by R. J. Hore

Book Cover: The Dark Lady
Part of the The Dark Lady series:
ISBN: 9781927454190

Young Princess Nefasti wakes to discover her father, the King, poisoned and her mother near death. As she is the sole heiress to the ancient high kingdom of Vadio, the king’s three brothers begin to plot and quarrel over who will become Regent and control the kingdom until she comes of age, or dies. Their solution is to marry her off. If this trio were not enough of a problem, the greedy surrounding kingdoms all want to gobble Vadio up, and their ambassadors scurry through the castle plotting and scheming.

Princess Nefasti has two main goals: to survive, and to discover who is responsible for the death of her parents.

Publisher: Champagne Books

They say she is the Devil's spawn, born in a cloud of brimstone and sulfur on a night when the peaks echoed with thunder and the castle walls trembled. I know that it is not true, and I should know. I was the midwife; although there was a storm, worse than I'd seen in many a year. She did scream like the Devil when she popped, but it was the cries of her mother, the queen, who drowned her out. Lady Gratia never had been strong, and losing two still-born sons had taken any remaining strength for birthing out of her. The ignorant outlanders whisper drunkenly in the inns that she is evil and cursed; that to gaze upon her face is death. This is a lie! Some careless folk say, when they think no one is listening, she walks across the lake to drink the blood of babes and drain the life force from careless husbands. I know this is also a lie; I have never seen her walk on water.

Reviews:Felicia Denise, Amazon wrote:

"And a child shall lead them! It was fun getting lost in book 1 of this epic medieval fantasy! The Dark Lady is not just a story of a ten year old girl surviving by her wits, it’s also a look into human nature, abd how one so young taps into that nature…the best and the worst. …Each chapter begins a passage about the young Queen, rumors, magic, and paranormal activities are bandies about as it becomes obvious the narrator is being questioned by someone. …Murders, kidnap attempts, lies/deceit and betrayals versus a ten year old girl. Will she prevail? Take the journey with Nefasti…and watch and learn."
— 5 Star Review

Sheri A Wilkinson, Amazon wrote:

4 Stars— "Fascinating, a good read. The story is well-written, and each chapter begins with a brief narration. That helps in following along with the story. There are many characters, all are well developed and complex. The story is original, the plot is steady. There are secrets, twists, drama and suspense. Overall, I feel the story was an enjoyable read for young adult and adult readers."
— 4 Star Review

About the Author

Raised in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, Ronald J. Hore spent forty-six years travelling the country with the financial services industry. He ended up in Winnipeg in 1980 where, with his long-time interest in writing, he joined Canadian Authors Association and was a member of the 1996 CAA 75th Conference Committee. In 2006 he won first place in a CAA national short story contest with a romantic ghost story, Midnight. In 2010 his short story Chrysalis was included in the anthology Evolve. He followed this up co-authoring Rotary Club of Winnipeg, 100 Years of Service. Since then, writing as R.J. Hore, he has had fifteen novels and ten novellas published. He continues to be active in Canadian Authors.