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© Copyright Dan Hallagan & Kayenta Publishing, 2013
SERF Published 7/4/2013   Excerpt Cornelius vists the arena for the first time After we had gathered at the center of the ring, Squire Fausto ordered us to sit down. "Welcome to the meaning of your new life: to defeat your enemy in combat and acquire their power. This is where we climb. You are unbonded serfs. This means you are worthless. I do not care if you exist or if you do not exist. Your life is meaningless-except when you do battle. You will know no greater glory than to raise your arms in victory within this ring or within the boundaries of any arena throughout Manningham, the northern continent, or any province on Wroth. A year from now, when you are bonded to Duke Aldo, your every thought, your every dream should be to triumph in the arena." "What is that platform, Squire?" I asked, pointing at the side of the ring not enclosed by rope. The squire clearly loved everything about the arena because he answered without his usual hostility. "Viscounts, barons, earls, or the duke, if he graces our arena with his presence, do not sit with the common scum on the grass; they have comfortable seats on the platform in a place of honor. In addition, weapons are made available to Climbers of every rank along the wall of the platform for use in the arena. In a few moments when the sun clears the top of Spectator Hill," Fausto gave a name to the C-shaped grassy bowl, "you will see a weapons display like no other." "Why is the dirt black?" asked one of the serfs. Squire Fausto sprinted towards the serf who asked the question and gave him a mighty kick, launching him like a football towards distant goal posts. The serf let out a scream as he flipped, end-over-end, through the air, bounced down once, then twice before rolling to a stop. "You will address me as Squire or Sir!" He stomped back to his original position. "The dirt is black," he explained calmly, having entirely forgotten about the guy he had just kicked twenty yards, "because that's not dirt. That is blood- soaked dirt."
PEASANT Published 9/11/2013 Excerpt The Earl’s behavior disturbs Santa Alessandra "You monster!" Santa Alessandra's voice rang out shortly after the earl's words had died away. "Excuse me?" asked Cornelius from his hammock chair. "You just dropped him?" The earl appeared confused. "Yes. And?" "You're a murderer!" "What?" The senior power quieted her fiery light display. "Why did you have to kill that Climber?" "First of all, Excellency, I didn't kill him. He came back as a serf somewhere. Second, he tried to 'kill' me. Third, what was I going to do with him?" "What do you mean?" "Was I to let him back into the command area where he could encourage the other peasants to overpower me? Would we not be hiking up to the surface over all those narrow paths with endless drops gaping to one side, certainly an irresistible temptation to finish the job, yes? Did I want him talking with the baron? No. I wanted to send a message to the peasants in command and a stronger message to the baron. And I did. The baron was suitably apologetic for the misunderstanding. Very apologetic." "You kept your arrangement? You still betrayed the viscount?" With a grunt, Earl Cornelius pushed himself to his feet. "Your Excellency, I hope you won't take offense, but you really need to bring a Climber perspective to this story. What an intriguing game of chess! The viscount suspects the baron, the baron is concerned about me, I want revenge on the viscount-all these plots boiling and churning. Stop obsessing about the morality of it all." "Don't tell me what to do!" "I would never tell you what to do, Your Excellency. I'm just concerned for your mental health. There is no morality on Wroth." "Yes there is. You just don't know about it." "You are right, Excellency. Power. Morality is power." "No! You have no idea what you are talking about." She sat down with authority. "Go on with your ugly story." "As you say, Excellency."
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What is the goal of the Climber Series? This Climber Series falls within the young adult genre, and is specifically written to appeal to male teenagers (although, like the Hunger Games or Harry Potter, it is accessible to all ages). Serf is the first of nine books in a series that provides an interesting twist on the question of hell and damnation - a retelling of CS Lewis’s The Great Divorce - but is as far from boring theology as you can get. Intellectual and spiritual vegetables for your teenager disguised as French fries. The setting of this retelling of Lewis’s classic tale is unusual and fantastic in the extreme, populated by monsters or aliens (depends on your perspective, I guess!) - exactly what boys like!  
The Climber Series