To my brothers, who started, unknowingly, this train. . . .
1The novel that follows, an epic fantasy and first in a series, contains the beginnings of a long and complex story that takes place in a world very different from our own. Some elements will feel familiar; the characters & situations should also be familiar, although the names and professions sound alien to our contemporary world. This work, like all works of fantasy, requires an extra investment on the part of the reader, and the learning curve is steep in this first volume, introducing a new world, new races, new professions, new creatures, and a new language with its own quirks. I beg the reader’s patience and encourage the reader to ‘press on’–the reward in the end will be worth the investment. This volume has gone through many different iterations, all of them critiqued by readers of fantasy, and their suggestions have helped increase both clarity & access; note also that this book includes a glossary that will aid in understanding these new elements. I have also posted a searchable version of the glossary on my website at http://clydebnorthrup.webs.com under the “Documents” tab that can be downloaded and searched at the reader’s leisure (perhaps while reading the story), along with other information relevant to this (and other future stories). Please visit the site and enjoy what has been (and will be) posted there for the reader’s benefit.
The story that follows could have taken place on our world, in the far distant past, perhaps before the last ice age, or on another world, or in another dimension; it is a reader turned scholar turned author’s attempt to tell an epic story, a tall tale, a “lie breathed through silver,” an exercise of the “noble art of lying,” a reflection of the one true ‘fairy-story’, to whom I owe everything and express my undying gratitude for the gift, the means, and the opportunity to share this story. May the reader find as much joy in the reading as I have in the creation!