Grant wrote this post:
So many books, so little time. It has always been a problem. Well, maybe not for you, but for me, certainly.
I don’t know if people have changed, or maybe it’s just the people in my neck of the woods, but I don’t see a lot of folks wandering around with a book in their hands anymore. In my house you’ll certainly see us with a book or two on the go (except my for my son, who prefers to carry around an xbox controller), but in general, reading doesn’t seem to be as big of a pass-time for many.
As a youngster I would slip off to a shadowed corner to lose myself in some dark and mysterious fantasy world or another. One of my all time favorite series was Dennis L. McKiernan’s the “Iron Tower” Trilogy. At the time (I was twelve) it was one of the most amazing things I had ever read. For years I passed it on to anyone that showed an interest. Then I discovered The Lord of the Rings when I was sixteen and something terrible happened.
I realized that most of that which I had loved about McKiernan’s work had been borrowed (I use the term loosely) from Tolkien’s passages; McKiernan almost copied directly from the greatest fantasy book ever written. I was disgusted.
When I was fourteen I discovered a book that would change my life. David A. Gemmell’s -Knight’s of Dark Renown.
I couldn’t believe the way Gemmell wrote his villains. Did bad guys really have feelings that motivated them to do these terrible things? Were these villains, plain folk that had experienced awful things that changed their perspectives on life?
I still read the book once every few years, and though the story no longer has the power to move me as it once did, its magic lives on in another way. David Gemmell taught me how to write.
For the next few years I devoured everything Mr. Gemmell wrote. Now some of it wasn’t that great, but then there were the other tales, those that moved me beyond words. Heroic, action packed stories that still stand up with the best of them (the Rigante series is my favorite…).
It is because of David A. Gemmell that I put pen to paper and wrote my first novel, “Shadow of the Makarios.” Without his influence, I never would have undertaken the journey.
Other novels I enjoyed as a kid/teen:
Where the Red Fern Grows
Call of the Wild
The Incredible Journey
Two against the north
Curse of the Viking grave
The Crystal Cave
by Grant and Gary Reed
After ninety years of warring, exploring, and saving the realm, brothers Yarl and Fonn, must take up the title of Master again. If they don’t, someone else will surely steal all the fame, glory, and fertile women. How will they ever train new apprentices, save the kingdom, and still find time to fit in that extra order of chicken wings? Make no mistake, the old Masters have a lot to pass on and only a short timeframe to do it.
Will young Garrett flourish as an apprentice Sworvei? Can his partner Azilda master the ‘Nesting Nightingale’? And who in hell invited the ogres?
Join this rag-tag group of ‘Protectors of the Realm’ to see if they can pull off the biggest upset of the Continental Games, by saving young King Renli from the clutches of the evil First General.
“His name is James Lacie. Once he was one of the top alchemists in Cassadia. He was highly sought after for his many time-saving inventions and numerous elixirs. At any given time his shop carried wart remover, air fresheners, love potions, and something closer to that which you seek.”
Miss Mia turned back to her mirror and dabbed at her rosy cheeks again, humming to herself. Milo reached to his belt and produced a small leather bag. Opening the pouch he emptied it into the palm of his left hand. A pair of opal earrings spilled forth. “Closer to that which I seek, you say?” he inquired.
“Yes, a chemical fruit that when eaten would unknowingly render the eater susceptible to suggestion. A great party favourite a few years back. The unsuspecting victim would eat the fruit and was then told to cluck like a chicken or act like a coconut. Its effects would sometimes last the duration of a good party.”
“Yes, the gag would be much funnier if the victim was unsuspecting,” mused Milo. “Tell me, where can I find this James Lacie’s shop?”
“He no longer has one,” replied Mia. “It had something to do with a potion mix up. The king’s cousin ended up falling in love with a sheep, as I recall. The royal family was not impressed, and you know how the Chronicle can be when it gets its hands on what it deems to be a front page story. Ruined the man’s career, or so I’m told. Anyway Mr. Lacie has been on the lam ever since.”
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