantly, a husband and father, and a devout member of his church. He is occasionally spotted roaming among the oak trees and granite boulders in the hills of California or in any number of the state’s majestic redwood groves. He is the author of The Covenant of Muirwood Trilogy, The Legends of Muirwood Trilogy, the Whispers from Mirrowen Trilogy, and the Landmoor Series.
To learn more about Jeff Wheeler visit his website:
You can follow him @muirwoodwheeler