In Her Name: The First Empress: Book 01 - From Chaos Born

BOOK: In Her Name: The First Empress: Book 01 - From Chaos Born
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Contents

Title Page

Copyright

What Readers Are Saying

Acknowledgements

Foreword

Other Books

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Epilogue

Bonus Content

Season Of The Harvest

Other Books

A Small Favor

About The Author

FROM CHAOS BORN

In Her Name: The First Empress, Book 1

Michael R. Hicks

This is a work of fiction. All of the characters, organizations and events portrayed in this novel are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.

ISBN: 978-0984492787

FROM CHAOS BORN (IN HER NAME: THE FIRST EMPRESS, BOOK 1)

Copyright © 2012 by Imperial Guard Publishing, LLC

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book, or portions thereof, in any form.

Published by Imperial Guard Publishing

AuthorMichaelHicks.com

WHAT READERS ARE SAYING

“When I found out he was going back in time a mere 100,000 human years in the new novel I had to get it. I was not disappointed one bit in the lush wonderful world he continues to build for the Kreelans. I am already waiting for the next book so I can continue this story he has weaved for us and see what other paths he leads us down. Bravo for an outstanding book Mr Hicks!”

“Excellently told to the point you may never guess this was written by an independent author if you did not already know, this story is captivating and keeps the interest of the reader from beginning to end.”

“I've read all of the
In Her Name
series to date and this is another superb addition.
From Chaos Born
sets up what I'm sure will be another excellent trilogy explaining how the first Empress came to be (over 100,000 years before the other books in the series). I can't wait for the next novel!”

“I know how much time the author put into creating these novels and I am almost ashamed to say I read the 1st 7 books in less than a week - I just could not put them down — thank God I am retired LOL.”

“I think this is the best book in the series since the original book, First Contact. Mr. Hicks really excels at creating the world of the Kreelans. I look forward to more books in this series.”

“Every time I read a book by Michael R. Hicks I get surprised over that he's so good. Every book gets better and better, and
From Chaos Born
isn’t an exception. I think
From Chaos Born
is among the best I've read.”

“This amazing, sweeping, saga will grab you, shake you by the neck and dare you to not read it. The story will win.”

“OMG, I could not stop reading this book! From the beginning Mr. Hicks grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go! One would think that he would run out of ideas by now since he has written so much about the Kreela but once again he has outdone himself. I don't want to give anything away to anyone that hasn't read the book but I will say that you will not be disappointed one bit.”

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

As always, I have to give a lot of thanks to the editorial team for this book who spent a great deal of time and probably took a lot of aspiring while splashing the manuscript with red ink.
 

From Norway, and knowing my native language better than I do (well, maybe that’s not saying much), we have Frode Hauge and Marianne Søiland. They’ve brought some unique perspectives to critiquing my writing that I think has been extremely helpful, and Frode has taught me everything I know about hunting trolls.

I’d also like to thank long-suffering Mindy Schwartz, who has a mind like a steel trap and catches bloopers that I had no idea I’d even written. Sometimes I wonder if she writes them in on purpose, but I’ve decided I’m not going to test that theory.
 

My heartfelt thanks also go to my wife Jan, of course. This year’s been a wild whitewater ride in many ways, and I never would have been able to stay in the boat without your strength, faith, and love.

Most of all, however, I’d like to thank you, dear reader. Your interest in my books has allowed me to live my dream of writing full-time, and I cannot thank you enough.

FOREWORD

While this book is part of the
In Her Name
series, it represents something a bit different from the previously published novels. Those volumes tell of the century-long war between the human race and the ancient Kreelan Empire and that conflict’s eventual resolution.
 

(Note: If you’re reading this and have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about, press the pause button and
go get the lead novels of two of the other trilogies on my web site - free
.)

With
From Chaos Born
, we’re about to turn back the clock roughly
one hundred thousand
years, focusing our attention on the Kreelan Homeworld and its handful (at that time) of interstellar Settlements. There are no humans in this story: here on Earth, our
homo sapiens
ancestors shared the world with the Neanderthals, and stone-tipped spears were still a rather novel invention.

The Kreelan race, by contrast, was already ancient, with the rise and fall of countless civilizations dating back a further four hundred thousand years, divided into four distinct Ages. After a terrible war, even by their savage standards, that took their entire race to the very brink of extinction in the Second Age, a balance of power emerged among the seven ancient martial orders, the priesthoods, that allowed a race uniquely tailored for war to survive against itself. Their people were born, lived, and died in a path of life, the Way, that was defined and taught by the warrior priests and priestesses. There were no gods, for they had been cast aside after the race had nearly perished. War was life, even as it brought death. The race survived, but it was a time of chaos without end.

In what later would be the singular event that would determine the end of the Fourth Age, a girl child was born to the master of a great city and his consort. The child was unlike any other who had ever been given birth, for instead of black hair and black talons, her hair was white as pure snow, and her talons, the long and sharp nails at the ends of her fingers, were a fiery crimson.
 

Her name was Keel-Tath, and, as foretold in an ancient prophecy, she was destined to unite her race and found an empire that would, at its height, span ten thousand suns across the galaxy.
 

From Chaos Born
is her story. But it is only the beginning…

DISCOVER OTHER BOOKS BY MICHAEL R. HICKS

In Her Name: The Last War

First Contact
(Book 1)

Legend Of The Sword
(Book 2)

Dead Soul
(Book 3)

The Last War Trilogy Collection

In Her Name: Redemption

Empire
(Book 1)

Confederation
(Book 2)

Final Battle
(Book 3)

Redemption Trilogy Collection

In Her Name: The First Empress

From Chaos Born
(Book 1)

Harvest Trilogy (Techno-Thriller)

Season Of The Harvest
(Book 1)

Bitter Harvest
(Book 2)

Novellas

The Journal Of Avery Moore

Visit
AuthorMichaelHicks.com
for the latest updates!

CHAPTER ONE

The sun was just rising over the mountains of Kui’mar-Gol, painting the magenta sky in hues of flame above the three warriors as they rode along the ancient road toward the city of Keel-A’ar, leaving a long trail of dust in their wake.

Kunan-Lohr rode at the lead, periodically lashing his animal to keep up the brutal pace. The beast ran on two powerful rear legs, the taloned feet tearing into the worn cobbles of the road. Its sides heaved with effort, the black stripes over the brown fur rippling as it panted for breath, the small forearms clutching at the air, as if begging for respite.
 

Not given to cruelty, Kunan-Lohr drove the beast mercilessly because he had no choice. Bone weary himself, he had already killed four other animals by running them to death in the two months he had been traveling. The seven braids of his raven hair were still tightly woven, but like the rest of his body were covered in dust and grit. His silver-flecked eyes were sunken in the dry, cracked cobalt blue skin of his face. His armor, a gleaming black when he had set out two months ago, was beyond any hope of repair by the armorers. The breast and back plates were pitted and creased from battle, and the black leatherite that covered his arms and legs had been cut open and stained with blood. Some was his own. Some was not. His right hand clutched the reins, while his left hung limply at his side, broken. Two of his ebony talons on that hand had been snapped off, and the others, like his armor, were scratched and pitted from desperate fighting against bands of honorless ones who preyed upon travelers in these troubled days.

Of sleep, he had allowed himself precious little. It was a luxury he had not been able to afford. During the fifty-six days that had passed since he had begun his journey home from the east, he had slept only eight times. He had stopped no more than once a day to eat and let his animal graze for the short time he would allow. Every other waking moment had been in the saddle, riding hard.
 

His pace had been too much for all but the last two warriors who now accompanied him. The rest of the three hundred with whom he had begun this journey had either perished in the battles they had been forced to fight along the way, or were somewhere behind him, making their own way home.
 

Even with the wind whipping past from his mount’s furious pace, the sour reek of his body odor still reached his sensitive nose. Normally fastidious in his grooming habits, he had only allowed himself the luxury of bathing when he had been forced to stop and barter for fresh mounts. It was not the way in which the master of a great city such as Keel-A’ar should arrive home, but time was his enemy now, and he knew he had very little left.

He could feel her more clearly with every pace the
magthep
took toward home, could sense her with every beat of his heart. His consort, Ulana-Tath. They had once been
tresh
, joined in the path of life that was simply called the Way, when they had first entered the
kazha
, or training school, overseen by the great warrior priests and priestesses of the Desh-Ka order.
 

Despite Kunan-Lohr’s discomfort and desperation to return home, he could not help but grin, his white fangs reflecting the fire of the sunrise as he recalled those days. Ulana-Tath had bested him in everything for most of the early years at the
kazha
, beating him soundly in training nearly every day. Be it with sword or dagger, spear or unsheathed claws, she had beaten him. She was the finest warrior among their peers through her fifth Challenge, when at last he had become her equal. While he bested her in the sixth and seventh Challenges before they came of age as warriors, he had always suspected that she had let him win. And he had loved her all the more for it.

While they were already bound, body and soul, as
tresh
, there was no question when they became warriors that they would be consorts, a mated pair. It was often the case with male and female paired as
tresh
, for a deep bond already existed. While the Way did not demand monogamy,
tresh
who mated as a pair typically did so for life.
 

And so it had been with them. They loved and fought together, seeking perfection and honor on the battlefield and in their lives.
 

One enemy, however, remained steadfast in its refusal to yield to their most determined efforts: they had been unable to bear children.

Kunan-Lohr’s smile faded as he thought of the sad and frustrating cycles they had endured in that singular pursuit. Many times had they tried, and every time had failed to conceive. The healers were confused and frustrated, for they had determined that both he and Ulana-Tath were fertile and entirely healthy. It was a confounding mystery, as if some dark magic had cast a veil between their two bodies, denying them what they most desired.
 

While it had been a most bitter disappointment, despair was not the way of their kind. The intensity of their love for one another remained undiminished. Indeed, if anything, their bonds grew stronger, matched only by their lust for battle. In the perpetual wars that raged across the face of the Homeworld, the two made their mark in service to the great warrior who was the mistress of Keel-A’ar, and who in turn served the King of the Eastern Lands of the continent of T’lar-Gol.
 

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