Bloodcurse ePUB

Book 3 of The Narrative of Riven the Heretic
Part 1 of The Arcanian Chronicles

By Toni V. Sweeney

Though Riven kan Ingan will be the first to admit married life made him a love-struck fool, he refuses to be a cuckold when he returns from battle to discover his beloved Barbara pregnant with a child he couldn’t have sired. In a fury at her supposed infidelity, he dares the wrath of the gods and turns her out, only to find himself driven from his domain when a deadly curse strikes.

Haunted by Barbara’s memory, Riven begins a quest to find the one who cursed him. In the years that follow, his journey will take him to the land of his birth, where he’ll unearth long-hidden family secrets followed by more grief and loss. His pride will be ground to dust and he’ll find himself dependent upon an old enemy’s mercy and a barbarian’s woman gentle love to rid himself of the Bloodcurse.

Genre: Fantasy

Sensuality rating: 4

Cover Art by James Robinson

This book is available in the following formats:
PDF / ePUB / MobiPocket / POD print
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Author: Toni V. Sweeney

Chapter 1


When we get to Aljansur, I’ll marry you,” he had told her. “You’ll be no soldier’s minion.”

At last… The woman he desired for so long was now his.

He should’ve felt dishonor in the way he won her, buying her from her husband for a silver hunting dagger. The boy had seen the way they looked at each other. He’d known it for years…though she lay beside him at night, it was Riven’s image sheheld in her heart. Rather than fight his friend, rather than risk having her hate him by killing the man she loved, or by having the man she loved kill him, he chose to let her go, for the price of a knife whose blade had never tasted blood.

Yes, Riven should’ve felt dishonor in the bargain. In truth, he’d nearly ridden out of the farmyard without her…but when he saw her standing there, beautiful, confused, not wanting to believe it was actually happening, he couldn’t leave her behind.

He held out his hand, and she took it, was pulled onto the back of the black charger, and they rode away.

He should’ve been ashamed of how he won her but he wasn’t. He was too happy, though what Barbara thought of the bargain, of being swapped like an unwanted mare by the husband who declared he loved her, he didn’t know…nor did he care.

She was his.

That was all that mattered.

~ * ~

They rode far that day, putting many miles between themselves and the farmhouse, as if Riven feared she might suddenly demand he return her to the valley and her no-longer husband. When at last he stopped the black charger and dismounted, pulling her from the horse’s back and setting her gently on her feet, she still hadn’t spoken.

As he tended Taj, she simply watched, hands clasped behind her back.

Once the horse was settled for the night, he gathered wood for a fire. That brought memories of another camp in the desert, one in which he and a child he thought a young boy sat before another fire…a child he soon learned was a very young woman, and once her identity was revealed, he fell in love with her then and there.

Arranging the sticks in a hollow scraped into the sand, he used flint from his tinder box to light the fire. When it was burning to his satisfaction, he opened one of the saddlebags lying on the ground and extracted the packet of food from it.

“There’s plenty here,” he noted, opening it. His voice sounded loud in the dusk’s stillness, and gruff, though he didn’t intend it so. From the packet, he took a parcel wrapped in white cloth.

It was the first time he’d spoken, since leaving the valley.

Gods, there’s so much I want to say to her. Important things. Personal things.

     Opening the packet, he uncovered two wedges of buttered bread with a thick slice of mutton between them. He held it out to her.

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