Book 1: The War of Shadows –
Neoth, labelled Rogue and exiled to a tiny farmstead finds himself captured by the spiteful Lord Feorun. An un-looked for ally sets him free and leads him down the Ghost Road. The ancient highway, full of vengeful spirits and terrible creatures, spans the gap between the Great Mountains and Cloud Sea in the east to the haunted lands in the west. On his journey, Neoth learns of a power within himself and amid the ruins of two long destroyed empires discovers a ghost army, ready for war, and pleading to be set loose on the world. It’s not until almost too late, he realizes someone else has also discovered this army.
One of my main projects at the moment is a multi-book series (seriously, did you expect something different from a blog entitled: On Writing Dragons?). The series itself is the Fifth Sword. For now, I’m calling the first book the War of Shadows. I’m likely to change this before the end, but it’s a good working title, so I’ll stick with it. After a quick spin through some beta readers, I had to accept the fact that this book needs a major revision. I’ve begun re-structuring the first few chapters, but haven’t gotten beyond that while I work through some of my other projects.
The story is set in a period of time, on a world called Saogah, that is a healthy mix of victorian England and England at the time of Henry VIII. I’ve also added the twist that gunpowder is a rare commodity, making it prohibitively expensive to use, except in the most dire of circumstances. Aside from that, the story involves swords, evil wizards, ghosts, magic, dragons, and tall-ships. As part of this project, I’ve developed two fairly well fleshed out constructed languages, with writing systems, in the tradition of JRR Tolkien. These do appear to a limited extent in the text. Unlike Tolkien, I’m writing the world more like period BBC, than high fantasy, perhaps more like George RR Martin, but with a much more focused plot. The work has been described as something like a mix between a Tolkien-like high fantasy and a Bernard Cornwell novel. There are other features of the world, such as the cloud sea, and the caverns of those who came before, that figure into this book as mere foreshadowing. For now, it’s in the tender hands of beta-readers, and any real work on the project is on hold while I work on other things and wait for the feedback to roll in. Then, I’ll roll up my sleeves and get back to work. There’s going to be quite a bit to do. Turns out this type of fantasy is not easy to pull off. Readers have seen a lot of this sort of thing and it takes a pretty special piece of work to pass muster. I’m aiming to begin revisions sometime in January of 2016 – This baby is going to take some time. Whether or not I’m going to go traditional or just roll it out online is still an open question.