Have you ever wondered what Tangled’s Flynn Rider was like before he became ‘Flynn Rider’? We know from the Disney film that his real name is Eugene Fitzherbert, but what more is there to his early story?

Enter: Jen Calonita and Lost Legends: The Rise of Flynn Rider.

Jen Calonita is the author of the New York Times best-selling A Twisted Tale series, and the award-winning Secrets of My Hollywood Life and Fairy Tale Reform School series. In Jen’s latest writing adventure, she introduces us to twelve-year-old Eugene Fitzherbert…

Lost Legends: The Rise of Flynn Rider follows a young Eugene and this young Eugene needs a plan. He loves Miss Clare and the boys at the orphanage, but he's not a little kid anymore. He can't spend his days getting into mischief and acting out his favorite passages from the Flynnigan Rider novels. In his imagination, he is that daring rogue Flynn Rider, and his best friend, Arnie, is famous thief Lance Strongbow, who steals from the rich and gives to the poor. Even though Eugene knows it's just a fun game, he can't help but wish there was more for him out there. Travel. Riches. And maybe, just maybe, his parents.

When a traveling circus comes to the kingdom promising a life of excitement, brotherhood, and unimaginable treasure, Eugene and Arnie see it as the start of their great adventure. But it soon becomes clear that there's more to this ragtag crew than meets the eye, and it'll take new heroes—namely, Flynn Rider and Lance Strongbow—to save the day.

While Lost Legends: The Rise of Flynn Rider is not set for release until September 21st, we are excited to share with you the following EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT from the book today. Read on!

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT

There was a clicking sound, and the two of them watched in awe as some of the wooden planks in the floor opened, revealing stairs that led downward. At least the Stabbington Brothers had been telling the truth about that.

Lance grabbed a lantern on the counter and started down the stairs.

“Flynn! Come on!”

Flynn patted his pocket reassuringly to feel for the key and started for the passageway. The door to The Snuggly Duckling burst open. Three guards stood in the doorway. Their red uniforms had gold chest plates adorned with the same sunburst that was on their helmets. The guard in the middle’s helmet had gold feathers, while the others had red. Flynn had to assume he was the captain of the Royal Guard.

He locked eyes with Flynn. “You! Stop right there!” Flynn did the opposite. He raced down the stairs before the captain could even cross the dining room. As Flynn’s boots reached the bottom step, Lance hit a lever and the stairs disappeared.

“Safe!” Lance said with glee. “You got the key, right? Show me!”

“Here it is!” Flynn’s heart was still beating wildly as he took the napkin out of his pocket and unwrapped the key. The pair looked at it and Flynn shoved the fork in his other pocket. He didn’t need the fork, but it might come in handy as a weapon. Did he need a weapon? Above them, they could hear the heavy footsteps of many feet and lots of shouting.

Lance shuddered. “Come on. Let’s move.” He held the lantern up into the darkness. “I’m not going to think about how many spiders there are down here.”

“I’ll protect you, buddy.” Flynn put the key in his pocket again. If they didn’t have that lantern Lance had grabbed, they’d be entirely in the dark. Now he could see they were in some sort of underground cave. Other than a few barrels stored in crevices among the natural rock walls, there was nothing to see but the path. They moved quickly. They could still hear shouting above them.

“Let’s just follow this path and hope it leads us back up to the tree where we’ll meet the Stabbington brothers—AAH!” Lance jumped. Straight ahead, the lantern washed a glow over a skeleton with a sword through its chest. Lance carefully stepped around it. “I do not want that to be future me.”

“It’s not a good look for either of us,” Flynn agreed, sliding past the skeleton and picking up his pace.

Behind them they could hear the sound of loud banging, and then what could only be described as splintering wood.

The captain’s voice rang out loud and clear. “Down here! There’s a path!”

Flynn and Lance looked at one another in alarm.

“Stop right where you are!” the captain shouted.

“Go! Go! Go!” Flynn cried as the two ran into the darkness, not stopping till they reached a fork in the path. Both paths looked identical.

“Where do we go?” Flynn asked, his voice echoing. When he really squinted into the darkness, the left path did look slightly brighter. Did that mean it led to daylight?

“They went this way!” the guards shouted and Flynn could hear them getting closer.

“Go left!” Lance cried. He grabbed a barrel that was lined up along the wall and rolled it back toward the guards. Then he tore off down the path and Flynn followed, the lantern jumping and making shadows on the darkened walls.

After what felt like an eternity, he heard Lance shout. “I see light! Look!” His friend pointed to a small carving of a tree on the wall and an arrow pointing upward. Lance swung the light onto the short path, which was on an incline. At the top, Flynn could see a hatch.

“That has to be it!” Flynn said. “Go!” We’re going to make it! He thought as Lance began the climb first.

“They went this way!” he heard the captain shout.

Or not.

He hurried up the ladder after Lance, feeling like he was going to throw up.

Lance pushed on the hatch. “It won’t open!”

“Let me try.” Lance dropped back down a few rungs and Flynn threw his shoulder against the hatch. It still wouldn’t budge. “Maybe if we both try!”

They pushed in unison and finally the hatch burst open, bathing the cave in more light. Flynn tried to pull himself up, but the narrow hatch was tight, and roots had grown over the opening.

“What’s up there? Is that a way out?” Lance called up to him.

Flynn could only get his head and chest out; it looked like they were inside a hollow tree. He yanked on a few roots and pulled himself out further. The Stabbingtons were standing there watching him struggle.

“Help me up!” Flynn called to them.

“You have the key?” said Sideburns flatly.

“Yes, but guards are on our tail!” Flynn said. “Help us out of this thing.”

He felt Lance push him from below. “Flynn! Hurry! They’re coming!”

Sideburns didn’t move. “Show me the key first.”

“What? I don’t think you understand,” Flynn said, still struggling to pull at the roots around him. “We’re being chased by royal guards! Get us out first.”

Patchy held out his hand and Sideburns smiled. “Key,” said Sideburns. “Or we leave you to rot.”

Flynn thought for half a second. He needed help and the Stabbies were huge. Those brutes could easily yank out the roots with one tug. “Fine,” he said with a sigh and struggled to put his arm down at his side and pull the napkin out of his pocket. He lifted his arm up again and handed them the napkin. “Here. Now help us out.”

“Flynn!” Lance shouted.

Sideburns took the napkin and placed it in his vest pocket. He whistled for his horse.

Flynn’s heart sunk. He knew what was about to happen. “Wait!” He squirmed and struggled to pull himself out, but it was no use. “Wait!” Sideburns and Patchy ignored him. All Flynn could do was watch as Patchy climbed onto his own horse.

“See you, kid!” said Sideburns as the brothers laughed and galloped away.

Read more when Lost Legends: The Rise of Flynn Rider hits bookstores on September 21st.