The fight--if such it could be called--lasted all of fifteen heartbeats. Five to stride from the champion’s den, up the tunnel and onto the blazing sands of the grudge pit. Four to size up the massive Southron fighter who waited, dark and oiled and confident, naked but for a garish orange loincloth, a sword, and two throwing knives strapped to his bulging thighs. One to nod to his adversary as custom dictated; one to sway left as the first knife flew past; one to knock the second from the air; two to close the distance between them, lean away from the Southron’s vicious swipe--and one bring Karkaran whistling down.
Reading the blurb above, you might be expecting a story of fighting and battles. Looking at the name Sierra Dafoe, you might be expecting a hot and sexy story. You would be wrong on both counts. This is pure fantasy, and I enjoyed it very much. It is a story of good versus evil, and one of family love and loyalty. It is a story that deals with the love a brother has for his sister, and what he will endure to protect and save her. It is a side of Sierra Dafoe one doesn't often see, but one well worth getting to know.
The characters in this short story are rich in depth and I found that I liked them very much. There is Salnath of the Sword, Champion of the Grudge Pit. He is undefeated for all of the time he has spent fighting Lord Khren's battles. Salnath is honorable, and thinks he will be treated the same. When he tries to "retire" from the pit, Khren tricks him into one last fight, all or nothing. But Salnath discovers, too late, that he is too trusting.
Then there is Myrra, Salnath's older sister, probably the only person in the world who can get away with calling this massive warrior by his childhood nickname of "Sally" and live. Myrra is the strong older sister, with the intelligence and cunning needed to free her brother from the evil Lord Khren. I enjoyed watching how her mind worked, bending knowledge to her advantage. With a bit of help from some new found friends, things get really interesting around Myrra. Does Myrra defeat Lord Khren and free Salnath? With restraint, I will just suggest that you read this and enjoy it for yourself.