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Weekend Writing Warriors: An Excerpt from CITY OF SCARS

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors!

Click on the image below to check out all the authors participating this week!


We’ll continue this week with another excerpt from City of Scars, Book 1 of The Skullborn Trilogy.  Minor spoilers ahead.


The hunt for Ijanna Taivorkan leads Dane to a secret underground city called Black Sun, once a fortified outpost controlled by the dark giants called the Voss, which soon becomes the site of a small-scale war between the powerful crime factions in the city.  Dane has the misfortune to find himself there when the forces of one such guild, the Phage, march their formidable troops into Black Sun in preparation for the conflict.


Enormous blue fires and massive stone pillars filled the gargantuan chamber on the other side of the crumbling wall, and the floor was white with frost.  Dozens of Phage mercenaries in flowing crimson cloaks and cloth masks marched across the floor; each wielded a wickedly serrated scimitar or short sword, and many had bows strung across their backs.

Dane’s heart jumped into his chest.  At the head of the cloaked army were three monstrous metallic balls which hissed with magic and rolled across the floor with tremendous force.  The black iron spheres were twice as tall as a man and caused such vibration it seemed the ceiling would come crashing down.  Each sphere’s face was covered with thousands of intricate glyphs interspersed with smaller iron plates Dane knew were capable of emitting vicious substances like acid sprays, gouts of flame and deadly razor projectiles.

The vehicles rolled slow and ground up the stone and ice in their path.  Each Iron Egg was a terrible marvel of Vossian war engineering, manned by a single pilot and capable of cutting a small legion to pieces.


Thanks for stopping by, and have a great weekend!




It’s been three decades since the Blood Queen led her legions on a brutal campaign of conquest and destruction, and the Empires are still struggling to rebuild. Now, in the distant aftermath of the war, the real battle is about to begin.

Haunted by the crimes of his past, fallen knight Azander Dane ekes out a mercenary existence as he drifts from one city to the next. His latest job is to hunt down Ijanna Taivorkan, a powerful outlaw witch desperate to escape her destiny.

Dane and Ijanna find themselves in Ebonmark, the City of Scars, where deadly crime guilds and shadowy agents of the White Dragon Empire prepare for a brutal confrontation. Pursued by apocalypse cults, mad alchemists, exiled giants and werewolf gangs, Dane and Ijanna soon learn a deadly lesson – in Ebonmark, only the cruelest and most cunning can survive.


Path of Bones by Steven Montano

Hunted by Empires and crime lords alike, Ijanna Taivorkan and the young warrior Kath Cardrezhej make their way north through the dire Bonelands, a twisted wastelands populated by unnatural terrors. Hoping to find the answers to her dark destiny and driven by a need to escape her fate, Ijanna won’t rest until she locates the last of the Skullborn.

Azander Dane, fallen Dawn Knight, pursues Ijanna to help her as a way of making amends for the crimes of his past. Aided by an exiled giant and gripped by a magical disease that is slowly driving him mad, Dane must brave the dangers of the Phage-controlled city of Kaldrak Iyres in order to reach the Dream Witch in time.

Beset at every turn by evil magic, powerful assassins and dark revelations, Dane and Ijanna will ultimately find themselves in the ruined city of Corinth, where ancient artifacts may hold the key to the world’s salvation…or its untimely doom.


Deep in the Bonelands, rival crime guilds and renegade Bloodspeakers battle for the ruined city of Corinth. At the heart of the doomed metropolis lies a portal to Chul Gaerog, once the Blood Queen’s dark fortress, now a reliquary for her vast power. Human armies clash with the monstrous legions of the black giant Ghul for control of Malzaria’s fate, while the dreaded Iron Count and his frightful allies manipulate events from the shadows.

And in the heart of the black tower, the dream witch Ijanna Taivorkan comes face-to-face with the dark angel Calladar, once the Blood Queen’s champion, now master of the citadel. Only the fallen knight Azander Dane, desperate to make amends for his crimes, can help Ijanna endure her trials…but first he must face the wrath of a merciless squad of Jlantrian hunters sent to destroy the woman he’s sworn to protect.

Coming November 13th!


  1. Teresa Cypher (@Teresa_Cypher)

    Wow! And I have to wonder about your imagination. The giant spheres are pure evil war machinery! Your descriptive skills are simply incredible, Steven. 🙂

  2. veronicascott

    I LOVE the Iron Eggs, wow, what a weapon! and I liked the splashes of color in the early part of the snippet. your writing is always so vivid and intense!

  3. Botanist

    Love those Iron Eggs, great descriptions, you convey the crushing weight of them so well.

  4. Cara Bristol

    What an imagination you have. Very movie like.

  5. Steven

    Thanks everybody! =D

  6. burnsmillie

    My goodness, you have me shivering in my boots. You ramp up the tension with delicious abandon!


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