Assassins by David Pauly
Assasins is the first book of The Fourth Age: Shadow Wars by David Pauly.
As the Third Age ends, a desperate Elven ship flees the war torn shores of Nostraterra, as Elf Queen Aradia races against time to save Bran, the diminutive Gracie who destroyed the Dark Lord Magnar. As the Fourth Age begins the domination of Men, force Elves and Dwarves to acknowledge the tyrannical might of the Westmen and their king Creon.
Secret societies within the mines of the Dwarves and forests of the Elves plot against the Westmen, unleashing horrific violence and destruction; determined to kill Creon’s son, crown-prince Alfrahil. Confronted by the scheming Fire Priests of the Dwarves and Dark Elven cults, messengers sent by Alfrahil barely escape with their lives to bring news of the plot back to Eldora. Falsely accused, Alfrahil’s brother Daerahil is convicted and banished by Creon to the broken ruins of Magnar’s former stronghold.
Battles fought within the shadows of all realms in Nostraterra foretell the coming struggle that may tear the lands apart. Will Alfrahil find the real conspirators and clear Daerahil’s name? How will the kings of the Elves and Dwarves control their fractious elements, yet still remain independent from Eldora? These and many other questions await you in the Fourth Age: Shadow Wars.
A Word from the Author
I began writing right after I got divorced, it gave me something to do at night to try and distract myself from abject loneliness. I wrote a few pages and eventually a chapter and sent it off to my brother James who is also a fantasy fiction fan. He was surprised at the quality of the material, it was still really rough, but he liked the descriptive nature of the scenes and the beginnings of the book’s plot. Chapters built onto themselves for just over a year, before I finished the original manuscript.
Re-writing only got me so far, so I enlisted the help of a professional editor based out of New York, named Paul Witcover. Paul was ruthless in his editing, declaring at one point that my “imagination and creativity out stripped my craft”. While this was initially hard to take, I took heart from it, and after re-writing the novel for the umpteenth time, Paul seemed reasonably pleased with my scene construction and other corrections. At that point I tried to sell it as an entire novel, all 250k words, but it was too large for many prospective readers. Finally giving in to my wife Anne’s request, along with my brother James, I broke the book up into 3 manageable pieces that seem to do much better with readers.
In terms of research and writing, my favorite author is J.R.R. Tolkien, and I read his entire history of Middle Earth, all 13 volumes of it, along with his published letters and biography. This was not to try and duplicate, copy, or frankly rip-off a great author, but instead to try and get a sense of the depth of a great story. The small amounts of “invented” language are primarily from the Gothic language, which was one not used by Tolkien, or by any other author that I know. During this process, I learned much more about myself than I thought I would, and as my writing progressed, much more of my personality, thought process and “voices” came through so when the book was finished, I could truly call it original.
Instead of trading on familiar themes in other author’s works, I took today’s modern day politics, with as many complexities as I could manage, and placed them into what is I hope an original fantasy world. Shadow Wars was ten years in the making, and there were many times that I thought of giving up. Surprisingly the original writing was easiest, the endless re-writing, trying to critically edit my own work over a hundred times, was extremely tedious. Now, I am hard at work marketing Shadow Wars, and half way through writing Dark Shaman, the next installment in my world of Nostraterra.
(David Pauly, January 2017)
Other Books in the Same Series
The Fourth Age: Shadow Wars Series
Book 2 – Conspiracy
Book 3 – Myths