You know Disney’s Sword in the Stone, when Merlin goes back to little Arthur from the future, and he’s wearing a Hawaiian shirt and sunglasses? Good. This book I have here today is nothing like that, but when I read Silver Mage, I saw Merlin. Then I read the synopsis, and I thought ok, “This is a whole ‘nother business”. Then I read the Author’s bio, and I said, “well, this guy lived to see some pretty serious crap, hats off.” So, to get to an end, if you want a book with a lot of action, one of those great stories a la Tolkien (but probably more realistic), stop here.
The book is Armies of the Silver Mage (Histories of Malweir Book 1) by Christian Warren Freed, an Epic Fantasy.
Malweir was once governed by the order of Mages, bringers of peace and light. Centuries past and the lands prospered. But all was not well. Unknown to most, one mage desired power above all else. He turned his will to the banished Dark Gods and brought war to the free lands. Only a handful of mages survived the betrayal and the Silver Mage was left free to twist the darker races to his bidding. The only thing he needs to complete his plan and rule the world forever are the four shards of the crystal of Tol Shere.
Having spent most of their lives dreaming about leaving their sleepy village and travelling the world, Delin Kerny and Fennic Attleford never thought that one day they would be forced to flee their town in order to save their lives. Everything changes when they discover the fabled Star Silver sword and learn that there are some who want the weapon for themselves. Hunted by a ruthless mercenary, the boys run from Fel Darrins and are forced into the adventure they only dreamed about.
Ever ashamed of the horrors his kind let loose on the world the last mage, Dakeb, lives his life in shadows. The only thing keeping him alive is his quest to stop the Silver Mage from reassembling the crystal. His chance finally comes through the hearts and wills of Delin and Fennic. Dakeb bestows upon them the crystal shard, entrusting them with the one thing capable of restoring peace to Malweir.
Delin gradually overcame his fear as his eyes grew used to the dark and started to explore. The main room was sparsely decorated, even for a hermit. A rickety old rocking chair sat next to the empty fireplace, and a small round table by the window. The shelf on the wall held a few colored vases and a handful of books. A brilliant silver sword was mounted on the mantle behind it, drawing Fennic’s full attention. Delin grew bolder, knowing that if Wiffe was home he’d have come out by now. He decided to look through the rest of the cottage.
Fennic didn’t move. He knew he should be afraid, but the sword whispered to him, calming his nerves and opening his mind to an infinite number of possibilities. Great tales and high adventure lay within the steel, and Fennic Attleford found himself wondering what it would be like to live that life.
“I finished checking the other room,” Delin announced. He came to stand beside Fennic and looked up at the sword, not seeing what held Fennic’s attention. It was just an old piece of steel.
“All right,” Fennic answered blankly.
“He doesn’t have much, just a plain cot with a half-filled wardrobe. There are lots of herbs and spices and stuff over there where the kitchen area is. The pantry is stocked with jars of food and dried meat.” He paused, noticing Fennic’s empty stare. “Are you listening?”
Fennic wasn’t. Instead, he was reaching for the shining sword. It called to him, begged him to take it from the mantle and carry out their destiny together. What deeds they could accomplish! Folks would tell of the unstoppable Fennic and his silver sword for generations.
“You shouldn’t mess with that,” Delin warned.
Nonsense. “Who’s going to know?”
Fennic opened his mouth to reply when the baying of an old hound dog echoed around the clearing. Old Man Wiffe was coming home. Delin ran to the door in time to see the recluse entering the clearing. They were trapped. He turned and was astonished to see Fennic brandishing the sword like a professional arms man.
“Put that back! We need to get out of here now.”
Fennic marveled at the way the sword cut through the air, whistling with superiority. What a wondrous thing this silver sword was. Delin snatched him by the wrist, breaking the spell. Wild eyes stared back at him.
“Didn’t you hear me? Wiffe is back!”
Panic struck Fennic. He hurried to replace the sword, lest he was caught with it in his hands. What would Wiffe think? That he was stealing the sword? Chances were that he would kill both of them. He ran to the window and peered out. There was nothing out there. No dog, no sign of the old man. “I think it’s safe. I don’t see anyone,” he said.
The door groaned open and the old hound snapped at them. A heavy shadow fell on them.
“Well, well. What have I here?” the deep voice rolled like thunder across the mountains.
Panic gripped them. Delin briefly considered running out the back window but the dog snapping and barking at his feet stopped him immediately. Fennic’s heart skipped. The sword whispered, begged to be used, but Fennic was couldn’t move.
“Would be thieves come to rob an old man? I don’t think so,” said the newcomer with unmistakable menace in his tone.
About the Author
Christian W. Freed was born in Buffalo, N.Y. more years ago than he would like to remember. After spending more than 20 years in the active duty US Army he has turned his talents to writing. Since retiring, he has gone on to publish 17 military fantasy and science fiction novels, as well as his memoirs from his time in Iraq and Afghanistan. His first published book (Hammers in the Wind) has been the #1 free book on Kindle 4 times and he holds a fancy certificate from the L Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest.
Passionate about history, he combines his knowledge of the past with modern military tactics to create an engaging, quasi-realistic world for the readers. He graduated from Campbell University with a degree in history and is pursuing a Masters of Arts degree in Military History from Norwich University. He currently lives outside of Raleigh, N.C. and devotes his time to writing, his family, and their two Bernese Mountain Dogs. If you drive by you might just find him on the porch with a cigar in one hand and a pen in the other.
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