A new anthology from Craig Comer – ebook available for pre-order. Eleven tales of Sword & Sorcery, low fantasy, and high adventure.
I’m excited to say that Thralls is now also available in print – Get yours here!
Broken into three sections, I’m sharing more about each in turn:
TALES OF BALDAIRN MOTTE – Far away in Baldairn, the king is dead. As armies march and lords grasp for an empty throne, the villagers of Burn Gate find themselves caught between protecting their families and defending their lands. For the crofter, Trask, the decision is simple, but the cost will shape the fortunes of those he loves.
Baldairn Motte started as a question posed by author Ahimsa Kerp, who wondered how the men who fought for Sauron in Lord of the Rings were tricked into believing they were in the right. That idea melded with one of my own, where I pondered over the impact a large medieval battle would have on the local populace—the farmers and villagers who had to deal with trampled fields, slain livestock, and a sea of rotting corpses. Not to mention the loss of life and the struggle they faced between honoring their duties to their lords and protecting their families.
Along with author Garrett Calcaterra, we set out to explore these topics in a slightly different manner—we would each create our own story based around a common set of “factual” events. In this way, each of us would tell a different point of view of the same conflict. The original result was the three novellas of The Roads to Baldairn Motte, with my tale called Thralls of the Fairie. To that mosaic novel, we added a few interstitial documents—made-up chronicles and letters—to help flavor the wider world and help setup the core conflict of our tales.
When our first publisher, L&L Dreamspell, closed its doors we had the opportunity to republish Baldairn with Reputation Books. Our editor there asked for more short pieces to color our world and characters. “An Ambush at Plum Grove” was one of these tales, and serves as a prologue to the expanded edition. “A Morning Storm” was a cut bit from an initial draft of Thralls, when there were several additional point-of-view characters. It serves now as a resolution to the ill-fated Orren of Burn Gate.
Now with Knight Owl Publishing, Baldairn has grown and morphed throughout the years. But at its heart it remains a collection of tales, not of destined heroes or mighty lords, but of simple folk trying to survive and find happiness.