Bethlehem by Midnight

Just finished a short story called The Road to Ephrath which takes place in the world of The Wizard’s Path. It follows the activities of a Raven –a member of the Sacred Brotherhood of Thieves– who is hired to commit a murder for hire. Sometimes justice is found in a dark alley.

It occurs to me that the reader may not know what The Wizard’s Path is. To put it simply it’s a series I’m hawking to publishers that takes place in the murky middle eastern post-bronze age. It’s full of heroic figures and powerful gods, colorful religions and bloody war, up close and personal.

Like most epic fantasy I’ve tried to expose the grittier side of living in an ancient world, while acknowledging that man is a political rather than social animal. The clash between supreme theocracies, powerful wizards, and insurgent witches — plays out against the life of a disaffected royal, a missionary witch and the last survivor of a guild of thieves and beggars. As always organized labor pays the price when the wealthy and powerful go to war.

One thing I’ve tried to explore in a more realistic fashion is the concept of tactical magic. Magic and wizardry are always alluded to in novels as having a vast power in warfare but what we generally see is some physically frail individual who must hide in a fortress and lob a few fireballs that do as much damage to friendlies as the enemy. I’ve tried to rationalize the system so that the frightening power and consequence remain, but the tactical advantage to deploying magicians in forward units is more believable.

In The Road to Ephrath we see a very small corner of the vast world in The Wizard’s Path. I hope that a publisher sees the value that exists in this work, so I can share it with you. Hope with me so you get to read it. It’s a fun romp if I do say so myself.

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