The World Below

The second novel in the Swords of Elyx trilogy by Susan Bartholomew

No human has entered the World Below, fabled land of demons, for hundreds of years. For Laura and Ciaran, it is their destination, sought yet feared. To reach it they must travel through the land of Lyonesse, fighting their many foes with sword and magic. On a faraway shore they find the hidden gate to an underground world of demonic magic and monstrous beasts. It is hard to enter and even harder to leave. The devious plots of their enemies threaten their happiness, their freedom and their lives. But the greatest danger of all waits for them by the dark stream that flows through the World Below.

The World Below is the sequel to Laura and Ciaran's first adventure, The Lake of Destiny.

The World Below cover

"Ciaran!" Laura gasped. "There's something moving out there!"

Something was swimming round the island, sliding through the water just below the surface. Eyes and nose showed above the waves, and several feet back a large pointed fin jutted out of the sea.

"It's enormous!" she exclaimed.

As the thing moved into the shallows it raised its head on a neck several feet long and looked about. Its wide nostrils sniffed the air. Large eyes were set in the sides of its head like those of a horse. As it turned that great head from side to side, searching the sands for its prey, they saw the eyes were as red as those of a dragon — or a demon. The monster came on towards them, pulling a long body out of the sea. Its tapering tail thrashed the water behind it as its squat legs splashed in the shallows. It opened its mouth and roared and they saw the sharp pointed teeth of a predator. Then it lowered its head and charged straight at them.

Ciaran lost no time. Taking Laura's hand he pulled her under the rocky arch. They heard the beast roar again, the echoes ringing in their ears. They ran on into a long tunnel, filled with a faint green light. Soon the water was left behind and they were running on dry rock, the noise of their feet filling the narrow space.

"I think we're safe now," Ciaran said. "It's a water creature. It can't get up here."

"We may be safe from that monster," Laura replied, "but we're in the demon world now, aren't we?"

"Maybe safe was the wrong word," Ciaran agreed.

The World Below is available from Algana Publishing

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