Forged in Blood



From the distant past to the far future, those who carry the sword rack up commendations for bravery. They are men and women who, like the swords they carry, have been forged in blood. These are their stories.

In medieval Japan, a surly ronin is called upon to defend a village against a thieving tax collector who soon finds out it's not wise to anger an old, tired man. In the ugliest fighting in the Pacific Theater, an American sergeant and a Japanese lieutenant must face each other, and themselves. A former US Marine chooses sides with outnumbered Indonesian refugees against an invading army from Java. When her lover is stolen by death, a sergeant fighting on a far-flung world vows vengeance that will become legendary. And, when a planet fragments in violent chaos, seven Freeholders volunteer to help protect another nation's embassy against a horde.

Featuring all-new stories by Michael Z. Williamson, Larry Correia, Tom Kratman, Tony Daniel, Micahel Massa, Peter Grant, John F. Holmes, and many more.

Zachary Hill
Larry Correia
Michael Massa
John F. Holmes
Rob Reed
Dale Flowers
Tom Kratman
Leo Champion
Peter Grant
Christopher L. Smith
Jason Cordova
Tony Daniel
Kacey Ezell
Michael Z. Williamson

Cover Art by Kurt Miller

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This is a work of fiction. All the characters and events portrayed in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely coincidental.

First printing, September 2017

Distributed by Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020

Printed in the United States of America

ISBN-13: 978-1-4814-8270-7
eISBN: 978-1-62579-607-3

Copyright © 2017 by Michael Z. Williamson
“The Tachi,” © 2017 Zachary Hill; “Musings of a Hermit,” © 2017 Larry Correia; “Stronger than Steel,” © 2017 Michael Massa; “He Who Lives Wins,” © 2017 John F. Holmes; “Souvenirs,” © 2017 Rob Reed; “Broken Spirit,” © 2017 Michael Z. Williamson and Dale C. Flowers; “Okoyyūki,” © 2017 Tom Kratman; “The Day the Tide Rolled In,” © 2017 Michael Z. Williamson and Leo Champion; “Ripper,” © 2017 Peter Grant; “Case Hardened,” © 2017 Christopher L. Smith; “Magnum Opus,” © 2017 Jason Cordova; “Lovers,” © 2017 Tony Daniel; “The Reluctant Heroine” (“The Reluctant Heroine” appeared in slightly different form in the novel Freehold, copyright 2004, Michael Z. Williamson), © 2017 Michael Z. Williamson; “The Thin Green Line,” © 2017 Michael Z. Williamson; “Family Over Blood,” © 2017 Kacey Ezell; “Choices and Consequences,” © 2017 Michael Z. Williamson.

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form.

A Baen Books Original
Baen Publishing Enterprises
P.O. Box 1403
Riverdale, NY 10471

Electronic version by Baen Books