Authors Spotlight: Alex L Butcher

The Light Beyond The Storm Chronicles by Alex L Butcher

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A beautiful young elven sorceress flees for her life in a dark world where magic is forbidden and elves are enslaved. A world in which her very existence is illegal. Watching her are the Order of Witch-Hunters; the corrupt organisation that rule Erana by fear and ignorance. An iron fist which itself is watched. As the slavers roll across the lands stealing elves from what remains of their ancestral home the Witch-Hunters turn a blind eye to the tragedy, and a story of power, love and a terrible revenge unfolds.
3rd Edition – revised and expanded.
*18+* age limit – this contains adult themes, including scenes of a sexual nature, violence,slavery and some profanity.

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Excerpts Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles – Book I

Excerpt One

Shivering, Dii pulled her old wool cloak around her and looked at the sky, the stars now fading into the grey dawn. Mages could sense the weather, so Dii knew that more rain would follow this day; even now she could sense the pressure in the air. Hunger made her belly grumble, and as she looked at the thin tent, she knew it would not protect her from the late autumn weather much longer, or indeed the many other dangers which stalked the night. Dangers which were very real for one such as her; an elf, a woman and a mage, for as such, she was not free. Freedom in the land of Erana was rare. It could be bought and sold for some, although many did not have that luxury.

Pulling a very stale half loaf of bread from her cloak pocket, the elf toasted it and poured a little water from her water-skin into the metal pot to boil. Food was food after all. Luxury was another rare commodity. Tossing in a handful of dried leaves and herbs, she sweetened the tea with the few berries she had scavenged. The smell of the toast and herb tea revived the young elf’s spirits and suddenly the dawn did not seem so cold, or the future so uncertain. The small wooden box she carried contained a few herbs from her previous store, both for healing and refreshment, the land around providing much if a body knew where to look. Such plants could heal and fortify and often were of more value than coin, which one could not eat, nor would fight infection.

Dii was a skilled herbalist, surprising for one of her station, but she was clever and had an enquiring mind that searched until it found answers… She considered for a moment. The only good thing about her Keeper Joset’s estate was Malana’s herb garden, which was by far the finest in the area and the most bountiful. Regretful for a moment, she thought about the woman she considered her mother, the only one she had ever known: a kind human woman, also a mage and a Kept, or slave, of Lord Joset Tremayne. Malana had taught her a little when she could, including the herb-lore, and loved her a good deal. Education was not the norm in Erana, especially for elves, but somehow it had suited her Keeper to allow her to learn, perhaps it increased her price. Sighing at that thought, Dii returned to her tasks.

Pulling the small purse from her cloak, she examined the meagre coins therein. Dii knew those few coins would not last long, and an elf with a bulging purse would certainly draw attention. She had spent the best part of the small amount she had been able to acquire on the tent and camping equipment, and that had drawn more notice than she had been comfortable with. Dii knew she had been overcharged, but also knew there was little she could do, she had handed over the coins and made her way swiftly from the stallholder’s sight.

Dii was well aware her Keeper was a nobleman, and thus rich and powerful. He was a man of influence, but she was also acutely aware of where a lot of that money had come from. So she had taken the few coins she had managed to hide unseen from her Keeper. Dii could have taken more; she knew she had more than earned it, but somehow felt wrong taking the gold of her Keeper, although after all he had forced her to do, she could not understand why she felt that way. Perhaps, she thought, it was simply self-preservation: half of her hoped he would not seek her, but were she a thief, he might be more inclined to do so. The young elf was many things, but a thief she was not. So Dii had left with a few meagre possessions and a small bag of coins. Everything else remained in her Keeper’s house. More afraid of what lay within than without, she had risked her life to flee, both in physically doing so and to be out in these lands alone. So far she had been lucky not to have been spotted by anyone unfriendly to her kind, and she thanked the gods for that. Not knowing the trails and roads well, she had nothing to trust but her luck and her skills.

A Kept owned nothing by right, but Dii knew her favours paid well. Her lovers would sometimes give her coin or trinket if she had pleased them, or a grateful villager would pass on a few copper coins for the potions or herb-lore she distributed. Most of the common people had little healing knowledge beyond basic remedies passed generation to generation, and many communities did not have an apothecary. People often turned a blind eye to the local “wise folk,” although this was not always the case and many a mage had found themselves in the “hospitality of the Order of Witch-Hunters” due to a failure to heal someone, or from mere spite or fear. To be in possession of magic was illegal and, in many cases, meant imprisonment or even death.

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Top Customer Reviews

on April 3, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

I learned of this book through one of the promotions on my facebook writer groups and decided to check it out.

Full disclosure, not my usual genre. I’m not a big fan of elves, magic spells and curses, but this book did hold my attention. It starts a little slow and it took me a while to adapt to the writing style, but once I got past the first couple of chapters, it picked up steam. I didn’t really connect with the main ‘elven’ character, but I did like that she was resourceful and not so dependent on men for her survival like most female characters seem to be written these days.

Given the vivid world that the author created, I would have liked a little more action and less internal reflection and dialogue. There were too many parts where it seemed like characters were ‘preparing’ to do something, or talking about what needs to be done instead of actually doing anything. Its a little frustrating to have an environment with so much potential only to have to sift through so much down time where not much is happening.

There are also some huge blocks of dialogue from some long-winded blowhard characters. Not sure if this is common for the genre, but I kept expecting to hear “Here ye. Here ye.” every time a male character opened his mouth. Also, it’s third person but the POV seems to shift focus between characters at different points. That was a little distracting.

There was even sex… most notably some elven sex, which if you’d told me that going in, I would have passed, but the author actually did a good job with it.

What I liked most was that the author wasn’t afraid to let her imagination run wild with the details. The scenes where one of the main characters “Dii” has to use magic spells are very well done and written in a way where I could actually see what the author was describing. A lot of times when authors write scenes where supernatural abilities are involved, you end up scratching your head and going ‘huh? what just happened?’ or the powers are so ludicrous in scope that you’re like ‘well why don’t they just use that spell/power/ability all the time? The story could have been over in five minutes.’ It’s a real pet peeve of mine and I was glad to see that this author knew how to describe the world of magic very well.

Yet, even though she gets very creative with her scenes, I didn’t see much by way of filler stuff that didn’t fit with the story. I felt like everything was done for a reason and that too is very rare.

I was a little bummed at the ending, mainly because it seemed a little drawn out, but it is a series and she made sure to leave a nice set up for the next book.

Overall, this book entertained me and I enjoyed the read. I was leaning toward 5 stars, just because I did get caught up in the story and the world the author created, but some of the technical stuff took away points.

The Stolen Towers by Alex L Butcher

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What stalks the land cannot be, but is.
Where magic is outlawed a troll Shaman calls from her deathbed to her heiress, Mirandra Var, daughter of the storm. Mirandra vows to find her missing kin, sort friend from foe, and claim the dangerous secrets guarded by unthinkable creatures. If she succeeds, she will become the leader of her tribe. If she fails there will be no tribe to lead.Please note 18+ rated. This contains scenes of violence and sexual situations.

Top Customer Reviews

on November 15, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

Alexandra Butcher (a/k/a A.L. Butcher) is a very interesting writer. I and friends have been following her career for several years, watching her grow, and lapping up her output. This book, “The Stolen Tower: The Light Beyond the Storm,” is Book III in her trilogy. Since I read the other two some time ago, I’m not going to treat this reviews as the review of a “third of three” but as a stand-alone novel. If you haven’t read the previous books in this trilogy, don’t be concerned. Read this review, then the book being reviewed, and then go buy the other two as prequels to savor. However, be warned, there are things about both Book I and II that I found delectable, perceptive, and more — unique. Butcher writes about outsiders, most times, people who are discriminated against or who have skills that make others jealous — or both. People with limitations which they must overcome. And she writes about nonhuman races trying to get along with humans, a gargantuan undertaking, since humans can’t even get along with themselves.

The Trollkind and particularly the Elves have caught my attention, won me over, where no fantasy book has been able to do so before. And in this book, as with Butcher’s first two in this trilogy, we look at the world from shifting viewpoints, tightly-crafted third-person perspectives that rotate through those of one persuasion and then through those of another.

This story in Book III does more than extend the reach of Butcher’s series: it introduces a new way of looking at characters we may have known before, but are seeing in BOOK III through new eyes. A character named DII has been my favorite from the start of the series (you’ll need to read the earlier books to find out why).

In this book, the stage is stolen by magic in its most threatening form: “What stalks the land cannot be, but is,” says the blurb.

The disrepute of magic fuels much of what threatens these characters, whether they are new to you or already loved by you. Here’s a snippet from the Amazon description, since no spoilers can be hidden here:

“Where magic is outlawed, a troll shaman calls from her deathbed to her heiress, Mirandra Var, daughter of the storm. Mirandra promises to find her missing kin, sort friend from foe, and claim the dangerous secrets guarded by unthinkable creatures. If she succeeds, she will become the leader of her tribe. If she fails, there will be no tribe to lead…”

So now you understand that I can’t tell you too much, not in the case of this book, without spoiling things. Be assured that characterization is deep, allegory to today’s world delicately drawn, and Butcher never fails to show you haunting detail to make you feel the hopes, dreams, and loves — as well as hates — of her characters.

Enjoy this writer, enjoy her journey of discovery in which she allows you to share. And oh, if you want to know who my favorite characters may be: Dii and Ephany, for reasons you’ll understand should you embark upon the journey to the Stolen Tower. And, surprisingly for me, I must in good conscience add the Shamania of Trollkind…

This book is full of characters who live and breathe and make your heart ache, then fill you with joy without ever being overbearing in plot or pretentious in style. Like the writer, theses three works, and #III in particular, whisper deeper truths than hyperbole can trumpet. So these books may not be for everyone: not for skimmers who look for plot points so they can claim to have read a book, for certain. But for those who practice the art of reading, here’s a writer who practices the art of storytelling.

About The Author: Alex L Butcher.

A. L. Butcher is the British author of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles fantasy series, and several short stories in the fantasy and fantasy romance genres. She is an avid reader and creator of worlds, a poet and a dreamer. When she is grounded in the real world she likes science, natural history, history and monkeys. Her work has been described as ‘dark and gritty’ and her poetry as evocative.

“A British writer born in 1975, I enjoy writing and it is a pleasure to share stories with those who like to read.

My love of reading was nurtured by a family who all enjoy books and actively encouraged reading and discovering new worlds and new facts within the cover of a book.

Other interests include astronomy, history, animals, films and gaming, although I do not get much time for the latter.”

A Splendid Salmagundi was awarded the best anthology for Indie Book Bargains 2012.
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Available as ebooks click the links below.

Amazon click here

Barnes and Noble click here

itunes click here

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Connect with Alex L Butcher click on the links below

Blog: https://libraryoferana.wordpress.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6430414A_L_Butcher

Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Alexandra-Butcher/e/B008BQFCC6/

Twitter: @libraryoferana

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DarkFantasyBeyondTheStorm

Other work by Alex L Butcher.

Tales of Erana series

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Tales of Erana: Myths and Legends

In a world where magic is illegal and elves enslaved dare you hear the tales of old?

Five tales of myth, magic and monsters from the world of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles.

The Blue Phial – An apprentice herbalist receives a special gift from her mistress and learns the real wisdom of life.

The Tale of Treyna the Beloved – the sun and moon over the love of a mortal with disastrous results.

The Legend of Oeliana – jealousy exacts a terrible revenge in this tale of love and loss

Storm Born – a lonely mage does not appreciate what he has until it’s gone.

For further links click here

The Fire-Side Tales Collection

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The Kitchen Imps and Other Dark Tales – six short tales of mayhem and mischief.

Naughty imps, missing socks, cunning thieves and baffled gods feature in this collection of short fantasy fiction.

For further links and more information click here

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