For the rest of the week, we’re showcasing what to expect in the first half of 2015 from Tachyon Publications.
Coming July 14, 2015:
by Peter V. Brett
Cover by Elizabeth Story
From the dangerous world of the Demon Cycle comes the early adventures of Arlen, Peter V. Brett’s quintessential fantasy hero. These exciting origin tales follow Arlen as he learns to navigate a world where the elemental forces of evil conjure themselves from the earth each night.
Humanity has barely survived a demonic onslaught by using magical wards that protect their cities and homes. Only a handful of mercenaries and explorers risk traveling after the sun sets. Arlen, seeking adventure and fortune, is barely protected by the warded armor upon which he has inscribed intricate defensive runes. From a journey ferrying a wagonload of dynamite to a mountain stronghold, to a dangerous mission to recover desert treasures, Arlen faces friends and enemies with a strong arm and a cunning wit.
Excerpt from Chapter One of Brayan’s Gold
It was a cool morning, dawn still an hour away, but Arlen was already sweating profusely in the new armor—solid plates of hammered steel linked at the joints by rivets and fine interlocking rings. Beneath, he wore a quilted jacket and pants to keep the plates from digging into his skin, but it was scant protection when Cob tightened the rings.
“All the more reason to make sure I get this right, Cob said. “The better the fit, the less likely that will happen when you’re running from a coreling on the road. A Messenger needs to be quick.”
“Don’t see how I’ll be anything near quick wrapped in bedquilt and carrying seventy pounds of steel on my back,” Arlen said. “And this corespawned thing’s hot as firespit.”
“You’ll be glad for the warmth on the windy trails to the Duke’s Mines,” Cob advised.
Arlen shook his head and lifted his heavy arm to look at the plates where he had painstakingly fluted wards into the steel with a tiny hammer and chisel. The symbols of protection were powerful enough to turn most any demon blow, but as much as he felt protected by the armor, he also felt imprisoned by it.
“Five hundred suns,” he said wistfully. That was how much the armorer had charged—and taken months in the making. It was enough gold to make Arlen the second-richest man in Tibbet’s Brook, the town where he had grown up.
“You don’t go cheap on things that might mean your life,” Cob said. He was a veteran Messenger, and spoke from experience. “When it comes to armor, you find the best smithy in town, order the strongest they’ve got, and bugger the cost.”
He pointed a finger at Arlen. “And always …”
“… ward it yourself,” Arlen finished with his master, nodding patiently. “I know. You’ve told me a thousand times.”
“I’ll tell it to you ten thousand more, if that’s how long it takes to etch it into your thick skull.”