Pick of the Week (#12): Blood Sword, by Terry W. Ervin II
-Selection made by Stephen Zimmer
The Book:The Necromancer King has been defeated and his surviving forces are in retreat. But a new threat marches against the Kingdom of Keesee, promising destruction. Scouting along the western frontier, Flank Hawk and Grand Wizard Seelain discover an army massing, the army of Fendra Jolain, Goddess of Healing. Weakened and battle weary, Keesee and her allies cannot withstand Fendra Jolain's powerful army of men and beasts arrayed against them. One hope of survival remains: Retrieve the Blood Sword from the immortal Colonel of the West and bring its sinister strength to the battlefield. To accomplish this end, Flank Hawk accompanies Grand Wizard Seelain as she leads a mission across land and sea. Together they find new allies while confronting new foes, learning that the war ravaging Keesee is part of a larger struggle whose roots stretch back to the First Civilization's Fall. If the Blood Sword can be obtained, it must be done quickly. Every day means more death for the defenders of Keesee. Every day is one day closer to utter defeat. Even if Flank Hawk can deliver the Blood Sword to King Tobias's hand in time, will the malevolent blade's magic be enough?
The Author: Terry W. Ervin II is an English teacher who enjoys writing Fantasy and Science Fiction. He is an editor for MindFlights, a guest columnist for Fiction Factor and is the author of two novels and over two dozen short stories and articles. Flank Hawk was his debut novel. When Terry isn't writing or enjoying time with his wife and daughters, he can be found in his basement raising turtles. To contact Terry, or to learn more about his writing endeavors, visit his website at www.ervin-author.com.
The Publisher: Founded in 2004 as a fantasy print/webzine, Gryphonwood Press publishes speculative fiction novels in print, including epic and modern fantasy, sci-fi, steampunk, and adventure with a touch of the supernatural. Gryphonwood is committed to introducing talented new voices to the field of speculative fiction. The roster of Gryphonwood Press includes authors such as David Wood, Jim Bernheimer, Terry W. Ervin II, and Sherry Thompson. Visit Gryphonwood Press on the web at http://www.gryphonwoodpress.com
My Comments: Blood Sword is simply an outstanding fantasy novel. Terry Ervin is really developing something very special with his First Civilization's Legacy series. I should say right away that the book would work well as a stand alone or in conjunction with his first novel, Flank Hawk (which is also the nickname of a main character in the series). As in his first novel, Terry weaves in a number of mythical creatures, putting his own stamp on each of them. From Centaurs to Griffins, and some very nasty sea creatures, there is much to encounter around every turn as Flank Hawk and his companions go on a very harrowing journey. The Necromancer of the first book was a great adversary, but Blood Sword ratchets up things up even more with a new, very powerful enemy. There is a really nice balance between action and character development. Some of the characters, like Lilly, really grow on you, and Terry has a knack for making them live and breath. Blood Sword is a tremendous installment in one of the most inventive and compelling fantasy sagas I have read in years.
So make Blood Sword by Terry W. Ervin II (from Gryphonwood Press) the SSP Blog Pick of the Week!
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