Saturday, October 1, 2016

Dragon's Trail (The Outworlders, Book 1) by Joseph Malik

 Release date: September 30, 2016
Subgenre: Epic fantasy

About Dragon's Trail:

"I didn't come here to sell my soul. I came here to buy it back."

Once dubbed "The Deadliest Man Alive," Jarrod Torrealday is a former Olympic saber hopeful and medieval weapons expert banned from competition for killing another fencer in a duel. Despondent, volatile,alcoholic, yet still one of the greatest swordsmen alive, he now works for third-rate fantasy films as a technical consultant and stuntman.

When Jarrod accepts the gig of a lifetime from a sorcerer looking for a hero, he finds himself facing an invading army in a world inhabited by creatures from Earth's mythical past. He soon learns that the enemy mastermind is also from Earth, and has laid the foundations for a new kind of war.

Gripping and literate, with spectacular worldbuilding and a sharp eye for combat, Dragon's Trail is an epic fantasy thriller and the first book in Joseph Malik's Outworlders saga.




“Fighting was fun; this was the thing. Fighting was tremendous fun.” — Ewart Oakeshott 

The Middle Ages had come to Camille Bay. 
It was a rainy Memorial Day weekend. Spring seemed to have been and gone without a single hour of sunshine, and the coming summer held no promises. 
Camille Bay, Maine, is a tiny Birkenstock town known for its artistic population and a never-ending slew of obscure exhibitions. Camille Bay is host to fantasy conventions, an occasional movie set, and the region’s most prestigious glass-blowing school. She boasts several successful authors among her quiet inhabitants.
The particular way Camille Bay had chosen to draw the immediate world’s attention today entailed a re-creation of a medieval fair in the market square, courtesy of several large Renaissance troupes. 
Everyone in the town participated; participation is the town creed. The costumes ranged from casual passers-by in Robin Hood hats, to axe-bearing Norsemen and lace-ruffled Elizabethans. Woe, indeed, to the unwitting tourist, reluctantly handing over his Mobil card to a bearded Norseman in a bearskin cape and a leather jockstrap. 
Crius’s vision unclouded in an alley of Camille Bay. 
With a fleeting sweat of terror he realized that this was not a world he’d expected and certainly not the world he’d visualized moments ago, standing an ocean of space distant in his chambers at Horlech with the Tower Day celebrations rampaging in the distance. 
A granite sky spat mist over a fitful, intense gridwork, a hornets’ nest as garish and searing as the sun even in the intense cold of the day. Everywhere he looked, the world seemed to explode with its own sprinting pulse; every color and edge exquisite in its squarishness and order. He smelled fish and seawater. An unsourced thrum slashed at him from nowhere. 
He climbed to his feet on a hard black road. A fine road. 
Roads were roads. 
Roads hadn’t changed. 
There he stood on the road, crumpled, hands on his knees, awestruck at a piece of trash more bright and polished than anything he’d ever seen, a massive facet of a jewel blowing along the slate of the yard fences and the blacktop of the alley. 
He watched it go, and the world tunneled into place in its wake. 
Square homes built shoulder to shoulder sprawled up the hills away from the sea. At the end of the alley the road led up the hill, and also down to a calm harbor brimming with boats.
Away from the water, the town was bursting. He knew a festival when he saw one. 
Festivals hadn’t changed. 
He pulled his hood up and struck out uphill, thrilled with the quality of the road beneath his boots. The noise grew and his pulse quickened. 
What a world! What an intense, bright, loud, fast world! 
He stopped at a police barrier and reached to warm his hand by its flashing lamp; found light, but no heat. He touched it. He rested his hand on it. He giggled.
He took a slow look across the multitudes. Warriors in piecemeal armor, commoners in
simple dress, well-outfitted courtiers.
Many things, it seemed, had not changed. More than he’d expected.


About Joseph Malik:

Joseph Malik writes and lectures on advanced intelligence theory and asymmetric warfare for the Defense Intelligence Agency. He has worked as a stuntman, a high-rise window washer, a freelance writer, a computational linguist, a touring rock musician, and a soldier in the United States Special Operations Command. His hobbies include boxing, fencing, HEMA, traditional archery, and linguistics.
A veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, he currently serves in the Army Reserve and lives in the Pacific Northwest along with his wife and their two dogs. 
Dragon’s Trail is his first novel.

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