The Swordsman’s Oath

Artist Geoff Taylor

The second Tale of Einarinn is told by Ryshad, sworn man to the Tormalin prince Messire D’Olbriot. In the previous story, Ryshad and his associate Aiten had encountered Livak and Shiv in Inglis, where the thief and the mage had been about the Archmage’s business. Ryshad and Aiten were pursuing some Ice Islanders on their patron’s account, after a nephew of the Sieur D’Olbriot had been attacked, robbed and left for dead.

Writing a second novel presents very different challenges from the first. One of the most important as far as I was concerned was to make sure I didn’t simply write the same story again. Deciding to tell the tale from Ryshad’s point of view helped me make sure of that but demanded a distinctly separate voice to Livak’s and a masculine voice at that. My thanks go to my various male friends who answered endless questions on everything from what it’s like to have a beard to deconstruction of their most memorable clashes with wives and girlfriends. I also want each Tale of Einarinn to be a story complete in itself, even where the action stems from events in earlier books. Making sure the newcomer has the information they need to make sense of the tale while not delaying the action for established readers with tedious repetition proved a tricky balancing act; one that can only get harder as I write the Third, Fourth and Fifth Tales. It will be for the readers to judge how well I succeed but I’m determined to try. On the other hand, one of the joys of writing an on-going sequence is being able to portray the world of Einarinn in ever more detail and in this book; Ryshad’s adventures enabled me to expand on Tormalin society and to introduce the very different culture of the Aldabreshin Archipelago.

So what is the story? Well, this is what the British book-jacket tells you…

‘When Ryshad, a sworn man, is instructed to assist a wizard in his fight against the strange magic of the Elietimm, it seems the perfect opportunity to seek revenge for the death of his friend. And the chance to renew his acquaintance with Livak – gambler, thief and former lover.

But Ryshad will have to overcome far more than his personal grief, for the Elietimm’s threat to the Empire is increasing at an alarming rate. He will journey to far-off lands and encounter treachery and foul sorcery. He will witness incredible wonders and terrifying visions. He will fight to the death to stay true to his oath. And for much of the time his sword will be his only friend – in more ways than he can possibly imagine.’

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