Other books byPatricia Bray
Tales from Ur-Bar
Science fiction and fantasy readers have long shown an affinity for a good "bar story". Now some of today's most inventive scriveners have decided to tell their own tall tales-from an alewife's attempt to transfer the gods' curse to Gilgamesh, to Odin's decision to introduce Vikings to the Ur-Bar, from the Holy Roman Emperor's barroom bargain, to a demon hunter who may just have met his match in the ultimate magic bar, to a bouncer who discovers you should never let anyone in after hours in a world terrorized by zombies.
The Modern Fae's Guide to Surviving Humanity
What if the fae were still here, living among us? Perhaps living in secret, doing their best to pass for human? Or perhaps their existence is acknowledged, but they're still struggling to fit in. How have they survived? Are they outcasts clinging to the edges of society, or do their powers ensure success in the mortal realm? Here are fourteen fabulous tales-ranging from humor to dark fantasy-that explore how the creatures of fae are fitting into the modern world.
Book I of The Sword of Change
The once mighty kingdom of Jorsk is in decline, its borders beset by enemies, both worldly and otherworldly. The king has retreated to the capital, abandoning the far-flung provinces. The only hope of the people lies in their Chosen One, blessed by the gods as defender of the realm. But of late every Chosen One has died, targeted by the harshest of the enemy attacks. Only the most desperate of men now seek that post. Devlin Stonehand is a desperate man. Overwhelmed by grief at the death of his family, he has lost the will to live. But he has vowed to provide for his brother’s widow and children, and the post of the Chosen One carries with it a substantial reward. For Devlin, a farmer and metalsmith, it is the answer to his prayers—prayers that include a yearning for the oblivion of death. After he has won the post, though, Devlin discovers that sometimes the hardest goal to achieve is that which had once seemed the simplest. For unlike the other Chosen Ones, he persists in surviving. Are the gods just tormenting him further, or does he have a greater destiny than he imagined? Can a man who courts death ever truly come to embrace life?
Devlin of Duncaer has done the impossible. Desperate for death in the wake of his family's slaughter, he agreed to become the Chosen One of the neighboring Kingdom of Jorsk—the kingdom which conquered and enslaved his own native land of Duncaer. The job involved magically binding himself to Jorsk and its needs by a powerfu Geas spell, and used to come with about a three months survival time—until Devlin. Miraculously surviving attack after attack, he comes to learn once again the value of life, honor and friendship. But just when he is reconciled to his new life, he finds he must go off seeking the Chosen One's sword of legend—which he knows for a fact was lost in conquered Duncaer. So now Devlin—once exiled from his homeland and hoping never to go back—must again face the land of his birth and the people who once trusted him. Only now he comes to them wearing the garb of their conquerors. But when Devlin returns from that mission, it is only to discover that things in Jorsk have been getting worse in his absence. The unknown enemy's magical attacks on the kingdom are getting worse, and the king's policy of non-involvement is throwing his kingdom into chaos. As more and more borders are threatened, the nobles can do nothing but squabble and debate. It seems that Devlin is the only one who can stem the tide. But can he discover the enemy's true identity and put a stop to his or her predations before the entire kindgom collapses, taking its Chosen One down with it??