Tuesday, March 11, 2014

BLOOD AND IRON by Jon Sprunk

by Jon Sprunk

It starts with a shipwreck following a magical storm at sea. Horace, a soldier from the west, had joined the Great Crusade against the heathens of Akeshia after the deaths of his wife and son from plague. When he washes ashore, he finds himself at the mercy of the very people he was sent to kill, who speak a language and have a culture and customs he doesn't even begin to understand.

Not long after, Horace is pressed into service as a house slave. But this doesn't last. The Akeshians discover that Horace was a latent sorcerer, and he is catapulted from the chains of a slave to the halls of power in the queen's court. Together with Jirom, an ex-mercenary and gladiator, and Alyra, a spy in the court, he will seek a path to free himself and the empire's caste of slaves from a system where every man and woman must pay the price of blood or iron. Before the end, Horace will have paid dearly in both.

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-What inspired you to become a writer?

Reading. I’ve always loved to read since I was little. I craved the adventure and learning new things. So I suppose it was natural that I tried to create my own stories as I got older. What started as a hobby for my own personal enjoyment became an obsession, a need to express and tell stories to others.

-What draws you to fantasy?

That’s hard to say. I love fantasy for so many reasons. I love how it can sometimes be light and action-oriented, full of excitement, but in other instances it can go really deep to challenge our basic assumptions about love, war, peace, and hatred. I enjoy all the various forms of magic that authors have devised over the years, the mythologies and the heroes. And I love a good hand-to-hand fight. Guns are boring to me, unless they are blaster pistols.

-Give us a fun or interesting fact you learned researching this book.

I learned that the ancient Sumerians pulled their chariots with wild asses.

-Which of your characters would you go out for drinks with?

Probably Jirom. He’s an ex-mercenary and former gladiator, six-foot-six and built like a Sherman tank. So if there was any trouble, I could hide behind him.

-For aspiring writers, any tips?

Read and write. A lot. Never give up on your dream, but don’t expect the moon and stars either.

-Is there a genre you could never write? Which and why?

Dinosaur erotica. I think it’s demeaning for the dinosaurs.

Jon Sprunk is the author of the Shadow Saga (Shadow’s Son, Shadow’s Lure, and Shadow’s Master). Shadow’s Son was a finalist for the Compton Crook Award, as well as a nominee for the David Gemmell Award for Best Debut Novel and Best Fantasy Novel. Jon is also a mentor at the Seton Hill University Writing Program. For more on his life and works, visit jonsprunk.com.

Also “like” Jon’s Facebook page.

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