Karen’s Killer Book Bench #Romantic #Fantasy: THE LIGHT BEYOND THE STORM CHRONICLES BOOK 1 by A.L. Butcher

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Romantic Fantasy


In a dark world where magic is illegal, and elves are enslaved a young elven sorceress runs for her life from the house of her evil Keeper. Pursued by his men and the corrupt Order of Witch-Hunters she must find sanctuary. As the slavers roll across the lands stealing elves from what remains of their ancestral home the Witch-Hunters turn a blind eye to the tragedy and a story of power, love and a terrible revenge unfolds.

18 rated for adult bedroom scenes and violence.

Romantic Fantasy


Olek left the manor and rode swiftly to the edge of the valley and out onto the Great Highway. He rode for an hour or so, and his keen eyes picked up smoke on the horizon amongst the sparse trees which still grew as a remnant of the forest, through which a small river ran. As he gained the ground, he dismounted, tethered the horse and moved cautiously. Before him lay a temporary camp: several tents, a chest or two, a few crates, a barrel, and some fish strung out to dry in the air. Beyond the camp was a hastily built paddock with a number of horses. Olek counted seven men that he could see and looked for the man that sat slightly apart. He stopped, thinking how best to approach, and pulled the shadows around him, although there were not many on this fine day.

Slowly he slipped around to the edge of the camp to where the lone man sat and then stepped out of the shadows behind him.

“I trust you are the chief of this band, sir, for you seem confident enough to sit apart from your fellows?”

The bandit spun around, sword drawn, to see the figure standing at ease near to him yet beyond sword reach, cloaked with the shadows swirling around his feet. “Who are you, that you come here? You yourself are confident sir considering I am armed and you do not appear to be.”

Olek laughed and somersaulted with lightning speed over the bandit’s head, kicking the sword from the fellow’s hand, toppling him in the dirt and landing with his own sword against the man’s throat.

“Appearances may be deceptive, my friend, but I do not come here as an enemy, for if it was so, you would now be in pieces.”

The other bandits formed a circle, weapons drawn, as Olek sheathed his own sword and held his hand out to help the man up. “As for who I am and why I am here, I will discuss that with you at the fire, as a friend and not surrounded by a ring of swords. Believe me in what I say when I tell you that a good deal of you would fall to my blades before I lay slain and those who did not would feel the wrath of him whom I serve. But as I say, I come here in friendship.”

The chief nodded reluctantly and the bandits sheathed their blades. “You have balls, sir, I give you that. Now perhaps you would care to join me and my companions in a beer from the barrel.” The man gestured to the fire, walked to the barrel and fetched some beer.

He sat and motioned Olek down. “You know I have killed men for less than you just did.”

Olek smiled and took the beer, saying, “I do not doubt it, but if I wanted you dead you would be now lying in the dirt with your head removed, or simply you would not wake to see the dawn. I am not honourable enough to feel remorse for killing a man in his sleep should it suit my purpose. I am known, amongst other names, as the Shadowdancer, and I come from my master with a business opportunity.” As he sat, the cowl of the cloak fell enough to reveal his pointed elven ears.

The bandit chief smiled and held out a hand. “I am honoured to meet you, your reputation precedes you. My name is Tholin. I lead this band, but what could the Shadowdancer want with a band of rogues and outcasts such as us?”

Olek waited until the man was sipping his beer before drinking his own. “Ah, well, that is a good question. I have…other business to deal with and not even I can be everywhere, thus I find it useful to have contacts…eyes and ears around that I may use. Shadows in the shadows, you might say.”

One of the other bandits approached. “How do we know this elf speaks the truth, Tholin? He uses the name of the Shadowdancer yet it could be a lie. Elves lie.”

“Well, perhaps you should take it on faith, unless you want a personal exhibition of my skills…human,” Olek said with a smile like a cat.

The man drew his sword. “Sure, I have not shed blood for a few days, and yours will do nicely, elf.”

Olek simply laughed at the man and as he charged, side stepped and drew both his swords. The bandit charged again and Olek stepped back and disappeared into a patch of shadow beneath the trees to reappear behind the man, bringing his swords down a millimetre from the fellow’s face and a lock of the bandit’s hair fell past his eyes. He kicked the hand holding the sword and the weapon spun away. “Move one hair’s breadth and you are a dead man, bandit. I am the Shadowdancer, if you doubt me further perhaps we can continue this…entertainment, and after I leave you scattered for the wolves, I will take my business elsewhere.”

The bandit paled and held his breath until the swords were removed. “Apologies, sir, for the insult,” he managed with a squeak.

Olek nodded and shrugged, pulling the cowl back to shield his face. “It is best to be cautious in your dealings. Now after so much dawdling, perhaps we may talk business, my time is short. Witch-Hunters pass these roads. It would please my master if they were to be delayed…removed…inconvenienced. The Witch-Hunters seek not only users of magic but those of us who, through choice or necessity, live apart from what they term as law. If you are caught, you will hang, if not worse. The ‘hospitality’ of the Order is well known for its brutality. Now do you not think it would suit us all for them to be inconvenienced?”

Tholin looked at him in awe. “The Shadowdancer has a master? This man must be truly great or truly to be feared. What you ask is dangerous.”

Taking a slow swig, Olek merely replied, “The man I serve is both, for he is the Oncoming Storm. Now I can easily take this request elsewhere. You are bandits; you are supposed to be tough outlaws, the menace of the highways. It seems, however, that this is not the case.”

He got up to leave and Tholin stood quickly, moving to stop him. “We accept. We patrol the roads from the edge of the Tremellic Valley to the bend in the Great River known as the Blasted Oak Crossing. I am sure the Witch-Hunters can be inconvenienced.”

“Good will payment,” Olek said, holding up a small bag of gold coins. “I can be contacted at the Sign of the Moon on the road from Eleiry to the Tremellic Valley. There is a box there, of bleached wood. You may leave a message there, and proof if needed. The message will get to me. If you please my master, there will be extra payment.”

Olek walked away from the camp and took a circuitous route back to his mount, then made the journey home.

About Author A.L. Butcher…

British-born A. L. Butcher is an avid reader and creator of worlds, a poet, and a dreamer, a lover of science, natural history, history, and monkeys. Her prose has been described as ‘dark and gritty’ and her poetry as ‘evocative’. She writes with a sure and sometimes erotic sensibility of things that might have been, never were, but could be.

Alex is the author of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles and the Tales of Erana lyrical fantasy series. She also has several short stories in the fantasy, fantasy romance genres with occasional forays into gothic style horror, including the Legacy of the Mask series. With a background in politics, classical studies, ancient history and myth, her affinities bring an eclectic and unique flavour in her work, mixing reality and dream in alchemical proportions that bring her characters and worlds to life.

She also curates speculative fiction themed book bundles on Pubshare – for the most part – the Here Be Series

Alex is also proud to be a writer for Perseid Press where her work features in Heroika: Dragon Eaters, Heroika Skirmishers – where she was editor and cover designer as well as writer and Lovers in Hell – part of the acclaimed Heroes in Hell series. http://www.theperseidpress.com/


Outside the Walls, co-written with Diana L. Wicker
Received a Chill with a Book Reader’s Award in 2017.

NN Light Book Heaven awards:

The Kitchen Imps and Other Dark Tales
Won the best fantasy for 2018

Echoes of a Song – one of her Phantom tales
Won the best fantasy in 2019

Tears and Crimson Velvet
Won the best Short Story category in 2020

Dark Tales and Twisted Verses
Won the best Short Story Category in 2021

Links to A.L.’s website, blog, books, #ad etc.:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3ZnAWW4

Universal Link

Social Media links


Twitter: https://twitter.com/libraryoferana

Facebook Author Page https://www.facebook.com/LightBeyondtheStorm/

Amazon Author Page http://amzn.to/2hK33OM

BookBub https://www.bookbub.com/authors/a-l-butcher

Independent Author Network https://www.independentauthornetwork.com/a-l-butcher.html


Google Play author page

Smashwords Author Page https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/ALB123

Apple Author Page

Apple Audiopage

Kobo Author Page

Perseid Press Author Page

Barnes and Noble Author Page  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/%22A.%20L.%20Butcher


Goodreads http://bit.ly/GR2iqokvK

Linked In

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/libraryoferana/

Tumblr https://www.tumblr.com/blog/libraryoferana

Pinterest https://www.pinterest.co.uk/abmonkey/

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Thanks, A.L., for sharing your book with us!

Don’t miss the chance to read this book!


6 thoughts on “Karen’s Killer Book Bench #Romantic #Fantasy: THE LIGHT BEYOND THE STORM CHRONICLES BOOK 1 by A.L. Butcher”

  1. Good morning, A.L., and welcome back to Karen’s Killer Book Bench. Oh! I’m intrigued by this storyline. Promises of sweeping fantasy, something I really enjoy. I can’t wait to read it. Thanks for sharing your book with us today!

  2. Good afternoon, wow, your book sounds and looks very intriguing, thank you so much for sharing about it. Have a great day.

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