According to the laws of the Rhadur, whenever one of their own is killed in one of the cities they have conquered, twelve citizens chosen at random must die in turn. Now the Rhadur governor of Greyvault has been murdered and in retaliation, his successor plans to hang twelve innocent maidens.
One of the women to be hanged is Lysha, the childhood sweetheart of Meldom, thief, cutpurse and occasional assassin. When Meldom learns of Lysha’s fate, he immediately sets out to rescue her, accompanied by his friends Thurvok, the sellsword, and the sorceress Sharenna…
This is a short story of 6500 words or 24 print pages in the Thurvok sword and sorcery series, but may be read as a standalone. Includes an introduction and afterword.
List price: 0.99 USD, EUR or GBP
Buy it at Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Germany, Amazon France, Amazon Netherlands, Amazon Spain, Amazon Italy, Amazon Canada, Amazon Australia, Amazon Brazil, Amazon Japan, Amazon India, Amazon Mexico, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Apple iTunes, Google Play, Scribd, Smashwords, Inktera, Playster, Thalia, Weltbild, Hugendubel, Buecher.de, DriveThruFiction, Casa del Libro, e-Sentral, 24symbols and XinXii.
- The Forest of the Hanged is a short story of 6500 words or approximately 24 print pages in the Thurvok series, but may be read as a standalone. This story is a digital premiere and has never been published previously.
- The Forest of the Hanged was one of the stories written during the 2018 July short story challenge, where the aim was to write a short story per day in July 2018.
- The Forest of the Hanged started life as proposed historical tale inspired by the legend of the burghers of Calais, only that the burghers are young women. However, I couldn’t quite figure out how to make the story work. Then, during the July short story challenge, I looked at my abandoned story folder, came across this story start and thought, “Hey, this would work much better as a fantasy story.” And then I thought, “Why not make this into a Thurvok story?”
- Though The Forest of the Hanged is told from Thurvok’s perspective, Meldom is the focus of the story and we finally learn a little more about his background. And of course, Meldom also acquires a love interest in Lysha and our trio of adventurers becomes a quartet.
- Sharenna once again proves herself to be the most powerful member of the group and saves the day with her magic.
- Unlike my other stories, the Thurvok series is credited to Richard Blakemore, whom regular readers will recognise as the pulp writer protagonist of the Silencer series. As for why the Thurvok series is credited to Richard Blakemore, in the Silencer story Mean Streets and Dead Alleys, Richard purchases the January 1936 issue of Weird Tales and is pleased to find a new instalment of a Conan serial by Robert E. Howard, a Jirel of Joiry novelette by C.L. Moore, a Jules de Grandin novelette by Seabury Quinn as well as one of Margaret Brundage’s famous covers. He also muses that he would like to take a stab at writing something like that one day. This throwaway scene got me thinking, “What if Richard actually did write a sword and sorcery series for Jake Levonsky?”
- When I found myself writing a sword and sorcery adventure, which eventually blossomed into a series, for the July short story challenge, I suddenly wondered, “What if this was Richard Blakemore’s lost sword and sorcery series?” And so I decided to credit the story to Richard and pass myself off as the editor who rediscovered him. I even created a blog and an Amazon author page for Richard and filled out a Smashwords interview in his persona.
- The cover is stock art by Melkor3D.