Featuring fantasy novel Futility of Defense by Bryan Cole
Paladins are nothing but trouble. When Krell, an uneducated nobody with a stubborn streak as wide as the sea, hears the call from ReckNor, the capricious god of the seas and skies, the attention of the rich and powerful turn their gaze toward him. Paladins are notorious for upsetting the balance of power, to the detriment of any who don’t worship their deity.
When Krell stands against the might of the sea devils and emerges victorious, concern and interest turn to fear—fear of their secrets and plans being revealed and exposed, of the ruin that often follows in a paladin’s wake. Now he stands in defense of a pitiful town at the edge of nowhere, even as the sea devil menace grows more dire for each day that passes.
For as deadly as the sea devils are to Krell, his past choices and the consequences of his actions may be deadlier still . . .
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Excerpt from Futility of Defense
“Petimus told us that you were unlike any paladin we have met before, but I must say, I am surprised nonetheless. Greetings, Krell of ReckNor. My name is Naerdra Smithforge, stonesinger of Talcon. Here to build a fortress to protect your small town from the sahuagin, I understand.”
Krell smiled, looking at her. She wore woolen leggings and a linen shirt, with a mantle of fine cloth embroidered with gold sigils. A red sash with a gold pin was her only other adornment.
“I am most pleased you are here, Naerdra. The town sorely needs your aid.”
“Hmm. Perhaps I will see one of these sea devils for myself.”
Krell’s expression darkened. “If you remain in Watford for any length of time, you certainly will.”
He gestured. “My trusted allies and companions, Verbena and Dahlia, who have stood with me against the sea devils and saved my life more than once.”
Naerdra nodded at them, and they both inclined their heads while bowing slightly. Krell stared at them for a moment. Their bows had been identical in both timing and depth.
“You’re certain you are uninjured, Krell? You have blood on your face,” said Petimus, his voice concerned.
Krell turned toward him and grinned. “As Olgar will tell you, some lessons can only be learned a single way, at least for me. I am ReckNor’s blade, and he wants it sharp. That means that I will be pressed against the grindstone at times. Unpleasant, but necessary. Still, his gifts are many, and the grace of ReckNor has healed my wounds already.” Krell stood and stretched.
Naerdra looked at Krell, then at the tree in front of the temple, then upward to the sky. “I have heard also that you are dragon friend, Krell of ReckNor. Is this so? May I meet your mighty companion?”
Krell nodded, smiling. “Of course, Naerdra. Fortis is currently hunting, though I think he does it because it amuses him more than because he requires food. He dislikes it when I… uh…” Krell glanced at Verbena.
“Query, Krell. When you query him.”
Krell nodded. “He dislikes it when I query him while hunting. He will return when he is satisfied with himself.”
About Bryan Cole
Bryan is an avid reader, and has loved the fantasy genre since he was a child. His love of stories of mighty knights, terrible dragons, and noble steeds has inspired him for decades.
Bryan Cole will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.