Monday, March 24, 2008

"What Heroes Leave Behind" by Nicholas Ian Hawkins from RotS

In this story, we meet Tolasun, an aging hero. He's a memorable character and the story conveys the toll of the years on his body as well as the weight of his deeds on the world. Songs are sung for this guy, but he knows the end is coming, so when an old flame comes with tidings of an evil that has taken root in the ruins of a crumbling fortress and endangers a local monastery, he jumps at the chance to go out swinging.

There are excellent scenes with minor characters, the old flame, the monk, that pass information as well as giving us a sense of who these people are. This is a lesson to remember and a story to come back to. Even the "minor" characters have personality.

This story has it all: fast, brutal action and a fully realized characters. Even the captured raider has grit and history. Nice touches. The biggest strength is Tolasun, who has a lot of history which comes out naturally in the story, and his physical struggles. Fighting a horde of raiders seems an easy feat compared to the ten hour march up the mountain! Tolasun's struggle with his age was spot on. Tolasun is like a hero from myth, or from a D&D game, who just does what he does because he is needed. But, the barren results of his nomadic, bachelor ways bring him vividly to life.

Add an epic final battle of mythic scope and blam! That's a kickass story.

Buy the book! The Return of the Sword: An Anthology of Heroic Adventure
Nicholas Ian Hawkins
EE Knight's Announcement
Post a Comment