The Jester. Recently, the rights reverted to me so I've put them out as an ebook.
NOTE: This short was also released as a free audio book narrated by the always exceptional Tim Gerard Reynolds. If you've not hear Tim voice Royce and Hadrian, do yourself a favor and pick up this freebie.
I give this short away for free for anyone who asks, but I wanted to get it in the hands of more people so I've put it up on Amazon as well. The lowest price I can set a book on Amazon is $0.99 - so that is what it is priced at, but I do get 5 days out of 90 to make it free so the first two days are happening now.
If you are on a non-Amazon platform, I'll be happy to send you a copy in whatever format you need (.epub, .pdf, .lrf, etc). Just send me an email with Jester as subject. Be sure and let me know what file format(s) you prefer and I'll get one sent over to you.
One thing to note...if you are currently trying out Amazon's Kindle Unlimited, then please use the "Read for Free" rather than the "Buy with One Click" button. It costs you nothing, but will provide me with about $2 (if past lending library share holds true). I won't get credit unless you get at least 10% through, but it is short so that should be easy to do.
For those that are familiar with my other short story, The Viscount and the Witch, I wrote that one like the start of a novel, and in fact it later made it's way into The Rose and the Thorn. For The Jester, I did just the opposite. I wrote the short to show just the end of a book...I make references to "things that happened before" but as short stories need to be, well short, I'm only giving you the conclusion...and starting you out by quite literally dropping you into the action. Here is how the story starts out:
Hadrian discovered the most fascinating thing about plummeting in total darkness wasn’t the odd sense of euphoria from the free fall or the abject terror from anticipating sudden death but that he had the time to contemplate both.
The drop was that far.
I loved the way that starts out, I hope you do too. As for what the story is about, here is the "back of the book blurb":
WHO WILL HAVE THE LAST LAUGH?
Stop me if you’ve heard this one. A thief, a candlemaker, an ex-mercenary, and a pig farmer walk into a trap…and what happens to them is no joke. When Riyria is hired to retrieve a jester’s treasure, Royce and Hadrian must match wits with a dwarf who proves to be anything but a fool. Difficult choices will need to be made, and in the end those who laugh last do so because they are the only ones to survive.
This is a standalone short story of 7,200 words. No prior knowledge of The Riyria Revelations or The Riyria Chronicles is required to enjoy it to its fullest, making this a perfect introduction for new readers or a chance for Riyria veterans to spend a little more time with old friends. The Jester is a story of adventure, bonds of friendship, and a recognition that the choices we make dictates the future we find.
If you haven't read The Jester. yet, now is a great time to pick it up. And if you have a friend or loved one who you've been wanting to introduce to Royce and Hadrian, please let them know as well.