The Sapphire Crucible ~ The Sapphire Chronicles book 2


I’m pleased to be able to share the cover for Rival Gates’ new book, The Sapphire Crucible, which is due for release on April 10th.



CrossCaptured! In ”Sapphire Crucible” (Book 2 of the Sapphire Chronicles) Linvin Grithinshield and his party find themselves prisoners of the maniacal Lord Mandrean and his Necromancer. The Emperor has a surprise for Linvin. He knows where the Red Sapphire is but in order to attain it he needs Linvin’s help. With his family as hostages Linvin has no choice but to help. Now they must find a way to escape, find the Red Sapphire and make it home alive. Along the way they must fight ever-growing odds of survival.

Exclusive excerpt from The Sapphire Crucible

The garrison consisted only of human cavalry with no goblin infantry. They wore uniforms and armor identical to the Captain at the head of the prison convoy. The guards near the barracks saluted him as he passed on his way to the castle gate. The gesture consisted of flexing their right arm out with a fist at its end, then thumping it over their hearts and holding the pose. The Captain gave a similar response.
Linvin pressed his luck and whispered to the goblin at the rear of their group. “Who are they?”
In spite of the warnings and punishments, the goblin looked carefully about for anyone paying attention. When he determined no one was watching him, he responded. “They are the sickles to the wheat. They are the cleavers to the meat. They are the wolves that drive our feet. Those men are the Elite Mandrean Imperial Guard. They are the finest fighting force in the world. No cavalry compares to the power and precision of those men.”
“They began years ago as a small unit assigned to personally protect Lord Mandrean. They were bodyguards. Over the years they grew into the most devastating force in the army. In many battles larger forces turned and ran at the mere sight of their polished shields in the distance.
They are unflinching butchers on a scale that dwarfs even my murderous brethren. Entire villages will be burned without a soul left alive if the slightest resistance is shown. Their atrocities are an equal match for their skill. My people know that well.
Their greatest weapon is intimidation. They give no quarter and have no signal for retreat. Crimes they commit are absolved. Their loyalty to the Emperor is total. It is by their hand that He rules all. They will give their lives for him. Every man fears them. Every goblin resents them. They are the slave drivers. Their cruelty nearly equals the starvation we faced in the Goblin Nations. Their day will come.”
“Your people have shown themselves to be no different in my experience,” Linvin countered. “You are receiving the treatment you have given over the centuries. I have seen my share of burnt villages over the years with Goblin blades lodged in blackened corpses.”
“We kill for what is rightfully ours,” the goblin growled. “They kill for sport.”
“I suppose you have taken no pleasure in your murders?” Linvin asked.
“Those we kill deserve death. This world should be ours. It will be ours when all of you wretched beings are dealt with and we reclaim our birthright.”
“If it is pity you sought from me, you will be disappointed,” Linvin corrected. “You and the Mandrean Imperial Guard are merely two sides of the same coin. Call it what you will. If your positions were reversed the treatment would be no different. For once, you serve those who mistreat you. What irony that you feel the brand from the same boot you wear.”
The soldier was infuriated by the remark and impulsively attempted to act on his feelings. As the goblin reached for his weapon, a high-pitched whine proceeded a swift sword stroke through his neck. The head fell to the ground as the Captain returned his long sword to its scabbard.


Comments about Book 1, Quest for the Red Sapphire

“Quest for the Red Sapphire is an engaging adventure that instantly pulls the reader into a unique world alive with its struggles, wars, and varied social strata” Helen Alexander ~ Goodreads

“Nicely written. Great plot. The details are quite thorough.” Tumbleweed ~

The story was mind-gripping for sure. It’s action-packed and full of surprises that keeps the readers on edge.”  Nicole ~ Goodreads

“This book was one of the best fantasy stories I’ve read in years.”  J Streff ~

Author Interview ~ Rival Gates


Today’s guest is Rival Gates talking about his novel Quest for the Red Sapphire.

Rival was born in Port Huron, MI and was the youngest of four surviving children. At the age of five his father took a position as a magazine editor in Toronto, Ontario Canada. The family moved to a large city just outside Toronto called Mississauga. The different cultures and demographics to which he was exposed formed many of the ideas for his story.

Welcome, Rival. Can you tell us a little about the story?

Former General Linvin Grithinshield is summoned home from the Goblin Wars after his father’s disappearance to run the family trading empire. Soon his mother is murdered and he is on the run with a price on his head. As a faceless enemy pursues him he must seek out the mythical Red Sapphire. In the proper hands it could take up the cause of many unable to fight for themselves.  In the wrong hands he fears the worst.  Together with his wise uncle and intolerable cousins, Linvin strikes out to find the all-powerful gem.  In a world with enemies from without and within, he must fight his way through the dragons in the sky and cutthroats all around to fulfill his destiny or die in the attempt.

What was the greatest challenge when writing the book?

The greatest challenge was deciding it was finished.  I must have gone through and made changes one hundred times.  At a certain point, you have to stop writing and say, “I am satisfied with my work.”  That is a very hard thing to do.

When and why did you decide writing was for you?

It really started in middle school.  I loved to enter writing contests and excelled in creative writing.  When there would be a school play the teachers would always come to me to help with the script.  It was a real thrill.

What gave you the idea for the book?

I came up with a short story with a magical stone.  My sister told me a red sapphire was really a ruby and I liked the irony. So I began the story and kept adding to it until it was a novel.

Who is your favourite character and why?

Oddly enough, I would have to say my favorite character is Bander Greenlith.  He is one of Linvin’s fraternal twin cousins and begins the book as an antagonist to Linvin.  Later it becomes apparent that Bander is a pawn in his brother’s plans and is actually a very simple-minded, heart-felt young elf.  He cares about family, telling the truth (as well as he can understand it) and above all else, eating.  Bander always is thinking with his stomach.  He is not overly clever but he does know right from wrong.  As the book develops, he begins to see through the web of lies his brother has spun around him for years.  Overall, Bander is a loveable, big, strong teddy bear who provides some of the best comic relief in the story.

How did Linvin Grinthinsheild emerge

Linvin has the good fortune to be trained by the greatest military mind in their world.  Linvin has a real problem.  He is Commander of Valia’s armies but they are pitifully small in number in comparison to the Goblin hoards.  He must rely on the superior training of his troops and military tactics to outsmart the Goblin War Chief.  As if being outnumbered is not enough of a handicap, Linvin knows that the war will likely leave his force shattered and unable to fight again for some time.  The result is that he must come up with battle plans to not only win but annihilate the Goblin Armies so they cannot threaten Valia for years.  He has brilliant strategies which took me a long time to research and create.  At the end of the day, Linvin is battered and his army is almost nonexistent, but the Goblins are wiped out and will not challenge Valia for a good while.

Any tips for aspiring authors?

Never ever give up.  When you decide your work is ready, stand by your conviction.  Not everyone will like your work.  It is a fact.  That doesn’t mean someone else won’t find it wonderful.  You only fail when you give up. 


Synopsis from Amazon

Former General Linvin Grithinshield returns home to find his parents murdered and a price on his head. Through his wise Uncle Anvar he discovers his destiny is to find and master the legendary Red Sapphire. In his flight from danger and ensuing quest he must fight man-eating wolves, goblins, bandits, a dragon and worse of all, his cousins. Will he find the gem before the murderers do? Will he prove worthy of the gem at all? Can one half-elf truly make a difference for many?

Thanks Rival!