I love learning about the creative beginnings that led to authors' works. Today, author Gail Z. Martin takes us back to the beginnings of the series that includes Sellsword's Oath. You'll also have the opportunity to read an excerpt and then you can follow the tour for even more. Be sure to leave comments and questions along the way and then enter the giveaway!
Sellsword’s Oath is the second book in the Assassins of Landria series. It follows the adventures of Joel “Ridge” Breckenridge and Garrett “Rett” Kennard, who are the two best King’s Shadows—elite assassins who protect the king and kingdom. Ridge and Rett are unconventional, they’re a headache to their boss, they suck at being stealthy, but they are fiercely loyal to the king and to their friends, and they will risk everything to protect the kingdom—even if doing so lands them on the ‘most wanted’ list!
The Assassins of Landria series is my fourth epic fantasy series. The other books were much more traditional—big page count, complex plot with a lot of sub-plots and plenty of characters. I enjoy those kinds of books (obviously, since I’ve written 12 of them), but I wanted to do something different with this series. So many people have told me that they enjoyed epic fantasy but didn’t read it anymore because they didn’t have time for such big books. So I decided to try a series that was shorter, fewer sub-plots, fewer characters to keep straight, but plenty of action, humor and heart. This is epic fantasy feels without the epic length.
When I got the idea of having assassins be the good guys, then I had to come up with the kind of kingdom where that would be necessary, and the kind of characters who would be likely to become ‘good’ assassins. It also meant thinking about who would be their allies and enemies, and who the ‘big bad’ would be. That led to thinking about what kind of magic exists and who is allowed to have it, and how it works. All those pieces need to work together for a book to make sense.
Creating a fictional world is one of the most fun parts of writing for me because there’s so much room to be creative!
Buddy flick epic fantasy! The second in the Assassins of Landria series from the award-winning, bestselling author of Scourge: A Novel of Darkhurst and The Chronicles Of The Necromancer books!
Wandering mystic Yefim Makary, known to his followers as the ‘Witch Lord’, disappeared before he could be accused of inciting dissent against King Kristoph. His supporters among the disenchanted aristocrats who weren’t arrested have fled or died by their own hand. The king is happy to put the matter behind him. Yet Burke, the commander of the elite King’s Shadows, doesn’t believe the threat is over, and he assigns his two most troublesome, rule-breaking—and successful—assassins to ferret out the real threat and put a stop to Makary’s plots.
Joel “Ridge” Breckinridge and Garrett “Rett” Kennard rose through the ranks of the Landrian army together, from teenaged conscripts to seasoned fighters. Together, they became the most feared team of assassins in Landria, surviving longer that most in their profession by virtue of excellent fighting skills, legendary bravado, peerless strategy, and an uncanny synchronicity.
As the threads of a new plot come together revealing disloyalty among the priests and generals, Ridge and Rett once again find themselves on the run, hoping they and their allies can figure out the Witch Lord’s latest scheme before it costs them their lives—and the king his throne.
Read an excerpt:
The trick, when setting off gunpowder, was to be far enough away.
Ridge had never been good at that part.
He’d almost reached the embankment when he heard the shot from Rett’s matchlock. Knowing what was about to happen next, Ridge dove into the ravine, taking his chances with brambles and thickets over flying rocks and shattered glass.
Behind him, the country manor exploded in a fireball as Rett’s shot touched off the barrels of gunpowder on its roof. That would bring down the ceiling and blow the bombers on the roof sky high while trapping the traitors inside, where they’d either be killed by the blast or buried in the rubble for the king’s guards to collect.
Ridge grunted as he tumbled over roots and rocks, tucking his arms over his face and trusting his leather cuirass to take the brunt of the hits. Even so, rock dust settled like snow over the whole area, and small bits of stone pelted like hail.
To keep it all official, Ridge had nailed the letter of marque to a tree in front of the manor, after he had ensured that no one but the smugglers were inside the abandoned country house. The smugglers—and their rivals on the roof—were already in the process of setting explosives when Ridge and Rett arrived to carry out the assassination. That was a bonus, killing two sets of troublemakers in one swoop and without the personal danger of getting close enough to throw a knife or slit a throat.
He trusted Rett to stay in position, where he would be able to pick off stragglers from his vantage point high in a sturdy tree. Ridge dragged himself to his feet, brushed off the worst of the dirt, and climbed back up the slope. Once he got to the top of the embankment, he would have a good view to spot anyone who might have escaped the explosion and eluded Rett’s aim.
“Damn,” he muttered when he reached the top and saw the results.
Available on Amazon
About Gail Z. MartinGail Z. Martin writes epic fantasy, urban fantasy and steampunk for Solaris Books, Orbit Books, SOL Publishing, Darkwind Press, and Falstaff Books. Recent books include Witch of the Woods, Sellsword’s Oath, Inheritance, and Night Moves. With Larry N. Martin, she is the co-author of the Spells Salt & Steel, Wasteland Marshals, Joe Mack and Jake Desmet series. As Morgan Brice, she writes urban fantasy MM paranormal romance including the Witchbane, Badlands and Treasure Trail series. Recent books include Loose Ends and Unholy.
Find her at www.GailZMartin.com, on Twitter @GailZMartin, on Facebook.com/WinterKingdoms, at DisquietingVisions.com blog and on Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/GailZMartin. Never miss out on the news and new releases—newsletter signup link http://eepurl.com/dd5XLj Follow her Amazon author page here: https://www.amazon.com/Gail-Z-Martin/e/B002BM8XSQ On Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/gail-z-martin On Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/morganbriceauthor/
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Gail Z. Martin will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
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