In the tone of The Hobbit, comes the first thrilling story in an epic fantasy adventure, from a major new voice.
Fourteen-year-old Oland Born lives in dark times, in a world ruled by evil tyrant, Vilius Ren. Vilius and his fearsome, bloodthirsty army have wrecked the prosperous kingdom of Decresian, once ruled by good King Micah. Oland himself has been kept as Vilius's servant in grim Castle Derrington, and he knows little about his past - or why Vilius keeps such a sharp, close eye on him.
One night, Oland finds a letter addressed to him, from the long-dead king. No sooner has he read the message than a mysterious stranger tries to kidnap him. Oland runs, the dead king's warning ringing in his ears.
If Oland is to live he must restore the shattered kingdom. This is his quest. This is his curse. Let the trials of Oland Born begin. . .
The setting is a hugely atmospheric fantasy world of medieval castles, Romanesque games arenas, supernatural forests and harsh seas. Terrifying hybrid creatures and monsters abound - and Oland's greatest ally is a girl called Delphi who has dark secrets of her own.
Alex Barclay has been living with the world of Oland Born inside her head for years; a world of adventure, mysterious prophecies, secret identities, fantastical creatures and great heroes who are tested to their limits.
Alex Barclay is the award-winning author of five crime novels for adults.
Curse of Kings is her first novel for children, and the first in The Trials of Oland Born series.