Some of you have read the short story Keeper of Names available in the Shattered Shields anthology already (and if you have read it, leave a review! Seriously, Bryan and Jennifer did an amazing job putting this together so they deserve some credit, and reviews are always a great boost.)
Keeper of Names is about the origin of one of the pivotal characters in my upcoming fantasy series. I’ve not been able to say what any of this stuff was called yet because I was still working out the details with my publisher.
I’m happy to announce that the first novel in the Forgotten Warrior saga is called Sons of the Black Sword and it will be out Fall 2015.
After the War of the Gods, the demons were cast out and fell to the world. Mankind was nearly eradicated by the seemingly unstoppable beasts until the gods sent the great hero, Ramrowan, to save them. He united the tribes, gave them magic, and drove the demons into the sea. Ever since the land has belonged to man and the oceans have remained an uncrossable hell, leaving the continent of Lok isolated. It was prophesized that someday the demons would return, and only the descendants of Ramrowan would be able to defeat them. They became the first kings, and all men served those who were their only hope for survival.
As centuries passed the descendants of the great hero grew in number and power. They became tyrannical and cruel, and their religion nothing but an excuse for greed. Gods and demons became myth and legend, and the people no longer believed. The castes created to serve the Sons of Ramrowan rose up and destroyed their rulers. All religion was banned and replaced by a code of unflinching law. The surviving royalty and their priests were made casteless, condemned to live as untouchables, and the Age of Law began.
Ashoc Vadal has been chosen by a powerful ancient weapon to be its bearer. He is a Protector, the elite militant order of roving law enforcers. No one is more merciless in rooting out those who secretly practice the old ways. Everything is black or white, good or evil, until he discovers his entire life is a fraud. Ashoc isn’t who he thinks he is, and when he finds himself on the wrong side of the law, the consequences lead to rebellion, war, and destruction.
There are three novels planned so far:
Sons of the Black Sword
House of Assassins
Destroyer of Worlds
I had a lot of fun with this book. I got to tell the origin story of someone who becomes a cross between George Washington and the Punisher. This is a man without fear, utterly devoted to the Law. The people call him the Black Heart for a reason.
This was my first foray into traditional fantasy, so I got to build a society, so obviously I went with brutal caste systems, a massive bloated corrupt secular bureaucracy, and oceans teeming with killer monsters.
I turned the manuscript in to Toni last week. Special thanks to Reader Force Alpha for providing lots of useful help and criticism. It brought joy to my heart when Steve Diamond–the guy who runs Elitist Book Reviews and has read more fantasy novels than anybody else I can think of–finished a fight scene and emailed me “That was probably one of the most violent fight scenes I’ve read in years, so it was awesome.”
Randy Asplund has done the maps, which look fantastic. He managed to make my terrible collection of lines, dots, and squiggles, and make them excellent. I grew up on piles of fantasy novels so I’ve always wanted a book with a map!
And I probably can’t say yet who has been hired to do the cover, but the man is a legend. He is one of the most famous fantasy artists there has ever been. Hell, when I was young I had his posters on my wall. So yeah, I totally geeked out.