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Dark Age Trilogy #1

The Bones of the Earth

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The Dark Age, eastern Europe: the earth has decided to rid itself of humanity with earthquakes, volcanoes and new plagues. Civilizations, even the mighty Roman Empire, crumble under the pressure of barbarian waves that are fleeing worse terrors.

Rejected by his own people, pursued by a dragon, young Javor heads for Constantinople, the centre of civilization, looking for answers to the puzzle of his great-grandfather's dagger and the murder of his family.

On the ancient, crumbling Roman highway across haunted, deserted Dacia, Javor rescues the beautiful Danisa from a human sacrifice. He cannot help falling in love with her. But Danisa has her own plans, and when she is kidnapped again, Javor has to wonder: what is the connection between his dagger, his lover and his enemies?

448 pages, Kindle Edition

First published November 19, 2011

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About the author

Scott Bury

31 books115 followers
Scott Bury can't stay in one category.

After a 20-year career in journalism, he turned to writing fiction. "Sam, the Strawb Part," a children's story, came out in 2011, with all the proceeds going to an autism charity. Next was a paranormal short story for grown-ups, "Dark Clouds."

The Bones of the Earth, a historical fantasy, came out in 2012. It was followed in 2013 with One Shade of Red, an erotic romance.

The Eastern Front trilogy tells the true story of Maurice Bury, a Canadian drafted into the USSR’s Red Army to face the German invasion of the Soviet Union. Army of Worn Soles, the first volume, was published in 2014, followed by Under the Nazi Heel in 2016 and Walking Out of War in 2017.

Scott Bury has been invited to contribute to three Kindle Worlds. For the Jet Kindle World, based on a character created by bestseller Russell Blake, he published Jet – Stealth: A Jet Kindle World Novella in July 2015.

The same week, he published Torn Roots: A Lei Crime Kindle World Novella featuring characters created by bestselling Hawaii crime author Toby Neal. He has since published three more Lei Crime Kindle World books: Palm Trees & Snowflakes (December 2015), Dead Man Lying (2016) and Echoes (2017).

Emily Kimelman, author of the Sydney Rye series, invited Scott to contribute to the Sydney Rye Kindle World. His answer was The Wife Line in 2016, and The Three-Way in 2017.

In between writing books and blog posts, Scott helped found an author's cooperative publishing venture, Independent Authors International. He is also President of author's professional association BestSelling Reads.

He lives in Ottawa with his two mighty sons, two pesky cats and a very understanding wife.

You can find more about Scott Bury, and contact him through his website, http://www.writtenword.ca, his blog, Written Words, and on Twitter @ScottTheWriter.

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5 stars
41 (33%)
4 stars
28 (22%)
3 stars
27 (22%)
2 stars
13 (10%)
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Displaying 1 - 29 of 29 reviews
Profile Image for Elise Stokes.
Author 6 books1,241 followers
June 22, 2014
(Not suitable for readers under 18)

I don’t usually read fantasy, but after this novel it’s a genre I’ll explore more. Scott Bury is a talented storyteller and had clearly done his homework before launching into this one. His writing is solid and vivid. I had no problem picturing setting, mythical creatures, brutal battle scenes, and feeling the emotional turmoil warrior Javor experienced with the loss of his family, betrayal, and other challenges he faced on his quest. Javor is a brilliant character, brave, fierce, loyal, compassionate, and autistic. Yes, the hero is Asperger’s. I confirmed this with Bury (@ScottTheWriter) on Twitter. I applaud how thoughtfully and subtly he “shows “ Javor’s disability. The clues are in how other characters react to Javor and how their reactions dumbfound him. However, this story isn’t about Javor overcoming his disability. He is simply who he is: wonderful and heroic.

I have one caution, which I only give because I have seen this novel labeled as Young Adult. It contains explicit sexual content that makes it unsuitable for younger readers, in my opinion. So don’t make presumptions based on Javor’s age. The Bones Of The Earth is not written for someone his age. It’s intended for an adult audience, which I highly recommend it to.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention my favorite scene, which is probably the most epic action scene I have ever read: a battle with a dragon. Talk about vivid! This is a scene that I hope one day to watch wide-eyed on “the big screen” while absently shoveling popcorn into my mouth. Bury sure knows how to choreograph and describe a fight.
Profile Image for Cinta.
Author 92 books98 followers
October 2, 2012
I have absolutely loved this book and I was very sad when I reached the ending. Javor, the main protagonist, is a very special character and it is amazing to see the story and events develop through his eyes. Great book for lovers of both fantasy and historical fiction.
When the village where Javor lives gets attacked by a hideous creature, Javor's life will change dramatically. Join him in his way to Constantinople, a trip that will be full of dangers, finding enemies, dragons, and other creatures. Little by little, he will learn more about why the events happening are happening like that. People think that Javor is weird, but while you read, you discover why he is so special, and that was something that I loved about this book. It is sweet, it is innocent, and it is completely honest. One of my favourite characters from now on.
I highly recommend this book.
The only bad thing I found, and that's why I removed one star, is that there are many typos and some missing words. It doesn't make the reading difficult, but it can be a bit annoying.
Profile Image for Roger Eschbacher.
Author 10 books130 followers
November 25, 2011
When his people are attacked -- first by vicious horsemen, then by an unspeakable horror from the depths of a dark pit -- village outcast Javor finds abilities stirring within that hint he might not be destined for the life of a simple farmer.

Armed with his great-grandfather's special dagger, Javor first sets out to rescue two village girls, then to seek revenge for his parents deaths -- the very beginning of an epic quest where nothing less than the fate of the human race is at stake.

Author Scott Bury demonstrates his considerable writing skills by masterfully weaving a story that, at times, has you holding your breath as you wonder what's coming next. Especially enjoyable is how he plays out Javor's gradual realization of what his true destiny might be. Part one of "The Bones of the Earth" series, I'm definitely looking forward to the next installment. Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Frederick Brooke.
Author 10 books429 followers
July 13, 2013
I love books that take me to another place and time. I devoured “The Mammoth Hunters” by Jean Auel, and when I started reading “Bones of the Earth” by Scott Bury I suddenly, happily found myself back in a world long before modern times, when the tools were rudimentary, and people lived in a close and intense and often dangerous relationship to the Earth. Set in the 6th century C.E., “Bones” is the story of a young warrior, Javor, living in the Carpathian Mountains, round about where Ukraine, Romania and Hungary share borders.

The hard-scrabble existence of these people is described in exquisite detail, their huts, their food, their weapons, their superstitions. The book begins with a fertility ceremony in which the young (fertile) members of the tribe are brought together to get going on the mating process. But in this book, scenes of haunting beauty are quickly replaced by violent pillaging at the hands of brutal raiders. The raiders lash out and kill indiscriminately, and take two of the young women with them. Javor and his friend set out to try and rescue the women. Their triumphant return from this impossible mission hints at Javor’s magnificent potential, as well as the supernatural danger that lurks in the deep forest, and foreshadows some of the themes of the book.

Rather than take you through the many twists and turns of the plot of “Bones” I would like to simply tell you what is magical about this book. Javor is an immensely likeable hero, flawed, unique, strong, courageous. Photius the mystic, an older man, Javor’s mentor, is a fascinating character study and full of surprises himself. Danisa, the young woman they rescue along their travels in dangerous, dragon-infested parts, provides a female foil to keep Javor in a perpetual state of longing and existential confusion. The dynamics between these three main characters are constantly shifting, and perfectly intertwined with developments in the plot. The characters are three-dimensional, and sparks fly in their dialogue.

Another strength of the book lies in the monsters. The dragons play a key role on “Bones,” but these dragons were continually surprising me. Anyone who loved “Eragon” and the two sequels will revel in the discovery of the lesser known “Bones of the Earth,” which is a superior read. And there are other monsters, here, many other monsters ... truly those were dangerous times Javor lived in.

All the way through the book, unexpected things kept happening, and by the conclusion of it I was so immersed in Javor’s world, I almost couldn’t stand for it to end. The perfect summer reading escape, whether for adults or teens, a richly drawn portrait of 6th century customs and traditions, a rip-roaring series of attacks and carnage and brutality, tasteful yet bone-cracking real, “Bones of the Earth” is a unique sensation. I urge the author to finish the sequel. This story MUST go on. I believe it was foretold ...
Profile Image for Will Granger.
Author 8 books14 followers
April 6, 2012
The Bones of the Earth, Part 1: Initiation Rites is the first novel by author Scott Bury. I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to much more from him. I liked this coming-of-age epic filled with believable characters and situations, tense action, and mystical, magical elements. This is the story of Javor, a young man unknowingly destined to defend the world against evil forces pouring out of the east.

The story begins with a fertility ritual led by Vorona, the village witch and performed by the adolescent members of the village. Bury deftly accomplishes several things in this scene. First, he introduces the characters as typical young people, a bit confused about life, but eager to become adults. It also shows Javor to be naive, which makes his later ascendance even more appealing, as the reader sees how much he grows during the story.

Unaware of his destiny as a conqueror of evil, Javor gets his first taste of combat when Elli is captured by Avars, a pack of savage horsemen. He rescues her, exhibiting a both natural talent for fighting and an unshakable courage in the face of extreme danger. Javor returns a hero, and his life changes when he meets Photius, who convinces Javor to join him on a quest to drive evil from the lands.

The rest of the story is filled with intense action as Javor and Photius encounter a variety of monsters and creatures; each time Javor learns a bit more of just how powerful and capable he is. Eventually, Photius admits that he is part of a secretive group of warriors and that he believes Javor to be destined to join the group and lead the defeat of evil forces coming out of the east.

Bury does a great job here, combining violent, exciting action, with Javor's reluctance to accept his new role. Javor is a realistic young man, pulled in different directions by confusion about what he ought to do with his life. Still, and perhaps despite Javor's reluctance, we see him growing in power and confidence, and he eventually starts to accept, and thrive in, his new role.

The violence, combined with several scenes in which Javor is intimate with female characters, makes this more suited for older teens. The novel also contains many characters, which help give it a foreign feel. This makes it initially difficult to keep track of them, but it becomes clear after a few chapters.

The real strength of The Bones of the Earth is that Bury has created a realistic character chosen by fate and destiny, who is able to fight magical, mystical forces with his very human strength, skill, and determination. I look forward to reading more of this series
Profile Image for Marilou George.
186 reviews53 followers
March 24, 2012
Scott Bury has defined this book as “Historical magic realism” and after reading The Bones Of The Earth (The Dark Age) I totally agree. This genre of book is quite a departure for me but I found this story to be amazingly detailed, thought provoking and captivating on many levels. It is very apparent that a tremendous amount of research went into the writing of this book and coupled with the amazing characters and plot twists I could not put this book down.

Javor has just turned 14 years of age when his story begins. His village is violently attacked by horsemen and then by a horrible monster that attacks and kills his parent. He avenges their deaths using the dagger passed on to him from his Great Grandfather and an amulet that he wears around his neck. Upon his return the leaders in his village ask him to leave to alleviate the threat to their people. Javor then begins his long, treacherous journey accompanied by Potius a Greek traveler who was visiting his village.

The descriptive writing of their journey coupled with the horrors that they encounter is portrayed in a vivid and expressive style. The landscapes and incredibly memorable depiction of the hardships and evil they encounter clearly reflect the tremendous writing in this book.

This story will keep you totally absorbed and the plot twists are never ending. I found the historical references familiar and the research involved in this book is undeniable. Scott Bury has managed to capture the quality of fantasy mixed with the historical reality of the times to present a truly remarkable and magical story. I highly recommend this book!
Profile Image for KD Rush.
15 reviews10 followers
January 3, 2012
Title: The Bones of the Earth, Book I
Author: Scott Bury
Publisher: The Written Word Communications Company
Format: Kindle Edition
Interest: Fantasy / Series
Rating 0-100: 93 (5 Stars)

With his debut novel, Scott Bury has firmly established his place in the fantasy genre. The plot is solid, the pace is quick, and the characters are well written. Typically I read two or three books at a time, jumping from one to the other between sittings. I was not able to do that with this one. My intention to read the first chapter or two failed miserably. Several hours later and I found myself half-way through the book.

When you follow the main character, Javor, you can expect excitement. What you can't expect are the plot twists. The most unforgivable sin in any form of storytelling is predictability. That is not an issue with this book. You never know what's around the next curve in the road, hidden in a dark cave, or even whom you can trust. Just when you think it's safe - WHAM!

The world that Bury writes about is familiar to anyone that is a student of history. He has researched the era for accuracy and deftly blends fantasy with reality. Before long, you begin to wonder if some of his fantastic creatures and characters really existed in our distant past. The story pulls you in, and the action pushes you from one page to the next. It's a heck of a good story, and I highly recommend it.

Profile Image for Haresh Daswani.
Author 1 book184 followers
May 2, 2012
It did take me time to get to reading this book due to pending work, and honestly, thanks to this book, my load of work has further increased.

The moment I have started reading this book, I found it almost impossible to put it down. Scott has a very fluid and colorful way of telling a story, and it does not stop and drag in the middle, he brings you from one place to the next, like a vagabond, awaiting to see what comes next, and who will be the next girl beside the main hero.

Fantasy stories have not been my most favorite, but this book has suited me very well. I like Scott's imagination and methodology and was curious on how he could try to pull off a fantasy without looking like a me too. He did a great job.

A book I highly recommend for others to read.
Profile Image for Kate's Reads.
74 reviews2 followers
October 8, 2013
Scott Bury's "The Bones of the Earth" is a mystical, yet historical tale of a young man's quest for truth and enlightenment. The story takes place in eastern Europe during the sixth century, a time when Rome was crumbling and the barbarians were unleashing their power on helpless villagers.

As the story begins, Javor's village is raided by Avors and two young girls are kidnapped. He sets off with his friend and his great-grandfather's dagger determined to save them. When they return to the village his parents have both been killed by a giant monster. At the same time a traveler named Photius arrives in the village and helps heal the injured villagers. Together, Javor and Photius, head out to slay the monster and discover the meaning of the magical dagger and amulet that were Javor's great grandfather's. Along the way they encounter dragons, barbarians, and other mythical creatures.

Bury has done his research on the historical setting and what was happening in that part of the world at that time. He's added in some dragons and other beasts and woven it together seamlessly. The pacing is excellent, and while it was a long book it was a quick read. I loved the character of Javor and how Bury shared his thoughts (or mental asides) with the reader. There were even some light and humorous moments as well.
Profile Image for Gae-Lynn Woods.
Author 7 books23 followers
December 24, 2014
Scott Bury's THE BONES OF THE EARTH is one of those rare books I can sink into while the 'real' world recedes. This is the story of a boy who leaves his village to avenge his family's murder and finds a world of terrifying mythical creatures, strange people with hidden agendas, and cities filled with unexpected luxury. The characters and time period are captivating, and Bury shows us the main character's (Javor) growth from unsure adolescent to courageous man.

Bury seamlessly weaves together history, magic, and mythology and through several plot twists and double-crosses, makes you question who the bad guys really are. His explanation of the 'bones of the earth' is fascinating and believable - I won't give the story away if, like me, this is a phrase you haven't heard before. He also alludes to the use of advanced technology by the people of knowledge, the Kobolds, and I'm interested to learn more about them. I hope they show up in future books!

If you're looking for a read that blends history and fantasy, pick this book up and be prepared to lose yourself in an intriguing story. Five stars.
Profile Image for Zoe Saadia.
Author 32 books314 followers
June 20, 2012
Epic fantasy and history woven together.

I had a wonderful time reading “The Bones of the Earth” by Scott Bury.

The story of young Javor is fascinating. It unfolds slowly and beautifully, with its ring of authentic surroundings of ancient Europe’s strange customs and believes. The Slavic mythology is rare in general fiction (vampires aside) and well researched novels on this subject are next to non-existent. So aside from a good story, “The Bones of the Earth” is standing out on that score too.

The opening chapter sucked me right in, promptly followed by an outpour of action. The quest of Javor is difficult and breathtaking. Without aspiring to this, the youth is turning into a warrior and the way the author presented his “journey” is realistic and believable. I kept turning pages, fascinated, wishing to know what will happen next.

I hope Scott Bury will bring us more of these fascinating, but greatly overlooked, parts of history and culture, presented in more of his smoothly flowing, fast-pacing stories.
Profile Image for Jeremy Poole.
Author 9 books96 followers
October 20, 2012
This book was a great read. Historical fantasy is a genre I love, and Scott has done himself proud. For readers of The hobbit, Gladiator or George and Dewi, you’ll love this.
The main character of Javor is a typical teenager, falling in love at every opportunity, fast to react and wearing his heart on his sleeve. The tale move fast from Dacia to Constantinople and back to the outback.
Our hero has to save civilization and has to deal with Dragon, trolls, dwarfs, heroes, witches and kings in this historically well woven plot.
The only two small criticisms of this book for me are Javor cries in too many scenes and for a novel aimed at youngster ( I think), too much sex. If you can ever have too much sex.
Profile Image for Alan McDermott.
Author 32 books759 followers
May 17, 2012
I bought this book on a recommendation, despite it not being my favourite genre. I'm more of a guns and grenades person than swords and dragons, but it took very little time to get into this book and I was soon carried away in the tale spun by Scott Bury.

It's the story of Javor, a fifteen-year-old village outcast who fate throws in the path of Photius, a mysterious stranger from Greece.

I won't go into the synopsis in case I spoil it for you, but my heart was beating faster as the main encounter drew near, that is how well this book was written.

I can strongly recommend this fine piece of work and I'll be back for more of Scott's work!
Profile Image for Alan McDermott.
Author 32 books759 followers
May 18, 2012
I bought this book on a recommendation, despite it not being my favourite genre. I'm more of a guns and grenades person than swords and dragons, but it took very little time to get into this book and I was soon carried away in the tale spun by Scott Bury.

It's the story of Javor, a fifteen-year-old village outcast who fate throws in the path of Photius, a mysterious stranger from Greece.

I won't go into the synopsis in case I spoil it for you, but my heart was beating faster as the main encounter drew near, that is how well this book was written.

I can strongly recommend this fine piece of work and I'll be back for more of Scott's work!
Profile Image for Marilyn Dieckmann.
Author 6 books33 followers
May 18, 2012
I had no idea what to expect when I bought this book. The description was compelling and I decided to give it a read.

What I didn't expect was a story that sucked me in with its expertly written scenes... visuals of earthy characters and a time so raw that life was laid bare in the face of unspeakable evil. You'll cheer for the unlikely hero and weep when his life is devastated by life-sucking grief. Wow, who knew?

No spoilers here... read the book. Scott Bury will weave his spell and you'll want more!
Next book please Scott!
Profile Image for Antoinette Ouellette.
41 reviews1 follower
October 29, 2012

This story is a weird and wonderful weaving of many genres He disappoints in none of the myths or horror creatures even Fantasy with dragons in a historical setting at the time of the Roman Empire..finding Magical amulets ,magic knife and true love only to lose them all The story is the trip to return all his future along with his heirlooms.Scott Bury is indeed a Dream Weaver..skillfully done! Bravo!
1 review1 follower
March 18, 2012
A marvelous read - it is clear how much work went into this book. The details of the everyday lives of the characters is rich and interesting. The various myths and legends woven into the story line make you smile.

Scott Bury's writing style is comfortable, and easy to lose yourself in. I spent the better part of a day stuck in the book, in spite of all the other things I had to do!
Profile Image for Gary Henry.
Author 2 books211 followers
December 7, 2012
This short, snappy tale has blood, gore, sex, battles, monsters, emotion -- all the ingredients of a classic fantasy adventure. It's more of an intro, ala The Hobbit, than a full-fledged epic, but fun nevertheless.
Profile Image for Linda.
969 reviews38 followers
July 5, 2012
I wanted to read more. I will now read the full book BONES OF THE EARTH.
Profile Image for Raine Thomas.
Author 30 books993 followers
January 13, 2022
Bones of the Earth is an original Coming of Age story with a unique fantasy spin. The author does a masterful job of weaving actual historical details into an epic fantasy adventure featuring a compelling central character, Javor. Elements of magic and mysticism are well-balanced with cerebral dives into religious and philosophical discourse throughout the story.

This is a new-to-me genre that I enjoyed. The action and twists in the story kept me reading when I should have been sleeping. I look forward to more in this series!
112 reviews2 followers
September 19, 2021
An epic tale of great adventure!

This book tells an epic tale of an incredible adventure. It has swords and sorcery and monsters and magical creatures. It was a really engrossing story and difficult to put down.
Profile Image for Pauline Ross.
Author 10 books284 followers
December 13, 2012
[Review rewritten for greater accuracy and clarity]

This is a curious book. The setting is unusual, sixth century Eastern Europe, although it didn’t feel any different from a great many other fantasy works in that respect, at least not in the early parts. The protagonist, Javor, is an interesting character, an immature fifteen year old who doesn't fit in at all with his family and society and is shunned as an outcast. Of course, he has strange powers, not yet fully developed and... Well, I think we can see where this is going. Now there's nothing wrong with retelling a familiar story, and this one has some nice original twists. Still, it does feel rather hackneyed at times. There’s the wise old mentor guiding the young man along and encouraging him to fulfil his true potential. There’s the inevitable quest, there are a couple of magic gizmos and some monsters to be defeated - and no, there’s never any doubt that they will be defeated. However unoriginal the trappings of the story, though, it’s refreshing to see a hero who is, in many ways, very unhero-like. He seems, to my inexpert eyes, to be almost autistic in his aversion to social interaction. This might be a part of his abilities or it might be unconnected, but it’s interesting.

So, having defeated a few monsters, the hero and his mentor are about to set off on a journey to Constantinople when - the book ends with the dispiriting words: ‘End of Part 1. The remainder of The Bones of the Earth: Initiation Rites can be purchased for 99 cents on Smashwords.’ Well, no it can’t. If I want to read the rest of the story, it seems my only option is to pay the full cost of the whole book, having already paid for what is apparently only a sample. If I were enthralled by the story so far, perhaps I might do that, but so far, while it has its moments, it's a bit meh, so I think I'll pass. One star for a DNF.
Profile Image for Firerat1.
7 reviews
April 3, 2012
I only read this book because of how mean he was to my favorite Author Elicia Clegg. I was only looking for grammar and spelling errors...to be mean.....and I found them.

First: page two, he not capitalized, page six............Double periods..
But wait, this is a knee jerk reaction and I decide why not read the story.

To quote: The moon’s lower edge cleared the tallest tree and Vorona startled them all by crying
“Worship, young people!” She lifted her hands. “Mistress of the night, Mysyach, bless us tonight
as we pay homage to thee!” A pyramid of wood at her feet burst into flame all at once, quickly
building into a bonfire. How did she do that? Javor wondered.

The writing is fine, but the story is old and been told before. If you like the formula, read this book you will love it
Profile Image for Kathy Stoops.
5 reviews1 follower
April 3, 2012
I felt as though I had read this book before. When I look for a "goodread" a want something original. I read "Hunger Games" and I thought of Stephen King. I know authors draw from others but I felt this one went to far. I am glad I bought this for only a dollar.
Profile Image for Benjamin.
Author 1 book43 followers
April 30, 2015
Would of been 5 star, it was a great beginning. Its become a 1 star book because the author has decided to wright a whole bunch of books that have nothing to do with the "series" without bothering to continue the series.
Profile Image for Steve.
6 reviews
April 3, 2012
Not for me, but maybe it was the opening of the book. Don't take my word, read the first few pages to decide for yourself.
Profile Image for Kim.
270 reviews7 followers
May 31, 2012
Cool concept, but there needs to be better editing done, and the colloquialisms needed to be standardized.
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