Blood, Sweat and Beers

Fantasy Fiction Sorrow Part 5: The King's Glory

Fantasy Fiction Sorrow Part 5: The King’s Glory, coming January 2013 from Musa Publishing


I’m back, and I intend to rant some more, so get comfortable. I meant to rant a bit sooner than this but I’ve been very busy, so get off my back. What have I been doing? I hear you ask. Well, don’t interrupt.

Firstly, the latest in the fantasy fiction series, Sorrow Part 4: The Gelded Wolf, is now available to pre-order from Musa Publishing for just 77p. You can see an excerpt below. The release date is Friday 21 December.

Secondly, we have now approved the cover art for Sorrow Part 5: The King’s Glory (above) and I have been working on the first edits for it.

Also, I would like to thank Beauty in Ruins for reviewing The Best Weapon – (“A fresh new spin on the fantasy genre”). Click here to check out the review on the Beauty in Ruins site. The Best Weapon is a full-length novel available from Musa Publishing. Just for good measure, here is a link to the book on Amazon too (where you can see more reviews).

It has been absolutely freezing in Bristol. We have twice made the mistake of attempting an outdoor game of five-a-side on an icy pitch, only to totter around on it like a bunch of old age pensioners chasing a werthers original round an ice-rink. My already well-established reputation for slipping on my arse has now become legend. The night before last I put on a dazzling display of hapless, bambi-ing buffoonery the likes of which I will not live down for some time. I may have to kill everyone who witnessed it. Needless to say there is not a shred of skin left on my legs.

But that isn’t the worst of it. Oh no. Following one particularly painful and noisy collision with God’s green earth, I stood (after a period of Ian and his aardvarkswrithing and cursing during which I turned the freezing air purple with some choice foul language) to find my right hand covered in sticky blood. Instinctively, I muttered a few words of impotent rage and licked my fingers clean, only turn and find Ric pointing to a large hole in his elbow and saying “that’s my blood mate”. Now, if there is anyone I know who could be a werewolf, it is Ric. He is a towering lump of shaggy muscle with an enormous beard. He looks like he ought be lumbering around the Himalayas frightening sherpas. So now I am waiting for some hideous transformation to occur when the moon is full. And let me tell you, it is too cold right now to be waking up butt naked in the middle of Bristol town centre frozen to a lamp post by my own piss.

Anyhoo, I digress. Anyone doing secret santa at work? I like to draw people because I am a tight bastard who doesn’t want to spend a fiver on someone I work with.  So I did the thing on the right. I hope he likes it. Actually, that’s a lie, I don’t care if he likes it, but I hope you do.

Right, I’m off to bed, I don’t like being awake this long when I’m sober. I’ll be back before Christmas to hollar at you about Sorrow Part 4: The Gelded Wolf!

“The power struggle becomes ever more vicious, and the wolves smell blood.”


“Going for a spot of fresh air, Bracket?” said Felipe.

The innkeeper squeaked and the keys slipped out of his fingers, landing with a muffled thud on one of the foul wolfskin rugs.

“You should be asleep!” he yelped as Felipe’s massive form unfolded out of the darkness. A light flared as the Templar struck a tinder from the box he carried and used it to light one of the dormant tallow candles.

“Should be, but I am not,” said Felipe, raising the candle so his scarred face appeared pale and grim in the shadows, “unlike my comrades, who I have never known to sleep so sweetly, or with such military precision. They all passed out at the same time. What drug did you put in their ale?”

The innkeeper backed away until his back was pressed up against the door. Felipe could only see his outline in the gloom, and there was something odd about it. He raised the candle higher to get a better look.

“What the Hells are you wearing?” he demanded, “is that a wolfskin you have draped over your shoulders? My dear Bracket, you make a very unconvincing wolf.”

“Shut up, fool!” Bracket hissed, bending to retrieve his keys. Now Felipe could see why he had dropped them: long strips of sharpened iron were tied to the tops of his fingers, giving them the appearance of claws.

Bracket was indeed wearing a wolfskin, and not only that. The dead wolf’s head adorned the innkeeper’s, strapped in place on top of his skull, its rotting eyes staring glassily into whatever afterlife was reserved for the spirits of wolves.

Felipe was too astonished to move, allowing Bracket time to scoop up the keys and wrestle with the locks.

“I forgot you don’t drink, curse you,” he snarled, turning one key after another, “not that it matters. I will give you the same choice.”

“What choice? Come away from that door, man.”

The innkeeper ignored him, and there was the hiss of steel on leather as Felipe put the candle down and drew his sword. He advanced towards Bracket, who spun to face him.

“The choice I give everyone who comes here!” rasped the innkeeper, his red-rimmed eyes seeming to glow with a fearful light, “join The Sons of the Wolf, or die. You and your comrades, when they wake up—never fear, I have just sent them to sleep, not poisoned them—will be told to choose.”

Felipe was baffled rather than afraid. “What nonsense is this? Your wits are cracked.”

“You think so? I overheard you talking of kings earlier, and how a strong man is needed to unify the realm. I am a poor man, Felipe de Gascur, and it seems to me that the Great Houses have ruled this land for too long. The next King will not come from the nobility, but from the people, and he will be blessed by the Wolf!”