BORN INTO A WORLD where magic is not only feared but outlawed, Ferrin’s choice to use his abilities brings the Black Watch to his doorstep. Caged alongside a helpless band of half-starved wielders, he formulates a strategy to escape. Armed with nothing more than his sarcastic wit and a determination to never give in, Ferrin attempts the impossible.
Excerpt: Chapter One
“YOU’RE GOING TO GET us killed, Ferrin, or worse—captured.”
Ferrin’s twin sister, Myriah, had always been a touch melodramatic. He thought it a good offset to his own overly dry sense of humor. They complemented each other in ways neither was willing to admit.
He smiled but kept his focus. It would take more than his sister’s grumbling to pull him away from his one true love. He shook his mop of red hair out of the way, loose beads of sweat scattering as he landed another hard swing of his mallet on the anvil. The rhythm of each stroke was a song to which he could pare his heart, the beats as steady as the life pumping through his veins.
Ferrin’s smithy was a humble affair in the lower merchant district of Rhowynn. A large kiln sat at the back, taking up nearly a quarter of his workspace. Its hearth glowed with fresh coals, the heat a familiar comfort that Ferrin found invigorating. Next to the kiln was a cooling tank, rung with a variety of tongs, hammers, and swages. Covering every inch of the stone walls were racks of tools and molds. Pieces of metal of all shapes and sizes lay in what might seem haphazard piles on the floor, but each pile was organized by type, future use, and amount of time required to forge.
Directly in front of Ferrin sat a stone pedestal roughly one foot in height, on which sat his anvil. A long strip of metal lay on the anvil, something he had been preparing for one of Rhowynn’s nobility. It was to be a gift for their grandson, his first sword. Ferrin thought it was rather silly considering the boy was only three, but as long as their gold was good, a contract was a contract.
“Are you listening to me?” Myriah asked, her patience seemingly waning.
Ferrin could practically hear her fold her arms. He knew that tone all too well. He grunted to let her know he had no intention of stopping his work for another one of their heated discussions, which had been growing more frequent of late. There were rumors of the Black Watch being spotted crossing the border into Keldor. The White Tower’s reach was growing. This new Arch Chancellor seemed to be on a personal mission to purge the five kingdoms of every last wielder.
Ferrin kept silent. It wasn’t that he didn’t enjoy a good verbal joust with his sister, but he was too deep within the flow of his transferal to offer a proper rebuttal. The magic coursing through him required his full attention. Besides, an argument at this point would only end in his likely defeat. She was right after all.
“You’re using it again, aren’t you? I can always tell, you know.” She slowly moved her hand in front of her face. “The air . . . it tingles.” After a moment, she gave up her attempt at touching his magic and shifted her attention back to him. “Take it off before someone catches you. I don’t plan on spending the rest of my life in the White Tower because of your carelessness.”
Ferrin started counting: Five . . . Four . . .
“Ferrin!” This time, his name was followed with a hard foot stomp.
He stopped mid-swing, his mallet still hanging in the air waiting for the downward fall. Slowly, he lowered it to his waist and turned around. His sister was standing just inside the doorway, tapping her foot on one of the wooden steps leading down into his shop. Having his smithy connected to their home was a convenience, but there were times he wished she would allow him to install a proper lock on the inside.
“I heard you the first time.”
“You need to do more than hear me. If the white riders get wind of you using your gift, it will be the end of us both. You need to stop.”
Myriah scowled at him. Her long red hair was tied back, which meant she was either about to start or had just finished cleaning. She took his acknowledgment of her presence as a small victory and carefully worked her way across the room.
Ferrin propped his hammer on the anvil and took a deep breath. He could feel the heat draining from his body. It wasn’t a heat that stemmed from an emotional trigger like love, or desire, or even rage. It was a different kind of heat, one that burned from the inside out. It rose from the depths of his soul. It was part of him.
Magic his uncle had called it, right before selling him to an old peddler to keep the wrath of the White Tower away from his home. His uncle wasn’t a bad man, just not very brave. He had agreed to take them in after Ferrin and Myriah’s parents died from an outbreak of black fever. But when Ferrin’s ability first began to manifest, his uncle feared the White Tower would come to take away the rest of his family, along with Ferrin. He didn’t blame his uncle, with the kind of rumors of what happened to those the White Tower took, his uncle had reason to worry
Ferrin didn’t understand why everyone was so afraid of magic. People cowered from it like they would a viper. It wasn’t as if magic was going to make them grow a third eye or something. He loved the way his magic felt. He was a metallurgist, able to feel and manipulate metal.
There were times, however, when he would have traded it for a normal life. After all, it wasn’t like he had chosen to be different. He’d been born this way. But as long as he was going to be forced to bear the weight of keeping it hidden, he figured he could at least find a way to profit from it.
His twin sister, on the other hand, had not been saddled with the burden of possessing something the world wanted destroyed. Still, she willingly chose to be with him in spite of the risk involved.
He could still remember her walking into Pinon’s camp two days after Ferrin’s departure with the old peddler. Myriah had left home with nothing more than the clothes on her back and her favorite dolly. The thought of being separated from her brother was more than she could bear.
Not knowing what to do, Pinon waited to see if their uncle would show up to collect her. When he didn’t, the peddler finally agreed to allow her to come along.
Her love for Ferrin was something he cherished above all else.
“Take it off, Ferrin. You know you don’t need the crystal to make a quality blade. You’re a skilled swordsmith. None of the other smithies have to resort to magic to meet their orders; neither should you.”
Ferrin fingered the silver chain around his neck. He could feel the small stone resting against his chest under his sweat-soaked tunic.
“The other smithies aren’t located in Southside. They have thriving trades in places that can reach those with coin to spend. The most we can hope for is the occasional farmer whose sickles need a new peening before harvest. We wouldn’t have survived last year if I hadn’t found a way to attract the right sort of clientele—”
“Your attraction is what worries me,” Myriah said from the other side of the anvil, arms crossed. “You’ve already ostracized yourself from most of the merchant guild. Your unexplainable ability to forge and shape weapons that are vastly superior to every other smith in Rhowynn has made you an open target. How long do you think it’ll be before they come and demand your secrets?”
Ferrin didn’t respond as he mulled over her concerns. The two of them had always managed to scrape by, but times were getting harder. Customers were waiting longer in between sharpenings, and his less wealthy patrons were opting to make due with old equipment.
He had decided not to tell Myriah how bad their finances had gotten because he didn’t want her to worry. She had enough to worry about keeping up with the household and him. She didn’t need the added knowledge that they might lose the smithy too. That was why he had resorted to using magic.
At first it was for simple things like adding a small flourish, or a finer edge, when coming up on a hard deadline. Those simple uses, however, quickly turned into more. Pretty soon there wasn’t a single piece of metal passing through his shop that hadn’t had some form of magic added to it in the process.
It was those same magic-infused weapons which had earned him a commission by the High King himself. It was also that very commission that had sealed his fate with the merchant guild. Apparently, the older, more established smithies didn’t appreciate having some young upstart steal the work right out from under their noses. The sad thing was that even without the use of magic, he was still twice the smith they could ever hope to be.
In the end, he only had one excuse to offer. “We needed the money.”
Myriah grunted. “We don’t need it that badly. I can always find some more work—”
“You already have a job watching Lord and Lady Resdin’s children.”
“I can find another. Delana has been asking me for some time to come help her in their milliner shop. I can do that in the evenings and—”
“No.” Ferrin struck the anvil with the top of his hammer. “The gold I made from the king’s commission will be enough, if . . . I can’t believe I’m about to say this . . .” He lowered his head and stared at the smoldering length of metal waiting on the anvil. “If we are willing to put aside our plans of moving to a better district, and simply remain here.”
Myriah’s arms lowered. She cocked her head to the side, trying to determine whether he was being serious or not. “Do you mean that? I know how much moving into one of the northern districts would mean to you.”
Ferrin smiled and removed the chain from his neck. He held it out between them and watched as the small crystal on the end dangled back and forth, reflecting the light of his kiln’s fire. He could already feel the presence of his magic diminish slightly. It seemed that the farther away he was from the rock, the weaker his gift became.
“I’ll stop using it if that’s what you want.”
She smiled and quickly moved around the anvil in order to wrap her arms around his neck and plant a kiss on his cheek. “You’re the best big brother a girl could ever hope to have.”
“We’re twins. For all we know, you could be older.”
“Yeah, but you’re definitely bigger,” she said, emphasizing the point by standing on her tiptoes to look him in the eyes. Ferrin smiled. “Unfortunately, bigger doesn’t always mean smarter.” She chuckled and headed for the door, a victorious spring in her step.
Of the two, Myriah was definitely the more emotional. But, it was that same passionate spirit that made her so fiercely loyal. Once his sister set her heart to something, there was little that could be done to dissuade her.
“Don’t forget today’s Sixthday. You look like you have about three layers of silt to wash off before tonight, not to mention the smell.” Myriah pinched her nose and made a face, then closed the door behind her.
It was Sixthday already? Ferrin glanced at the cooling piece of steel on his anvil and shrugged. The work could wait. He lifted one of the large buckets of water used for quenching and doused the coals. They hissed and released a large blanket of steam into the air. If only he had a bar of soap handy, he could have nearly washed from the moisture. Somehow, he doubted Myriah would have been happy with him if he had.
where can i buy Shackled book ?
my pc will not let me go on to Aramoor market it says its not safe
I’m afraid that I have had to shut down Aramoor Market. The cost of printing and shipping has risen to the point of it not being worth the work put into creating the hardback editions. I do still have it as a free ebook dowload on the homepage of my website, which was what it was originally created for, and I’m not sure when/if I will be able to bring it to print again. Shackled is not a long book, and you can read it on any digital device, including your tablet, phone, or even computer. It is a very important book, however, to read, especially before delving into the 3rd and 4th installments in the Aldoran Chronicles.
Sorry I don’t have a better answer.
All the best,
I’ve read all your books except Shackled . Rather have a book in hand . When is book 5 coming out ? I absolutely are crazy about your books . I will re read them . Can’t get enough of them , don’t kill Ayrion . Ty is hard headed , he needs to grow a backbone . Will there be a total of 6 books in this series ? I’m so happy to come across your books . I’m 77yrs old don’t be to long with ur book 5
I’m glad to see you are enjoying the series. I hate that you’ve not been able to read Shackled yet. That part of the story was rather important and should have been read before reading the Four-Part Key. Have you read the prequel series yet, entitled: Street Rats of Aramoor? The first book in that series is also vitally important to read prior to both the 3rd and 4th books in the Aldoran Chronicles.
I’m planning on at least 10+ books in the Aldoran Chronicles. It will be a large series. At present I’m working on the 6th and final book in the Street Rats.
Hope that helps.
Have a Merry Christmas!
The White Tower is so good. I have a Kindle version, and I just got the hardcover/signed version as well. Thank you for writing such a great series of books based in such a great land, Michael Wisehart. I also got the maps which are also professional, and look great… Makes it that much more immersive. Rock on!
The hardcover (I like to collect) is excellent. Thank you!
So glad to hear you are enjoying the books. I am definitely proud of the maps, some of the best in fantasy right now. I am working with my cartographer on a new map that will be released with the upcoming book 4 in the Aldoran Chronicles. Very excited about the direction so far.
All the best,
Hey Michael! Your books are so good! When do you think you will have book 4 of the Aldoran Chronicles? Do you have an ETA? Can’t wait. Please hurry!
All the best Landon Jones
So glad you are enjoying the books. Don’t have a definitive ETA on the 4th book in the Aldoran Chronicles, other than hoping to release this fall. I just hit the 50% mark on the first draft of the manuscript. You can keep up with my writing from the progress bars located at the bottom of my website’s homepage. Trust me, though, working as fast as I can. Lol!
All the best,
Just finished book 3. I NEEEED book 4! Love your books!
Glad you are enjoying the books. I hope you read through at least the first of the Street Rats of Aramoor books before delving into The Four-Part Key as was suggested in the front matter of the book. Important to understanding where certain characters and backstory came from.
I’m sitting here working on the first draft of book 4, as well as a whole new map. Make sure to follow my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/MichaelWisehart.author) and join the Wielder Council (https://michaelwisehart.com/join-the-wielder-council/) to keep up with my latest work.
I hope I can continue to entertain!
All the best,
I just finished the 3 Aldoran Chronicles and am already looking forward to the next book.
I am going to catch up with Shackled and check out the Street Rats of Aramoor in the meantime.
You have created many well rounded and complex characters and I enjoy following their storylines and eagerly await to see how they all unfold.
Thanks for reaching out.
I really wish you would have read Shackled first, so you would have some idea as to what was going on in Ferrin’s storyline in the 3rd book. I recommended everyone in the book to read Shackled and at least the first in the Street Rats series before reading The Four-Part Key. It makes the story so much more understandable. 🙂
Either way, I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’m working hard on the 4th book at present. Also, have books 4 & 5 of the Street Rats of Aramoor coming out this first quarter of 2022.
All the best,
I just finished The Four-part Key… I love these books and the characters! When is the 5th book of the Aldoran Chronicles coming out? I’ve read the first book of Street Rats already and need to read the rest.
I’m working on the 4th book in the Aldoran Chronicles at present. No official date set for it as I’m still in the drafting stages. I am also planning the release of books 4 & 5 in the Street Rats series in January and April. Just posted the new cover art for book 4 (Sandstorm) a few days ago (Dec 7th & 9th) on my facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/MichaelWisehart.author
Hey I was just wondering if you have any hard copies on Shackled? I have tried looking for it EVERYWHERE but it is only provided on audiobook, my friend LOVES your books but he can’t access online books, thank you so much for your help!
Yes, I do have the opening prequel (Shackled) in a print edition, as well as ebook and audio. The print edition I do not sell on Amazon, since it is a novella and I mainly use the digital version of the book as a free giveaway on my website. I sell the hardback version of the book as well as my other books in this series on my storefront – Aramoor Market. Here is the link to the books’ page on the store. https://store.michaelwisehart.com/product-category/books/
I also sell other In-World fantasy merchandise.
I hope this helps,
I absolutely love the Aldoran Chronicles! Please please PLEASE come out with the third book soon!
Glad to hear you are enjoying the books. Please don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon or Audible, whichever store you purchased from. Those reviews help greatly.
The third book “The Four-Part Key” is with my editors now. It’s going to be a big one. I’ve also just finished up the fourth in the Street Rats of Aramoor series and it is about to go into editing as well, while I prep for book #5 in that same series.
If you haven’t yet read the Aldoran prequel “Shackled” or at least the first book in the Street Rats series, you will want to before Book #3 in the Aldoran Chronicles drops later this year. Those story lines will be crucial beforehand.
All the best,
Noticed that you offer the first two books in Paperback “Signed”.
Do you also offer the 3rd book and the prequel in Paperback “Signed”?
I just went to the site, and you are correct, The Four-Part Key signed paperbacks aren’t showing. I’ll check with my merch partner to see where we are at with those. As far as Shackled goes, we don’t sell that book in paperback. I attempted to create a paperback of it, but the prequel book was simply to small for it to be viable, so I went with the hardback version, which gave it a thicker spine.
Thank you for the response.
I talked with my merch partner. Since The Four-Part Key paperback is new and on sale, he has it on the Christmas Sales page here: https://store.michaelwisehart.com/sale/
Oh so patiently waiting for your next book, After reading the White Tower and ripping through Shackled, the wait for Plague of Shadows was excruciating. I had to purposely limit my time on the Street Rats series but even so I continue to want more of your books, Thinking of getting the audio books as a “redo” while I wait for the next of the Aldoran Chronicles. Please keep us up to date on the new book, I can’t wait to get to it.
So glad you are enjoying the books. The best way to keep up with my latest work is to follow me on my Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/MichaelWisehart.author
You can also join the Wielder Council and get updates that way as well: https://michaelwisehart.com/join-the-wielder-council/
I’m working hard to get the next books in both series ready. My goal is between the fall of this year (2021) and the fall of next, to drop four books. Two from each series. Don’t know if I’ll be able to manage it, but I’m going to try.
This third book in the Aldoran Chronicles is going to be worth the wait!
Great series, since the passing of Terry Goodkind I had been looking for a new author and you have certainly filled that void. I read books 1 and 2 in a week and have just finished Bannished. I am looking forward to book 3 of the White Tower series and hoping there will be more to follow. Thanks
Thanks for reaching out. Glad to be able to fill that void from such a significant author as Terry Goodkind. We will truly miss his work.
Reading both books in a single week is quite the accomplishment. The Street Rats series will certainly need to be read before this 3rd book in the Aldoran Chronicles hits later this year. Also, you’ll want to make sure to have read the Aldoran Chronicles’ prequel: “Shackled.” It, along with the Street Rats will play a heavy role in the next couple of books, the characters and story lines coming to fruition in the Aldoran Chronicles.
The first draft of the 3rd book is complete at around 1,000 pages. Probably my favorite of the books so far. And yes, there will be plenty of more books to follow! 🙂
All the best,
I am eagerly looking forward to the 3 rd part of the Aldoran chronicles. You are one of the two of best authors on Amazon of fantasy genre. Not counting the old masters. Please release the book soon. An impatient fan.
That is quite the high praise. I’m glad to hear you are enjoying the story.
I’m certainly working to get the next one ready to release this year. I’m also working to get the next two Street Rats of Aramoor books written as well.
Stay Safe and God Bless,
Thanks for sharing this book for free. I’ve read all the books except for Shackled. Looking forward to your next Aldoran chronicles release! Keep up the great work. I haven’t read this much in years, but your books have kept me engaged and turning pages (and bought a kindle just to read them)!
Thanks for reaching out to let me know you are enjoying the books. Certainly make sure you read Shackled. It will play a heavy part in the upcoming Aldoran Chronicles’ book that I’m working on now. The first two books in the Streeet Rats of Aramoor series will also play a big role as some of the characters from both show up in this next book.
Don’t forget to leave reviews on the books on Amazon once you finish. They really do help.
Wow! You purchased a kindle just to read them…high praise indeed.
All the best,
When will the third book in the Aldoran Chronicles be published?
I can’t wait!
I don’t have a set date for publishing the third book. I can say that I do plan on it releasing in 2021.
At present, I’m working on the first draft and it just keeps growing and growing. At this point, it will definitely be over a 1,000 pages.
Stay safe and God bless,
That is fantastic news! I have very much enjoyed listening to Tim’s narration of your wonderful books. Will be starting your prequel shortly and wishing you all the best!
Tim does a fantastic job with my both my series, as they are set within the same world and share a lot of the same characters. I’m glad you are enjoying the story and finding it entertaining.
Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Years!
I just finished the 2nd and 3rd book of Aldoran Chronicles which made me sad because now I have to save enough money to buy shackled and the street Rats of Aramoor. I’m excited for the street rats of Aramoor books because Ayrion id my favorite. made me sad to see him lose his memory.
If you are reading the books via digital ebook, then you can download Shackled for free.
Glad you are enjoying the story so far, and yes, Street Rats is an exciting way to see a young Ayrion.
Stay safe and God bless,
I can’t remember the last time I found a book series/world that has encaptivated me like Aldor has! Flew through the 1st 2 Aldoran Chronicles books and just finished Shackled last night. Can’t wait for book 3! Luckily I still have Street Rats to consume, will be digging in this weekend. When is Netflix turning this into it’s next big series? 😀
I appreciate the shout-out. I’m glad you are finding the series so captivating…always good to hear.
You’ll enjoy reading through the Street Rats as it brings a lot of light on several of the characters you find in the Aldoran Chronicles.
As far as Netflix…that would be nice. However, I would want to wait until I had at least 5 books in the series out so I could make sure to stay ahead of any tv show or films.
If you haven’t already, don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon for the books, or if you listened on Audible. Those reviews really do help.
All the best,
Love the books from The Aldoran Chronicles was wondering when the third book will be coming out
So glad you are enjoying the story. Have you had a chance to read through the prequel series, Street Rats of Aramoor? If not, they will make for fun reading as you wait for the third book.
I don’t have any date set for the third book, “The Four Part Key,” only to say that it will be published sometime in 2021. I’m working on the first draft now, and it’s already almost as long as Plague of Shadows, and still has quite a ways left to go. I can say that at this moment it is sure to be the largest of the books to date. It is certainly going to be an exciting addition.
You are now on my author list for fantasy. There are some of the established biggies on that list.
I enjoyed The Aldoran Chronicles and I look forward to the next installments. I requested Shackled. In the meantime, I will read The Street Rats.
I just do not like the waiting.
Honored to make the list.
I hope you enjoy the Street Rats as much as the Aldoran Chronicles.
I’m working on the third installment in the Aldoran Chronicles at present, and the third installment for the Street Rats should release this July.
Don’t forget to leave reviews for the books on Amazon when you finish. The reviews are very important.
All the best,
Is there going to be a 4th Street Rats
There will eventually be a 4th, 5th, and 6th Street Rats. 🙂
i was just reading comments but also hoping to see this exact statement. i can’t even put my excitement into words.
Dear Michael, what wonderful books! Read both of the Street Rat books in 1.5 days. Now to the main series.
So glad to hear you enjoyed the Street Rats series. The third book in that series is complete. I had planned on releasing this month, but the virus has forced me to push that release until June. The audiobook will be released one month later in July. My plan is to have the Cover Reveal for the book next month.
At present, I’m working on the third book the Aldoran Chronicles series. It’s going to be exciting.
Don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon for the books you read. Those reviews are very important. -Thanks!
What is the proper chronological order to read these books? Thanks in advance
I have two series that I’m writing, both are written within the same world.
1. Street Rats of Aramoor
2. The Aldoran Chronicles
The Aldoran Chronicles is considered the master series. The Street Rats of Aramoor takes one of the main characters from the Aldoran Chronicles and goes back 20 years to their life as a teen, living on the streets of the capital city.
I wrote both series in a way that made it so they are completely stand alone. You can start with either series. Personally, I would recommend starting with the Aldoran Chronicles because it gives a macro view of the entire world and magic system.
Let me know if that answered your question.
So then should I read shackled before white tower? And thank you for the reply!
It’s not necessary, but I would suggest reading Shackled first.
I actually wrote Shackled after writing the first two books, but it does have some important information that might be needed, or at least helpful, by the second book. Definitely will need to read it before I get this third book finished, which is what I’m working on now. 🙂
I finished both Street books and was thrilled with both. I was able to download and print out Shackled and finished it yesterday. You still amaze me with your writing, Looking forward to vol. 3 of both series.
Glad to hear you enjoyed the Street Rats series as well. Hoping to get the third in the Street Rats out soon, depending on when things start going back to normal.
Hey, I love your books and have listened to all of them on Audible.
So I was wondering when Shackled would be coming onto audible. If it isn’t going to then I would be happy to read it but I would prefer to listen.
Keep up the good work!
Because Shackled is a free giveaway prequel, I’ve never wanted to use it as a product for sell; however, my audio publisher is in discussion with me about sticking it up on Audible as a very cheap giveaway.
That choice will stem on whether or not my audio publisher is willing to sink the money into creating it.
I will keep everyone informed.
Best way to keep up with the latest info is to follow my Facebook page by hitting the “like” button. https://www.facebook.com/MichaelWisehart.author/
All the best,
I am a very picky reader, and there are few authors that meet my standards. However I am pleased to say that your books do. I have thoroughly enjoyed all the ones I have read, and look forward to your future ones.
Thanks for reaching out. Glad to hear that I’ve managed to meet your standards, and hope I can continue to do so for a long time to come.
If you haven’t done so already, don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon or Audible, whichever you use.
All the best,
This is great addity, o just wish I could have read this before I read THE WHITE TOWER. It gives a good introduction and back story for one of the characters.
Great books, I can’t wait until you release the next book.
Glad to hear you are enjoying the books. The sequel to The White Tower is coming soon. Pre-orders will be up September 2nd and the official release will be October 1st.
Until then, if you haven’t started on them yet, make sure to grab the Street Rats of Aramoor series to read about Ayrion’s backstory.