So, I have been posting a bit recently about my first book, The Shard, mainly because I put the first 13 chapters up at Authonomy and have been rabidly following it's sluglike crawl up the charts. I get the impression that few people on the site are really into fantasy, or at least adult fantasy. I have had nothing but great comments so far, but every book that has been uploaded after mine has risen far faster.
I thought I should introduce my cast of characters. The book cycles between a number of main characters, so to keep this reasonably brief I will introduce just one of them. Note the picture I use in my blog header? It was the inspiration for this character. It's a statue from Zagreb, Croatia, and I really loved the posture of the figure on the horse, as it showed far more world-weariness than such statues typically do. The only thing wrong is that he is wearing plate armor, while my knights stick to chain.
Lord Midas Welby - a minor noble, born in a small fishing village in the Westlands region of the Known Lands. At 16 he served his required two years of duty in the army at the capital city of Pangalia. He proved to be very capable and reliable, so he came to the notice of Havlin Tathis, the ruler of the city of Iskimir. Midas quickly rose to become the captain of the city guard and a confidante and friend of Lord Tathis, and eventually he was married to Lord Tathis's daughter Rina and given a tiny province. As is the fashion of the Westlanders, he gave the province his own surname - Welby.
Midas and Rina had four children, three sons and a daughter. The story opens three years after the tragic death of their eldest son. With his marriage on the brink of collapse and the realm slowly descending into chaos, Midas is torn between his responsibility to give his teenage sons the experience they need in order to develop into great leaders, and his fear for their safety.
Welby borders on Laithtaris, the last remaining stronghold of elves in the Known Lands. The elves have withdrawn from contact with mankind, so Midas knows them only by the legends. Elves are known to be the greatest force for good in the world, so Midas is shocked when he finds five men slain by elven arrows on his border with Laithtaris. It is clear that the men were sent by someone to deliberately sabotage the peace that has held for centuries. Midas sets out to prevent the situation from escalating into war, only to find that the king - widely considered to be one of the wisest that the Known Lands have had - seems to desire a war with the elves.
By the way, the very first scene I wrote for this book was based on the statue I mentioned above. The way the figure slumped in his saddle made me envision the scene in my book where Midas is sitting on his horse staring at the corpses of five men slain by elven arrows on the border of his province.
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