Travelers’ Rest is short and sweet. (Much like myself except the sweetness of Travelers’ Rest is Morlock Ambrose’s dispersion of justice, and the sweetness of me is, well I’m just freakin’ adorable). Also, Travelers’ Rest is a free e-book from Pyr in honor of The Wolf Age, the latest MORLOCK AMBROSE novel, being their 100th book. Just in time for Christmas too. So a sincere thank you to Pyr is in order. They are already my favorite publisher, so they really didn’t have to, but it’s nice they did. (Click here for free ePub).
The many that follow my reviews — well, the few… OK, OK, the one poor FanLit reviewer who draws the short straw and gets stuck editing my reviews — already knows how much I’m into Mr. Enge’s infamous maker and swordsman, Morlock Ambrose. So I won’t go on and on about him again. Morlock couldn’t care less to hear it anyway and would only respond with his typical reply of “Eh” and that would only be if he’s feeling talkative.
Travelers’ Rest takes place before the events in Blood of Ambrose, and Morlock fans will be happy to see that his dwarf apprentice, Wyrth, accompanies “the Crooked Man” in this story. I know I’ve missed the little guy.
In their wandering they come across a sleepy little town. Wyrth wants to move on, but Morlock insists they spend the night at the inn, aptly named “Travelers’ Rest.” A rather bulky looking thug intrudes upon Morlock’s and Wyrth’s dinner to take the innkeeper’s daughter, who is also their waitress. So Morlock, in his normal fashion, defends the girl and we learn that the townspeople had made a pact with a sorcerer many years before. As payment for services rendered, the sorcerer has his occasional pick of villagers or, better yet, visitors when available. Even though the innkeeper and his family believe Morlock to be an evil entity that drags damned souls to hell — of course they don’t realize its Morlock himself that has visited their establishment — he can never stand idle while the weak are being preyed on. Well, at least not when he’s sober. So Morlock proceeds to do what he does best. Simply put; he came, he saw, he kicks some ass.
This short story is the “Crooked Man” at his most superb which is why Travelers’ Rest is the perfect introduction for any newcomers to James Enge’s MORLOCK AMBROSE and a quick thrill for established fans.
Morlock Ambrosius — (2009-2010) Publisher: Behind the King’s life stands the menacing Protector, and beyond him lies the Protector’s Shadow… Centuries after the death of Uthar the Great, the throne of the Ontilian Empire lies vacant. The late Emperor’s brother-in-law and murderer, Lord Urdhven, appoints himself Protector to his nephew, young King Lathmar VII and sets out to kill anyone who stands between himself and mastery of the Empire, including (if he can manage it) the King himself and his ancient but still formidable ancestress, Ambrosia Viviana. When Ambrosia is accused of witchcraft and put to trial by combat, she is forced to play her trump card and call on her brother, Morlock Ambrosius — stateless person, master of all magical makers, deadly swordsman, and hopeless drunk. As ministers of the king, they carry on the battle, magical and mundane, against the Protector and his shadowy patron. But all their struggles will be wasted unless the young king finds the strength to rule in his own right and his own name.