is time once again to shovel coal into the boiler and get the Publicity Express chugging out of the depot. Karl Thorson’s next adventure arrives March 7. With a sprinkling of Pirates of the Carribean and a dash of Die Hard on an oil rig there is plenty of action to keep you turning the pages.
If you are a reviewer, drop me a note.
The first three books, of course, remain available in print and digital from Aethon Books: Blood and Jade. Santa Anna’s Sword. Obsidian Owl. Audio editions are in the works. If you are a fan of fantasy action/adventure these are what you’re looking for.
If you like the stories, tell your friends, leave reviews. You know the drill. I’m always uncomfortable with marketing. But it is necessary.
Enough commerce: on to the next entry in Magnus Stoneslayer’s diary.
It was a good run, dear diary, but it couldn’t last. Unless a raiding band becomes an army itself it is fated to eventually succumb to an army. Interesting, I think. An outlaw organization feeds off a legitimate body politic until that body removes the parasite. The only way to avoid the excision is to transform from the illegitimate – an outlaw band, a chaotic nexus of violence – into one of the fundamental parts of the legitimate – an army, a nexus of controlled violence.
My mob of reavers wasn’t quite large enough for the transition, and I wasn’t interested in conquest and administration. Plunder and carousing still held too strong an attraction.
So I wasn’t greatly surprised to learn from my spies that an entire legion of Zantian soldiers was marching south to destroy us. My instinct was to scatter. Let every man take home a share of spoils and a lifetime of memories. These were desert raiders – wild, capricious. They weren’t soldiers. They could not stand against the Zantian legionaries.
But the mood of my men was defiant. I knew they were spoiling for a fight, whether I led them or not. Part of my rude barbaric code is loyalty – often haphazardly granted, but not discarded so long as the loyalty is reciprocated. I couldn’t run out on them.
So now I leave behind the remnants of a once feared band of wasteland brigands, dead, fleeing in disorganized groups, or skulking away in ones and twos. We made a fight of it, but as the day went on the soldiers’ discipline began to tell.
I performed prodigies of valor of course. But a blow on the head left me unconscious, half hidden between two dead horses, and the battle rolled on past me, becoming more a pursuit than a battle.
A savage adventurer takes these setbacks with equanimity. I’d had a good time while it lasted, and I was still alive.
I’ll put some miles between me and any Zantian patrols searching for survivors before I call it a night. I’ll lay down to sleep, dear diary, with an easy mind and a pleasant anticipation for what tomorrow might bring.