Monday, May 6, 2024

Coming Later in 2024: Princess Shuka and the Pirate King


Elf Princess Shuka flees into the perilous Marshes of Mu to escape a dragon and drops into the claws of vicious marsh wights. Her flight and fortunate rescue propel her into a new life among the humans she despises.

When pirate chief, Captain Rolf Fox, rescues a beautiful lady from the wights, he feels obliged to restore her to her father. But, avaricious Emperor Raglan has deployed a fleet of dragon ships to conquer the local town and subdue the marshmen.

In order to return to her homeland, Shuka must swallow her pride and work together with Rolf to destroy the enemy ships.

See the complete series (to date) of the Oakenwald Chronicles at


As blue and deadly as an angry demon, the dreadful dragon swooped down.

Shuka ran.

Heart thudding in terror, she raced toward the barrier of tall sedges edging the marshes. Higher than a man, the bullrushes would conceal her.

A gust of wind from the beating wings of the great beast opened a narrow gap in the wall of rushes.

She dashed into the gap, and, brushing aside the tall reeds, she fled along the narrow track of a mudbank. The back of her neck itched in anticipation of the hot breath of the dragon.

Shouts and cries sounded from behind. A battle?

A woman shrieked.

Was that Musa?

Shuka’s foot slipped in the mud.

She clutched at a swaying stalk and regained her balance with an effort. Consigning the fate of her fusspot attendant to a distant part of her mind, she hastened deeper into the perilous Marshes of Mu. She jumped over small streams of ugly brown water and hopped onto the clumps of reeds.

The noises of combat faded, although the susurration of wind in the dry sedges on all sides did not reassure her. The forest of reeds might conceal her from an enemy on the ground. But that devilish dragon could fly.

Cringing in fear of an attack from above, she skidded to a halt and glanced up. The gloomy clouds held no winged beast. Or not yet.

She looked down. Half-sunk in the sticky sludge, her travel boots were soaked and filthy. She plucked her feet out of the mud, one by one, and hurried onward. 

The track veered around a murky pool.

Weary from her unaccustomed run, Shuka slowed and edged along the mud bank. She eyed the sluggish stream warily. Did evil demons lurk in the depths?

Water gurgled.

A hideous creature leaped out of the pool. Half toad and half scrawny-limbed man, the thing seemed the embodiment of evil.

She screamed.

A second toad-man hopped onto the muddy bank.

The ugly creature dove at her and dug its clawed fingers into her leg.

She fell.

Pain flared in the side of her head.

She sank into oblivion.