Journey to the Red Mountain

male lead
realistic earth
coming of age

Ten years have passed since the Saltrak War. The dinosaurs of Cardolin once again enjoy a prosperous peace under the wise King Henrik. But the peaceful times are over!

When a mysterious stranger arrives injured on the night of a fearsome blizzard, the kingdom's fortunes take a turn for the worse. Rumours abound that the stranger is somehow responsible for the ill turn in the weather. And when his old nemesis on whom he has sworn vengeance turns up to steal both the crown and the heirs of Cardolin, tensions rise to the surface.

It is once more up to Astron and his friends to save the day. Battling bandits, disease, and the whims of nature alike, the brave Saurahallers must pull together to ensure their kingdom’s future and right past wrongs…or else watch everything they have worked so hard to build crumble before their very eyes.

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Copyright and Prologue
SAURAGIA Journey to the Red Mountain J. S. ALLEN For my grandmother. Without whom, none of this would be possible. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. Text and Map Copyright © 2022 by J. S. Allen Cover Art Copyright © 2021 by Heather Bruton First published in 2021 by J.S.A. Books, an imprint of J.S.A. Media This edition published by Bluedrake Books, an imprint of Ash Tree Media All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form by electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the publisher, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review. Publisher’s Cataloging-In-Publication Data (Prepared by The Donohue Group, Inc.) Names: Allen, J. S., author. Title: Sauragia. Journey to the Red Mountain / J.S. Allen. Other Titles: Journey to the Red Mountain Description: [Belton, Missouri] : Bluedrake Books, an imprint of Ash Tree Media, [2022] | Series: Sauragia ; [2] | Interest age level: 13 and up. | Originally published: J.S.A. Books, an imprint of J.S.A. Media, 2021. | Summary: "A mysterious traveller arrives at Saurahall, and with him a glut of trouble. Through winter storms, bandits, and disease, it is once again up to Astron and his friends save the future of Cardolin"-- Provided by publisher. Identifiers: ISBN 9781956619034 (hardcover) | ISBN 9781956619041 (paperback) | ISBN 9781956619058 (ePub) Subjects: LCSH: Dinosaurs--Juvenile fiction. | Travelers--Juvenile fiction. | Imaginary places--Juvenile fiction. | CYAC: Dinosaurs--Fiction. | Travelers--Fiction. | Imaginary places--Fiction. | LCGFT: Fantasy fiction. | Action and adventure fiction. | BISAC: YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Fantasy / Epic. | YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Animals / General. | YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Action & Adventure / General. Classification: LCC PZ7.1.A4386 Saj 2022 (print) | LCC PZ7.1.A4386 (ebook) | DDC [Fic]--dc23 Visit ashtreemedia.com Prologue A fierce northern wind blew through the trees, bringing with it the first frozen flakes of winter. The lone and weary traveller pulled his cloak tighter around himself to keep the cold off his rough green hide. This was truly a forbidding place this time of year for a dinosaur of any kind, much less a sun-loving Alvarosaurus like himself. Only the fiery heat of vengeance burning inside warmed him enough to carry on, just as it had every day for the last ten years. Then he smelt it: the faint whiff of distant mountain air. He paused briefly to savour the moment. His long journey was nearly at its end! With a contented sigh he readjusted the strap securing the clean but well-used broadsword to his back and continued on his way. The cold was no longer a bother. He walked along merrily, his scarred and weather-beaten snout almost breaking into a smile. Sure, he heard the rustling in the bushes. Sure, he was being watched. But still he walked on. Bandits could not deter him now. Nothing could. From both sides of the trail came the crunching of dead leaves. It was hard to stifle the sound when they so thoroughly littered the ground. At last they appeared all around him. Six sturdy Gorvosaurs they were, with grey-green scales, stouter limbs, and more aggressive attitudes than his own kind. These were outlaws who would not think twice about slitting his gullet, looting his corpse and leaving the rest to scavengers. He stopped, and the one in front spoke up. “Mornin’ to ya trav’ler,” greeted the leader with a vicious grin. He wore a black kerchief tied about his neck. “That’s a nice sword you got there. Pretty little knife, too.” The worn wayfarer said naught. “Not very friendly, are ya mister?” Still the traveller said nothing. He merely levelled an impassive stare at the bandit leader. “We ain’t used to such rudeness, mate. See, we’re the Silver Six, the most dangerous outlaws this side o’ the Sauragians, an’ this is our stretch o’ road. We don’t let nobody use our road free o’ charge, do we lads?” The others gave various signs of agreement. “Let me pass, bandit,” said the traveller in a level tone. “You’ll live to cherish your wisdom.” “We’d love to, but y’see, you got too many nice trinkets for that. Couldn’t leave you burdened with all them, now could we?” “Don’t try it, or I guarantee you’ll neither relish nor regret the day.” “Ha! Tough talk. Get ‘im!” The Silver Six moved in, but before they knew it, two had been slain by the hardy old broadsword. As they paused in shock, the veteran Alvarosaurus set upon them with the sword in one claw and the long-bladed knife in the other. Another slumped over as it punctured his heart. “Kill ‘im!” exerted the rogue leader wildly. The dual blades whirled around in a blur, and a fourth crumpled as the sword ran him through. The other attacked, but his blow was warded off by the sword, and the dagger found its way through his ribs. As he staggered back, the larger blade fell across his exposed neck. The bandit leader, seeing his band slaughtered in just over a minute, took off immediately at a run. He was a fast runner, and his fear propelled him further. He would escape and start a new band. He had done it before; he could do it again. This time, however, he had barely gotten a start when a sharp pain struck the back of his knee and he fell flat. He crawled away desperately with his foreclaws as the stranger walked up calmly and stamped down hard on his tail, pinning him. He then bent over and retrieved his smaller blade, holding it up for the bandit to see. “This is a dirk, by the way. Not a knife.” “Mercy!” cried the frightened robber in desperation. “Meaaagh!” The sword went through his chest and he lay still, eyes wide with terror. Withdrawing his blade, the traveller wiped it neatly on a tattered, blood-stained cloth. He had given them fair warning. Nothing would stand in his way now. He wiped clean the dirk and sheathed both blades. Unshaken, and even a bit invigorated by the encounter, he straightened up his back and strode confidently onward. Aye, vengeance would soon be his!

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