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Weekend Writing Warriors: An Excerpt from PATH OF BONES

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors!

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


This week we’ll continue with Book 2 in the Trilogy, Path of Bones.  Minor spoilers ahead.


Path of Bones by Steven Montano

Azander Dane, exiled Dawn Knight and mercenary warriors, is still on Ijanna’s trail, though his motives for locating her have changed drastically.  Unfortunately, due to her unique magical abilities Ijanna can be a very difficult individual to find, so Dane and his giant companion, Kruje, are forced to take a detour into the deadly criminal-controlled city of Kaldrak Iyres, where he hopes to find someone who can aid him in his search.  This scene is from where he and Kruje sail into the remote city, which lies at the end of the only major river leading into the wastes called the Bonelands.


Kaldrak Iyres’ water channels had been designed to discourage attacks originating from the lake, and they spread under the city like a spider’s web. Most of the tunnels were wide enough to accommodate sailing vessels and small warships, but their confusing layout made direct access to the docks all but impossible, and it required patience and careful navigation to avoid colliding with the curved walls lined with murder holes, siege weapons and Veilcrafted traps capable of turning even a stout frigate into a flaming husk by the time it reached any place it could do significant damage.

Dane piloted their ship through the twisted tunnels. Lit braziers set in alcoves in the sandstone walls cast blazing illumination, and only the steady flow of wind kept the tunnels from clogging up with dark smoke. The waterways were busy, and it took careful piloting to avoid the other ships coming and going from the docks: sleek Raithian vessels with dark furled sails and black-clad pirates wearing facial chains and scimitars; stout Blackmoon warships, iron-clad boats churning flames from their Veilcrafted engines whose painted crews and well-paid war mages constantly watched for signs of trouble; sinuous schooners out of the Scorpion Isles, fast ships curved like daggers and manned by veiled women with filed teeth and eunuch weapons masters. All of those crafts were loaded down with contraband and illegal goods, everything from narcotics and stolen steel to whores and slaves. Money flowed in and of Kaldrak Iyres day and night, as the city was a major staging point for dark trade to the west and south, and in many ways it was considered the base of power for the dreaded Phage.

Platinum-scaled fish populated the waters; Dane recalled that it was considered good luck to consume them, and small fishing boats weaved in and out of the traffic both on the Lake and in the tunnels as they tried to pull in a catch.


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. burnsmillie

    I could picture all the hustle and bustle of the various boats and their crews…what a scary place to be, I’m hoping those descriptions don’t follow me into my dreams…should’ve saved reading this snippet for the light of day.

    • Steven

      Thanks, Millie — hope you don’t have too many nightmares! =D

  2. Christina Ochs

    You create and portray this dark, dark world so vividly. I’m about halfway through City of Scars and am very happy to see that Dane and Kruje, as well as Ijanna and Kath are still alive and adventuring. The body count was starting to worry me! 🙂

    • Steven

      Thanks Christina! Yeah, I’m spoiling a bit, but it’s the journey that counts, right? ;D

  3. Cara Bristol

    As usual, you paint quite a picture. Do you “see” all this in your mind? I mean, do you have like a movie reeling through your head and write what you see? Or do you strictly build with words?

    I am also impressed at the length of your sentences. You’ve packed a lot in eight lines.

    • Steven

      Thanks! I do tend to think in very visual terms, and that helps a lot with scene building. ;D

      And I love my long sentences. LOL

  4. veronicascott

    Wow, it only gets MORE amazing. i’m in awe of the picture you painted of the water channels and everything that goes on there. Wonderful excerpt!

    • Steven

      Thanks Veronica!

  5. Eleri Stone

    Great sense of place in this snippet. I can see it.

  6. catherinewinther

    I really am in awe of your world building abilities. You capture the visuals of this new world brilliantly.


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