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“Lora, you’re a great one for solving riddles, but you haven’t solved this riddle. Everything we’ve done has been just like someone in a saga should do a thing. A big man comes along and threatens you; pull out your axe and stand up to him. If his housecarls attack; kill them. It’s all very Fjordlander.

“But we need to think like something else.”

Thus, Thay Sorig, one of four young Fjordlanders born on the same night to different mothers seventeen years earlier sets a course to a destiny different from the perilous one selected for them by the Goddess, Rulla, Dealer of Fates. Rulla’s runecasting foretold a great wyrd, the rise of Fjordland’s first king, but at the cost of great upheaval.

Alas, this new course Thay sets is every bit as dangerous as their former one.



Rulla, Dealer of Fates, has seen fit to bestow Her blessing on four babes - Cairn, Lars, Lora and Thay - for they are all born on the same night to different mothers. None of the folk of the Darnok clan have ever heard of such a thing. The birthing is made even stranger yet, for once they are safely delivered, the village seeress falls into a trance and chants a verse that hints at future glory. The mothers, finally lying asleep after their ordeals, might have tried to strike a different bargain with Rulla, for She is known as a hard bargainer who stains each rune of glory She hands out in blood.

As the children grow, the townsfolk see only hints of a possible remarkable fate. At sixteen, they are finally accepted into the rite of passage to adulthood; they are offered in tithe to the Sea Wolves, the clan that defends the folk, sails the world’s seas, raids foreign shores and brings back plunder. Their spirits are high as they venture through the Demon’s Teeth and discover the world beyond the Boldring Mountains.

Ah, but other Gods also have a role to play in any great saga and Tanat the Rogue turns their world on its head one afternoon. The youths are cut-off from their new clan and must survive on their own wits. As they make for home, they encounter Elkor, a mis-shapen outcast who forces them to re-evaluate everything they ever understood about their identity.

Pursued by Korgash, a Straelish lord whose hatred of Elkor and Thorn People (what the Straelings call the Fjordlanders) is only surpassed by his ambition, they discover that they are ill-equipped to inherit the fate supposedly reserved for them and they wonder if prophesy is not all lies.

Read the first Five chapters of Harbinger


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ian at ianmckinley dot com (written this way to guard against spam … you know how to interpret it) © Ian McKinley 2016