Gary Kim Hayes has published evocative short stories here and there, and now we have a fantasy novel--or the first installment of a longsaga--from him. It's very promising and engagingly written.
Westart with Grenel O'Doone, innkeeper of the Ivy Rose, an old soldier who always wanted to settle down after his service in the wars that founded the Three Kingdoms ended. Now that he has . . . life is a littleboring. At least until the tall, brawny stranger wrapped in animal skins shows up one evening and asks for Lyndy, a local girl trying to raise a baby on her own. When the stranger turns out to be Sandaron Sleag--thelegendary Sleag the Slayer--one of O'Doone's problems is over. His lifeisn't going to be boring from here on out.
As it develops,there's a wizard king, Lorehawk, who is extremely interested in Lyndyand her son. And Lyndy isn't exactly the ordinary village girl O'Dooneassumed she was. And when a menacing stranger shows up . . . O'Doone islong in the tooth, and he's many years and many pounds from thebattlefield, but his blood begins to stir.
There's a sense ofreality here that grounds the fantasy elements, and the charactersreally seem to have lives of their own. Touches of humor, touches ofadventure, touches of romance, the book has everything a fantasy needs. I think you'll be reminded of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, in a good way.My only complaint? This short novel only whets the appetite. Let's havemore of Sleag and company, soon, please, Mr. Hayes!
From the Author
I've been working on this series of books for about ten or fifteen years. It started as a short story, basically the opening the scene in the Ivy Rose when Sleag enters. I sent it out to a number of magazines and kept getting the same response from editors. "This is very good and we all enjoyed it. But it is too short. We want more."
So I started writing more. Now at over 500,000 words I have started releasing this story in installments. I plan on having a new book out about every other month for the first year.
So have no fear. New adventures are in store. Sleag the Slayer, Grenel O'Doone, Lyndygel, Lem, and many, many more characters who live and love and fight in the New World are all waiting to entertain you in the next installment entitled, "Negera's Bog".