Though it is typical to admit that such worlds do not actually exist, Mr. Hahn insists, with a nearly-straight face, "I have witnesses"- evidently a reference both to the wealth of detail woven into the stories and the constant contact and encouragement he's received from some of the Lands' pivotal characters. "Readers will be able to check on the history and culture through the Compendium,"
In the novella "The RIng and the Flag", Captain Justin must race to form a company, march into the unruly North Mark and try to defuse a civil war against his new Emperor. He faces doubt from the recruits as well as insult from his rival, and behind the fog of war lurks a betrayal beyond anyone's expectation. Justin finds he must gamble with the lives of his men as much as his own; the cost of a single mistake will be an entire province on fire with war. "I think readers will like Justin, as well as his officers," Hahn comments, "he's in a magical world but facing tough choices we can understand, and he doesn't shirk his duty when the going gets tough."
Trekelny, of the novelette "Three Minutes to Midnight", is a very different kind of hero. Disdaining the life of a thief, he engages risk in the service of Hope, and attempts to rob the menacing temple of Khoirah not for gain but glory, and to strike a blow against Despair. If he succeeds in doing the impossible, his name will live in legend- but the confident and brash danger-drinker discovers that if he is to survive the night, he must not only rob the priestess who opposes him, but win her love as well. "A word of caution for younger readers," Will warns, "Trekelny is not exactly sane- the squeamish should be forewarned that he doesn't go after evil people with the attitude of a Cub Scout."
Readers can access tales of the Lands of Hope at Smashwords and other leading online retailers, where free samples of both stories are available. During the July launch, readers can use a coupon code at Smashwords (NH89R) which will make "Three Minutes to Midnight" free (normally $0.99). "The Ring and the Flag", first story in the Shards of Light series, sells for $2.99.
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About the Author
Will Hahn has been in love with heroic tales since age four, when his father read him the Lays of Ancient Rome and the Tales of King Arthur. A student of Ancient History at Williams College and holding a Masters in Medieval History from Fordham, Will taught Ancient-Medieval History for thirteen years, but the line between this world and others has always been thin; the far reaches of fantasy, like the distant past, still bring him face to face with people like us, who have choices to make.
Will has written about the Lands of Hope since his college days (which by now are also part of ancient history).You can find other stories Will has written about the Lands of Hope at Smashwords:
Get the latest news about the Lands on his Facebook page (look for Will Hahn and hit "Like"!).
Access the Maps of Hope as well as a Compendium of free information about the Lands, and delve into the works of other fine new authors at Independent Bookworm.