JUST ONE RED SWORD COULD DEFEAT AN ARMY —
AND THE ENEMY HAD A WHOLE ARSENAL!
Every schoolboy knows that Mordred the Great defeated King Arthur the Tyrant in the twelfth century, and Mordred's heirs had preserved the British crown through the Age of Crisis, and extended its reach halfway across the globe. By the 17th century, much of Europe, Asia and the New world was ruled from Londinium by the the kings of the Pendragon dynasty, protecting the Crown against the still-powerful Holy Roman Empire as much as the onset of the Dar Al Islam. The ragged band of outlaws that had been created as Mordred the Great's bodyguards had, over the centuries, become the paladins of the Order of Crown, Shield, and Dragon, dedicated to the Pendragons, each one taking the vow of "Service, honor, faith, obedience. Justice tempered only by mercy; mercy tempered only by justice."
But knights of the Order had more than vows to preserve the Crown. During the Age of Crisis, the Great Wizards had forged live swords to be weapons of the Order knights. Weapons of such power that could be trusted to no lesser mortals, because White swords held the souls of saints, while the Red swords imprisoned the souls of those who were anything but saints, and in the wrong hands, Red swords were capable of unspeakable destruction.
The art of making live swords had perished with the Great Wizards at end of the Age of Crisis.
Or so everyone thought.
But now, as the Crown, the Empire, and the Dar Al Islam sit astride the world in a precarious balance, three knights of the Order have discovered a brand new, previously unknown Red sword which has been very recently forged.
Worse, the tortured soul imprisoned in the sword remembers that it was only one of many which were cached in the hold of a mysterious sailing ship, origin unknown, and destination uncertain....
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Joel Rosenberg was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and raised in North Dakota and Connecticut. His occupations have included driving a truck, caring for the institutionalized retarded, bookkeeping, gambling, motel desk-clerking, technical writing, firearms training, and passing himself off as a head chef.
His first sale was an op-ed piece favoring nuclear power, appearing in The New York Times. His Guardians of the Flame novels have been bestsellers, and given him a huge readership in fantasy, which is growing as the first books in the series are being reprinted by Baen Books. His science fiction novels, including Ties of Blood, Emile and the Dutchman, Not for Glory, and Hero have been equally popular and received critical acclaim. With his new novel, Paladins (Baen), he has begun a new heroic fantasy series.
He lives in Minneapolis with his wife and daughters.
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