Temporary book cover
This is the fourth installment in The Cornish Talisman series and picks up, time wise, shortly after the end of The Crystal Crowns. It is mainly the story about Marja Thoma-si and her son Varden. The first half of the book tells the story of the ill fated expedition of Marja and her husband Wilys Qwen on the unexplored world of Relkin 5. Relkin 5 was also a suspected world of the Predecessors, a fact only known to a select few of the Council of Evensett. Any explorers unlucky enough to pick one of these worlds faced a short future.
After being landed on the planet they found very little of interest except for an ever present grass underfoot. That is, until they ventured into the mountain valleys to the east of their base camp. Nestled within a high mountain valley they came upon a city in ruins not shown in any of the scans of the planet. Slowly they ventured through the ruins, looking for any indication as to who had lived here and how long it had been abandoned. But whoever had lived there had taken everything with them when they left, there was nothing left to find.
Then, one day, they discovered a stairway that led down into the bowels of the mountain, a stairway that had been hidden underneath a rockfall. At the bottom of the stairway they found a network of mono rails leading off into darkened tunnels with no indication as to where they went. However, one of the monorails was different; larger and heavier it led directly underneath the mountain. What they found in there was an installation that was still alive. Things would have gone according to plan, but certain members of the council had planted a spy within their party, and when they heard of the find they sent a ship to collect it.Marja would have been a casualty as well had she not already been sent home when they found out about the spy.
Many years later, after the council members that were involved had been eliminated, Marja has been asked to revisit the planet to discover what, if anything, was still there. For protection, Admiral Qwen, Wilys' grandfather, has also assigned a small gunboat, and crew, to work with the expedition and provide security and protection. But, even within the Admiral's navy there are plots within plots, is there another plant within the crew, the expedition, or both?
This time they find things that were not found the first time she visited the planet. There was much that the first expedition hadn't had the time to find. Marja's main focus has been to find out what had happened to her husbands expedition and exact revenge for his death. But, was there anyone left to exact that revenge upon? Did any of the expedition survive?
1/28/2014 - First let me say that I have been working on this manuscript, but it has been slow going. I can liken this to painting myself into a corner and having to devise a way of walking on the ceiling to get out. No, it hasn't been that bad, really. I have had to revisit the first book in the series, The Orphan from Space" doing final edits on the manuscript for paperback publication and it has diverted a lot of time and attention from this endeavor. Fear not, I will finish it, somehow. And then I will get more involved with book 5 which is called (at least right now) Galactic Quest. For now, be patient, it will be done by summer; or else. MLH
2/9/2014 - I have resumed work on Betrayal on Gruentok after spending a lot of time editing The Orphan from Space for republication (see blog on The Orphan from Space). The first half is done, as is the ending, now I just have to fill in the last section that leads up to the ending. Then there will be a few full length edits before I will consider it finished. I was further hampered by changing computer systems and reinstalling my word processor program. I still don't have it setup the way I want it but it will do for now. Who knows, maybe I'll just get used to it the way it is. MLH