Tag Archives: epic fantasy

Monday Morsel: Barrage – An Extract from In the Company of the Dead



Welcome to the Monday Morsel feature, where I share short extracts from the first draft of my adult epic fantasy/fantasy romance, In the Company of the Dead.

* * *

Lyram hurried into the spiral stair, waving Ellaeva and Everard after him. The stair also accessed the south-west tower and from there the wall.
Winter still hung in the air of the spring morning, a reminder that the snow had only recently melted. Right now I wish it were still snowing.
He shivered, his still damp hair cold against his nape. So much for a hot bath. His half-dry hair clung to his face like a lion’s wild mane, or perhaps the halo of some crazed saint. Pushing it back proved fruitless.
Another ear-splitting crash echoed around the courtyard as they hurried down the wall and onto the top of the western gate towers. The boulder careened off the wall and splashed into the moat. The dark waters, recently ice, closed over the stone.
On second thoughts, he was just fine with the thaw.

* * *

Thanks for dropping by! Don’t forget, this is a first draft, and as such won’t be perfect. If you like what you read, and are so inclined, show your support by leaving a comment, and In the Company of the Dead will be available in the future. I aim to have the first draft finished by the end of April. If you’d like to sample more of my writing, check out my novella Confronting the Demon.

If this is your first visit to Monday Morsels, find others in the series by clicking on the ‘Monday morsel’ tag, or go to the first installment.

More about In the Company of the Dead:


Lyram already crossed a prince, and now he finds himself on the brink of crossing a god.

Son of a duke and second in line for the throne, Lyram is exiled to a lonely castle after assaulting the crown prince. When a hostile army arrives to besiege the castle, he believes the prince wants him removed – permanently.

As though answering their prayers, Ellaeva, the Battle Priestess of the death goddess, arrives unexpectedly. But she has not come to break the siege. Instead, she is in pursuit of a necromancer of the evil god of decay. When misfortune after misfortune befalls the beleaguered defenders, Lyram realises the necromancer is hidden within the walls, sabotaging the very defence.

Against the backdrop of clashing gods, Lyram must fight to save himself from the political machinations of his prince, and the dread plans of a necromancer. But as the siege lengthens, he realises the greatest threat may come from another quarter — a woman sworn body and soul to a god tempts him to pay a terrible price.


If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to check out my previous posts if you haven’t already. If you’re finding yourself here often, you might like to join as a member, sign up to the blog through RSS or email, or sign-up to my newsletter. 

Don’t forget to share the love and spread the word on Twitter, Facebook or StumbleUpon (or other social networking site of your choice) if you know other people who might also enjoy this.

Thanks for stopping by and visiting with us!

Why Does Epic Fantasy Have A Unique Sound (Or If GoT Characters were Aussies)



Love it or hate it, if you’ve ever read epic fantasy you know that it’s different. Not just in the subject matter, but in the language that is used. Epic fantasy tends to the more ornate, perhaps the more old-fashioned.

Why is that?

I’ve heard it said that fantasy allows writers to be sloppy, to use adjectives and adverbs to excess in ways that isn’t tolerated in other genres. To some extent that is true, but that’s not the reason. Even among excellent writers of fantasy, like Brent Weeks and Brandon Sanderson, there is a certain feel to epic fantasy prose.

I’ve never written anything that isn’t epic fantasy, and this is why. I don’t know that I could let go of the epic 
fantasy style. I know that other genres are different, but I don’t know how to create them. Possibly because I’ve been immersed in the epic fantasy style for so long, or perhaps just because I’m so in love with it.

But still, why is epic fantasy this way?

A thought struck me last night, that when fantasy is filmed, like Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones, great care is taken with the accents of the characters. Why? I think because it’s a critical part of the world-building. It just wouldn’t feel right if the characters sounded like Americans or, perhaps even more laughable, Aussies. How could you possibly immerse yourself in this world that is other, that is elsewhere, and suspend disbelief, if Eddard Stark sounds like your neighbour?

I think that’s part of the answer to epic fantasy prose. The language is different because the world is different, and it ought to feel different.

The other part, I think, and a problem that doesn’t exist in visual representations of the genre, is that so much of what is seen in an epic fantasy world is other. The creatures, the magic, the people, the clothing, the weapons, the buildings – everything– we see none of this in our day to day lives.


While other genres can rely heavily on the fact that the reader knows intimately what an iPhone looks like, and therefore need not describe it in evocative, so much of what is present in epic fantasy is drawn either from the pages of an unfamiliar history or the imagination of the writer. Creating a vivid setting, a world in which the reader can feel present, requires more description. The subject matter of that description is often so fantastical or unfamiliar that the prose needs to be different in order to convey the feel of it.

The prose of epic fantasy is different so that we can be transported to a different realm of existence, in which the sheer flights of fantasy produced by one person’s imagination are painted entirely with words.

If the characters in Game of Thrones were Aussies:


Eddard Stark: Hey Bob, how’s it garn?

Robert Baratheon: She’ll be right, mate.

If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to check out my previous posts if you haven’t already. If you’re finding yourself here often, you might like to join as a member, sign up to the blog through RSS or email, or sign-up to my newsletter. 

Don’t forget to share the love and spread the word on Twitter, Facebook or StumbleUpon (or other social networking site of your choice) if you know other people who might also enjoy this.

Thanks for stopping by and visiting with us!

Monday Morsel: Desperate Rescue – An Extract from In the Company of the Dead

Welcome to the Monday Morsel feature, where I share short extracts from the first draft of my adult epic fantasy/fantasy romance, In the Company of the Dead.

* * *

His horse struck the other animal’s shoulder, hard enough to rattle Lyram’s teeth and knock the attacker’s horse off stride. Lyram swung his sword, the blade whistling through the air, and the enemy rider flung himself out of the saddle. Lyram’s mount surged past the now riderless horse in a thunder of hooves. Cursing, Lyram hauled on the reins. The horse swung about in a wide circle.
The young woman had stopped to watch the spectacle. Though the soldier had crashed to the ground mere feet from her, she watched with a calm expression as he climbed to his feet. Turning, the soldier saw her, and reached for her with his free hand.  
Horror squeezed Lyram’s chest tight. He was too far away to make a difference. She brought one long-fingered white hand up in a gesture of – what? Supplication? Forestalling? Defence? The soldier seized her by the wrist, and with her other hand she reached out and touched his chest.

* * *

Thanks for dropping by! Don’t forget, this is a first draft, and as such won’t be perfect. If you like what you read, and are so inclined, show your support by leaving a comment, and In the Company of the Dead will be available in the future. I aim to have the first draft finished by the end of March. If you’d like to sample more of my writing, check out my novella Confronting the Demon.

If this is your first visit to Monday Morsels, find others in the series by clicking on the ‘Monday morsel’ tag, or go to the first installment.

More about In the Company of the Dead:


Lyram already crossed a prince, and now he finds himself on the brink of crossing a god.

Son of a duke and second in line for the throne, Lyram is exiled to a lonely castle after assaulting the crown prince. When a hostile army arrives to besiege the castle, he believes the prince wants him removed – permanently.

As though answering their prayers, Ellaeva, the Battle Priestess of the death goddess, arrives unexpectedly. But she has not come to break the siege. Instead, she is in pursuit of a necromancer of the evil god of decay. When misfortune after misfortune befalls the beleaguered defenders, Lyram realises the necromancer is hidden within the walls, sabotaging the very defence.

Against the backdrop of clashing gods, Lyram must fight to save himself from the political machinations of his prince, and the dread plans of a necromancer. But as the siege lengthens, he realises the greatest threat may come from another quarter — a woman sworn body and soul to a god tempts him to pay a terrible price.

If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to check out my previous posts if you haven’t already. If you’re finding yourself here often, you might like to join as a member, sign up to the blog through RSS or email, or subscribe to my newsletter.

Don’t forget to share the love and spread the word on Twitter, Facebook or StumbleUpon (or other social networking site of your choice) if you know other people who might also enjoy this.

Thanks for stopping by and visiting with us!

Monday Morsel: I Couldn’t Save Her – An Extract from In the Company of the Dead



Welcome to the Monday Morsel feature, where I share short extracts from the first draft of my adult epic fantasy/fantasy romance, In the Company of the Dead. Today we’ve got a longer extract than usual. Enjoy!


* * *

Everard seized his waving arm. ‘You still can’t go! What if it’s a trap? What if she’s a spy? You said yourself the enemy will suspect it – what fools would we be to discount the chance? And a Tembran, at that? If what you tell me is true….’ He lowered his voice, even though his words were circumspect. ‘If it’s true, what better way to lure you out?’
Lyram spread his hands. ‘I cannot stand here and watch them take her. I cannot lie awake at night, wondering what fate might await her. I must at least try.’
‘Then send someone else!’
Lyram thrust a foot into the stirrup, and swung into the saddle. He pulled the plumed helm from his head, and thrust it at a solder. ‘Your helm, man.’
The horse danced under him, sensing the nervous excitement, and for a moment they juggled helmets until Lyram had the man’s unadorned one upon his head. He looked over his shoulder at the castellan. ‘Have the longbowmen form up on the battlements, my lord. In case I need cover.’
Everard almost danced on his toes. ‘In love with death, I said. You’ll be the death of us all!’
Lyram turned the horse, the clatter of hooves drowned out by the rattle of the portcullis. Galdron burst from a door at the far end of the courtyard. The soldiers ran the portable bridge out, placing it atop the burnt timbers and shoving it to the other side of the moat. Lyram clapped his heels to the horse’s flanks. ‘I couldn’t save her!’


* * *

Thanks for dropping by! Don’t forget, this is a first draft, and as such won’t be perfect. If you like what you read, and are so inclined, show your support by leaving a comment, and In the Company of the Dead will be available in the future. I aim to have the first draft finished by the end of March. If you’d like to sample more of my writing, check out my novella Confronting the Demon.
If this is your first visit to Monday Morsels, find others in the series by clicking on the ‘Monday morsel’ tag, or go to the first installment.

More about In the Company of the Dead:


Lyram already crossed a prince, and now he finds himself on the brink of crossing a god.

Son of a duke and second in line for the throne, Lyram is exiled to a lonely castle after assaulting the crown prince. When a hostile army arrives to besiege the castle, he believes the prince wants him removed – permanently.

As though answering their prayers, Ellaeva, the Battle Priestess of the death goddess, arrives unexpectedly. But she has not come to break the siege. Instead, she is in pursuit of a necromancer of the evil god of decay. When misfortune after misfortune befalls the beleaguered defenders, Lyram realises the necromancer is hidden within the walls, sabotaging the very defence.

Against the backdrop of clashing gods, Lyram must fight to save himself from the political machinations of his prince, and the dread plans of a necromancer. But as the siege lengthens, he realises the greatest threat may come from another quarter — a woman sworn body and soul to a god tempts him to pay a terrible price.



Monday Morsel: Siege – An Extract from In the Company of the Dead



Welcome to the Monday Morsel feature, where I share short extracts from the first draft of my adult epic fantasy/fantasy romance, In the Company of the Dead.

* * *

Men appeared in the gaping gate of the old ruined wall, a mere dozen or so, with bows slung over their shoulders. Lyram pulled the eyeglass from his belt, goosebumps prickling his skin. Not bows; crossbows. And there, in the trees behind the crossbowmen, the horses they must have used to arrive so quickly. They began pulling the weapons from their shoulders and winding winches.
The messengers scattered at sight of the crossbowmen. Speed was their one hope, their mail useless against a quarrel, but crossbows were slow to load. Lyram leaned forward, clenching the battlements with his free hand, and the eyeglass pressed almost painfully into his eye socket as he willed the horses away.
One of the riders jerked, the impact of a quarrel throwing him out of his saddle. The horse shied violently, but the man’s foot caught in the stirrup, and the horse dragged him out of sight.
          A murmur of dismay rose from the watching soldiers. Lyram clutched the eyeglass tighter, sweeping the scene to try and find the other two riders.

* * *

Thanks for dropping by! Don’t forget, this is a first draft, and as such won’t be perfect. If you like what you read, and are so inclined, show your support by leaving a comment, and In the Company of the Dead will be available in the future. I aim to have the first draft finished by the end of March. If you’d like to sample more of my writing, check out my novella Confronting the Demon.
If this is your first visit to Monday Morsels, find others in the series by clicking on the ‘Monday morsel’ tag, or go to the first installment.

More about In the Company of the Dead:


Lyram already crossed a prince, and now he finds himself on the brink of crossing a god.

Son of a duke and second in line for the throne, Lyram is exiled to a lonely castle after assaulting the crown prince. When a hostile army arrives to besiege the castle, he believes the prince wants him removed – permanently.

As though answering their prayers, Ellaeva, the Battle Priestess of the death goddess, arrives unexpectedly. But she has not come to break the siege. Instead, she is in pursuit of a necromancer of the evil god of decay. When misfortune after misfortune befalls the beleaguered defenders, Lyram realises the necromancer is hidden within the walls, sabotaging the very defence.

Against the backdrop of clashing gods, Lyram must fight to save himself from the political machinations of his prince, and the dread plans of a necromancer. But as the siege lengthens, he realises the greatest threat may come from another quarter — a woman sworn body and soul to a god tempts him to pay a terrible price.