Knights & Necromancers 1:

Days of wild obedience

By Baldur Bjarnason

A martial artist, a former knight, and a sorcerer are caught in a necromancer’s evil plot. (Out now.)

The Knights & Necromancers series takes place in the world Alaentera, a planet ruled by sorcerers, necromancers, and immortals. Not that you have to memorise a couple of hundred pages of back history, family trees, or world-building trivia to make sense of the story. A story set in London doesn’t print the London A-Z in the back as an appendix, nor does it expect you to have to keep referring to it to make any sense of the protagonists’ journey, and I can’t imagine why fantasy authors keep doing something as dreary as that in their books.

But, I digress. Days of wild obedience features Cera, a scribe and a martial artist, Grace, a former knight native to the Atani continent, and Cadence, a veteran sorcerer, and they all end up in a bit of a messy situation. They get entangled in a necromancer plot that threatens to leave them all very, very, dead. They don’t want to be dead, which means we’re going to have conflict.

Which in turn means we're going to see martial arts, sword fights, sorcery, necromancy, and undead beasties wreaking havoc.

Oh, and a couple of marital squabbles. Those do sound less impressive than evil necromantic enchantments or undead giant wolves, but it’s all there.

Obviously, though, the marital brouhahas involve necromancy, reanimations, dead things coming to life, and live things coming to death, not arguments over the mortgage or how he keeps avoiding responsibility.

This is sword and sorcery, after all.

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Never-ending epics getting you down?

Knights & Necromancers is only six semi-standalone short novellas

The series isn’t a multi-volume epic, each hundreds of pages, with no end in sight. It’s six stories, each around 35 000 to 40 000 words long, each one readable as a yarn in its own right, but with character arcs that span the entire series.

And I’m not going to die leaving the series unfinished. All six stories are already completed and ready and will be published over the next few months.

That isn’t to say that the world-building done here is disposable. There are more stories to be told about Alaentera and the Atani continent. Exploring a world by following the same old characters for thousands of pages with no closure isn’t the only way to write fantasy.

Tired of elves and dwarves?

You need undead beasties and kung-fu! (And a serious plot, obviously.)

Fantasy used to be cheap, short, and cheerful—back when it was called sword and sorcery, that is.

Maybe not cheerful, unless you’d call Conan hacking people and stuff to bits cheerful.

Which I would, so, hell, I’m sticking with it.

(I’m digressing again, aren’t I?)

Cheap and short. Fantasy epics have become so epic that if you’d spend as much time studying as you need to get into a single series, you’d end up with three degrees from Cambridge with a diploma in Teaching English as a Foreign Language from Bristol City College thrown in for laughs.

Scary stuff. A bit of violence. Monsters. Sorcerers and Necromancers. People you like chopping people you don’t like into tiny bits. Throw in a bit of romance there for variety and you’ve got fantasy as it should be: fun.

Be warned!

There is a hint of romance here that continues throughout the series

A little bit here, a little bit there, I wouldn’t call it the main plot, but it’s where the heart of the story lies.

(Yeah, I know. I couldn’t resist using that line. It made me laugh. So sue me.)

Characters and their relationships are the motive power of most stories, the engine that drives them. This one’s no different. Characters aren't emotionally invested in destroying zombies, wraith-knights, or wolf-beasts. The stuff that keeps them going is internal and of all the stuff that goes on in there, love is the biggie.

It’s short. It’s fun. It's free. You should give it a go

Still not sure?

The first story is free and the rest have generous samples

At this length each story is less a tv miniseries and more a night out at the movies. You bring the popcorn.