Bannister’s Muster

Book Four

Dominoes

A young ruler under attack. His subjects in peril. Can one boy break the enchanted chain and thwart his enemy?

Fourteen-year-old Nathan Bannister hoped his family’s new royal rule would bring peace to the magical kingdom of Lashtang, but they’re not there yet. Instead, he must frantically rescue his people after a devastating attack from monstrous wizards. At last he discovers the magical chain that will bring the rest of his people back, he knows their only chance lies in cutting it.  

Desperately organizing his defense before his enemy becomes too powerful, another adventure through time throws a wrench in his plans. Between a trip back to medieval London, his sister getting thrown in jail, and an unexpected pirate attack, his chances of success grow slimmer by the minute…

Can Nathan cut the Eternal Chain, or will his kingdom stay with the forces of evil?

Dominoes is the fourth book in the Bannister’s Muster middle-grade fantasy series. If you and your child like swashbuckling adventures, imaginative magical worlds, and battling evil enemies, then you’ll love Barbara Gaskell Denvil’s thrilling novel.

Buy Dominoes to knock down the dark enemy’s magical plans today!

A short excerpt from Chapter One

Sitting with John Ten-Toes at his desk, Nathan was trying to read an old document concerning the identity of Yaark, describing where the thing had come from, and what it could do. But the strange noises and the sudden darkness made him look up. He peered from the window, saw the threatening smokiness, and stood up in a hurry, dropping the rolled up paper he had been studying.  When the roof above him crashed in, Nathan knew it was worse than just a storm blowing off a badly made roof.  The whole city of Peganda was collapsing. Yaark had promised utter destruction, but no one had seen Yaark for many months, and had almost forgotten his threat. But now it was happening. Nathan and John rushed from the building. There was no longer any need for secrecy or a password, for the doors had cracked and crashed inwards, and the floors of the building were tumbling one on top of the other.

Barely escaping outside, Nathan and John stared at each other, and examined their scratches, cuts and bruises. Luckily, they had suffered no terrible injuries, but clearly, as the city fell, others would be badly hurt.

Everywhere he looked, buildings began to tumble into broken pieces, and then all the walls and roofs came smashing down. One house falling would knock down the one next to it and soon the entire road would look like crumbling splinters, crooked metal and cascading tiles. The noise was crazy, like thunder, gales, tidal storms and fireworks all together.

People, terrified, came running from their homes, many clutching their most precious possessions, others holding their crying children, some hugging their pets. But it was hard to know where to run to, for the houses, one after the other, came rocketing down in different directions, and soon the whole city of Peganda was in ruins. Folk were screaming or sobbing piteously, animals were racing helter-skelter, in panic, and shops, their merchandise in ruins, lay in splinters and shards of glass.

Nathan stared. He did not know where to run to, and turned around repeatedly, desperate both for escape, and to help everyone.

“I’m the empole,” he muttered to himself. “I have to save my people. The poor things are losing everything that matters to them, and everything they’ve worked so hard for over the years.”

“They’re losing their lives too,” someone yelled in his ear, and Nathan looked around to see John Ten-Toes beside him, holding a sword in one hand and a broom in the other. “Come on, Nat. We gotta help ‘em.”

Both boys ran to the corner of the narrow road, where Nathan stood on some fallen debris, and shouted as loud as he could. “Come on everybody. The city’s falling. We have to leave. Out by the north gate, quick, follow me.”

He waved his arms in the air and people began to notice him and started to run in his direction. “Right,” called John. “This is Nat, the empole. Follow him to the north gate.”

Peganda City was enclosed by a circular stone wall and there were huge gates in each side, north, south, east and west. The northern gate was open for travellers, and that was where none of the houses had yet started to collapse. Nathan hurried towards it, and people now followed in a pushing, frightened crowd. Through the wider roads, the narrower streets and the tiny alleys they ran, and reached the north gate just as the buildings around them started to crash and crumble, shaking all along the northern roads.

As everyone streamed through the gateway and out into the fields and open country slopes, behind them the noise grew even louder. Just like dominoes, the houses were splitting and then breaking against those next to them, which started to tumble as well. Soon not one building, however large or however small, would be left standing in the city.

Nathan ran up to the top of a slope and gazed down on the huge crowd of people surrounding him. Most were crying, children were screaming, and dogs were barking madly. The complete destruction of Peganda could be heard roaring and rolling behind them.

“We’re safe here,” yelled Nathan. “If you’ve got friends or relatives living in villages nearby, then go to them. The rest should camp here, and when this chaos has stopped, and everything is quiet, then we can go back in and look for possessions amongst the rubble. No looting, please, we are better people than that.”

“And when Nat’s the new prince, I means empole,” shouted John over the tumult, “he’ll make new houses. Won’t you, mate?”

“Yes,” Nathan shouted back. “We must unite against Yaark and the wizards.”

“Yeh,” the crowd shouted, thumping their fists into the air. “Death to the wizards.”

Secretly Nathan thought once Yaark was gone, the wizards wouldn’t seem so bad, but he said nothing, just turned to John with a smile. “When it looks safe in there,” he said, “I want to go back into the city and look for people trapped or hurt.”

“Reckon I’ll come wiv ya,” John nodded. “But then we gotta find Yaark.”

 “I wish my parents were here,” Nathan mumbled to John. “They’d know what to say so much better than I do.”

John stared, his eyes bright as though he was almost crying too. “Say wot you feels,” he answered. “These ain’t idiots, nor is most of ‘em on the wizard’s side. So tell ‘em good and get them to follow the Octobrs and the Bannisters. That’s wot we’s here for.”

And Nathan nodded, suddenly smiling. He knew exactly what he had to say, and he stood tall.