On May 4th, Orbit Books are due to publish The Sword Defiant, the first novel in Gareth Hanrahan‘s new series. Before we get hand things over to the author, here’s the official synopsis:
Set in a world of dark myth and dangerous prophecy, this thrilling fantasy launches an epic tale of daring warriors, living weapons, and bloodthirsty vengeance.
Many years ago, Sir Aelfric and his nine companions saved the world, seizing the Dark Lord’s cursed weapons, along with his dread city of Necrad. That was the easy part.
Now, when Aelfric – keeper of the cursed sword Spellbreaker – learns of a new and terrifying threat, he seeks the nine heroes once again. But they are wandering adventurers no longer. Yesterday’s eager heroes are today’s weary leaders – and some have turned to the darkness, becoming monsters themselves.
If there’s one thing Aelfric knows, it’s slaying monsters. Even if they used to be his friends.
And now, over to Gareth…
This is Chapter 2 of The Sword Defiant. In Chapter 1, we’re introduced to Alf, aka Sir Aelfric Lammergeier, and his talking sword Spellbreaker, but this chapter starts to get into the backstory of Aelfric’s heroic youth and currently less-than-heroic state.
Part of the original conception of The Sword Defiant was a line in Tolkien’s introduction to The Lord of the Rings, where he says that if the plot had followed the course of World War II, then the Ring would not have been destroyed but used against Sauron, and Barad-Dur not destroyed but occupied. That’s essentially what happened here – the Nine Heroes captured the dread sword Spellbreaker and turned it on its maker, the necromancer Lord Bone, and then they ended up occupying the evil city of Necrad.
Alf left Necrad two years ago, and now a dream has drawn him to the hidden valley where his friend Jan dwells.