The Sword to Unite

The blog of the fantasy epic, The Sword to Unite

Game of Thrones Season 7 Review — September 19, 2017

Game of Thrones Season 7 Review

There’s nothing quite like reviewing a show that’s been out for a few weeks…you know… after nobody cares what you think about it. But I thought why not? I am a huge fan of Game of Thrones; the political intrigue and constant shifting games of deception between characters are terrific fun to watch, with fire spewing dragons as icing on the cake.

To start off, I should say my favorite season was most likely season 2, I think we got the best character plots for my favorite characters; Arya, Tyrion, and Stannis alongside Davos. Arya in Harrenhall was classic Game of Thrones; a mixture of grotesque violence, intrigue and a world of mystery with the introduction of the faceless men, and great character interactions between her and Tywin. We are introduced to Stannis and Davos, one of my favorite pairs of characters to see interact with one another. Tyrion is given some great moments in this season as well; tricking Grandmaester Pycelle into revealing he was feeding information to Cersei, banishing Janoy Slynt to the wall, and his defense of King’s Landing. Everything about this season, the downfalls and the victories, felt deserved, which I will get into is my major gripe with season 7.

Let me clarify, I still enjoyed season 7, though I feel it was somewhere close to the quality of season 5; a little lost in what its goal exactly was. I think this is largely in part due to the fact that the show is no longer based on the books by George R.R. Martin. Though D&D have proved themselves competent showrunners, I fear their talent may only lay in their ability to translate from book to screen. For example, that zombie polar bear. Why? Just why? It supposedly cost 2 million dollars to put on screen…was it worth it? Does anyone think to themselves after watching that episode, ‘gosh those firebreathing dragons and the death of Viseron were neat but geez that polar bear that lasts less than two minutes was something!” That time could have been used letting the characters interact with one another in interesting ways, rather than them just walking and talking, never to interact the rest of the episode again.

This point leads to my main issue with the season; everything feels rushed. Sure, seven episodes can really make it a tightly woven story, cutting out some of the unnecessary fat the show previously suffered from, but now we’re left with less story and character than we are used to. This is the most evident with the Winterfell plotline; it isn’t the least bit interesting when you decide to not show half the plot. We didn’t know about the cat and mouse game between Arya, Sansa, and Littlefinger, instead, we got a strange set of scenes between Sansa and Arya that make very little sense. Arya accuses Sansa of not doing anything while their father died, even though by rewatching you can see her kicking and screaming violently, begging Joffrey to stop. I can’t tell if Arya actually means this at some point or was always tricking Littlefinger, which makes the whole thing rather muddled.

I eagerly await the release of season 8, and hope that the focus returns to the meaningful interactions between characters. I have high hopes for the ending of the show, since G.R.R. has secretly told D&D the ending; perhaps this season they were a bit more in the dark on what to do, and that they’ll have a clearer picture with the final season. Again I must say, even though this season was a bit weaker, its one of the better seasons of any television show to date.

Blog Update: The Second Book — September 16, 2017

Blog Update: The Second Book

Hello everyone! I just wanted to give a quick post regarding progress on the second book, a project roughly as long in development as The Sword to Unite. The Cripple and King, is currently in the final stages of the manuscript before I move on to editing and querying to agents. I can’t wait to show more of the book to you all, but for now here’s a coat of arms done for the second book by Anna Vasyuk. It depicts the Lion of Nacia, an ancient symbol used by various dynasties who have ruled the Nacian Empire. It is also the heraldry of the main character, Lucan, king of the new Nacian Kingdom and member of the Lavinian Dynasty. I’ve just started a new semester at college, so the blog posts may be a bit more few and far between than usual but I’m hoping to keep everyone’s interest in the second book. Be sure that you’ve checked out The Sword to Unite on Amazon and be sure to like, comment, and subscribe for more content!

-Peter

Guest Blog: Creating A Fantasy World and The Process Behind The Sword to Unite by Peter Hopkins — August 25, 2017

Guest Blog: Creating A Fantasy World and The Process Behind The Sword to Unite by Peter Hopkins

Mighty Thor JRS - Fantasy Book News & Reviews

As part of my author guest blog series I am proud to present another guest blog spot.

Author Peter Hopkins has been kind enough to write a guest blog post for Mighty Thor JRS today. I am very excited and I would like to thank Peter for the opportunity to host this Guest Blog.

Would you like to be a part of my author guest blog series? Please contact me! mightythorjrs@gmail.com

Now without further adieu here is Peter’s awesome guest blog.

And don’t forget to check out his book:

The Sword to Unite


Creating A Fantasy World and The Process Behind The Sword to Unite

by Peter Hopkins, Author of The Sword to Unite

In the least egotistical way possible, I’ll say authors have a duty to make a believable and interesting world for their stories. The key reason for this is immersion, how can someone get lost in…

View original post 705 more words

Lay of the Lore: The Areni Isles — August 21, 2017

Lay of the Lore: The Areni Isles

To the southernmost point of Yennen, lay a set of islands known for their beautiful landscape and dark past. The Areni Isles have been the jewel of the southern lands for centuries as a landmark hub for any maritime commerce between the western and eastern halves of the continent. Founded by Bandabras of Barbany, a famous explorer of Lyrielian, or blood of elf and man as it is known. he sought to liberate himself from the shackles of his liege lord and so declared the Areni Isles as an independent kingdom.

Bandabras was a tall man, with a wide frame. His beard was blood red, stretching down to his chest in curls. Revered and despised by the same people, he lived larger than life, filled with ambition and a drive like no other. He set sail for Areni with a host of twenty warships, nearly five thousand men, women, and children followed his promise of a new life.

The islands were populated by a small native population that migrated there centuries ago, whom many scholars believe came from the south of Tanaria, a kingdom closest to the islands. Each island was divided amongst the native people, with no system of unified government. Bandabras was clever, deciding to win them over with diplomacy, rather than steel. At the Summer Isle, he arranged an alliance with the local king, marrying his daughter, Helia Fane. Soon, Bandabras had brought all the islands to heel.

His first actions as king of all of Areni was to assimilate the populations of his Lyrielian allies with the natives, adding the language and codified law systems of Lyriel while keeping the religion, known as Afel, the Lady of the Sea. Bandabras made it a key point to show the power of his people, building massive stone palaces and castle on each island so his legacy could outlast even his dynasty. When it came to his succession, Bandabras committed his greatest mistake, a mistake which haunts Areni to this day. Bandabras legitimized his three bastards, giving them each an island, leaving his trueborn with only the Summer Isle. As he lay dying on his bed, surrounded by sons readying their levies for war, Bandabras supposedly shouted, “to the Strongest!” as his final breath

Bandabran, the only trueborn son, isolated himself on the Summer Isle, shoring up his defenses and taking counsel from his mother Helia, who grew paranoid of plots by the bastards of Bandabras. The Isle of Calto, where the Autumn Palace resides, was taken by Thyngen, strongest and tallest of the brothers, most in appearance like their father. Melos, the island of the Spring Palace, was granted to Arioto, known for his good-natured spirit and diplomacy, born from his father’s affair with a Tanaric courtesan. The Comet, home of the Winter Palace, a dreary place of storms and rocky terrain where little grows, was given to Nasirian the Shadow, given the nickname tauntingly by his brothers for his bitter sulking at feasts and fairs.

Since their inheritance of the islands, the brothers’ descendants have warred with one another for the coveted title of King of Areni, though none have claimed the title, instead, they are locked in stalemates of bloody and costly warfare.

Thanks for reading, and as always, be sure to subscribe for more content!

-Peter

The Song of Hadrian — August 20, 2017

The Song of Hadrian

Commissioned by Imperator Horace, composed by the poet Quintus in the year 67 2E to commemorate his late father and ruler, Hadrian I, who had died just a year before.

A Lion born across the sea

Upon his mother’s shoulder he did flee

From burning flame and dying kin

From the palace of endless sin

He fought with sword

He fought with word

Bravest of all from

Last of his father’s mighty line

O Blood of Eln and Erastrius

Together now for all time

Like a fountain

A source of mercy for all

Like a bard at the string

He composed our country

The Lion of Nacia!

The Dream of Being A Published Author — August 16, 2017

The Dream of Being A Published Author

This is a bit of a different article today, much more personal. It’s not the typical post history of a certain house or kingdom in the world of Yennen, Morthwyl and Erastrius, no this post is about my dream to make that world known to as many readers as possible.

Over the past year, I’ve begun my quest to write novels, at least as a passion for as long as I can. I’m still fairly new to the game and there’s plenty left to learn. I was so ecstatic when I clicked to confirm my order through BookBaby, the publishing service I used for The Sword to Unite, but now it feels almost like a bitter sweet moment. For all the work I put into the book, I felt I had almost wasted my time on it. Advice to anyone considering writing; you will feel like that at some point, but you have to push through it.

Like writing, the process of publishing is long and arduous, filled with typos and minutes spent pacing around your room trying to ignore the complete lack of logic in your last paragraph. It’s still my dream that one day I might get an agent, that one day that agent might find a publishing house willing to take a chance with one of my stories, and one day someone will pick up a copy of a book with my name on it and read it. Just that thought is so exciting, it really makes the process worth all the effort, the thought that someone genuinely enjoys something I spent the time to craft, minus a few typos of course.

Thanks for reading,

Peter

The Song of Stars — August 12, 2017

The Song of Stars

A traditional song of the Duxy of Freven, whose sigil is the tower Gelgeth (Star-Tower) upon a blue sky of white stars and two laurel wreaths.

Fair light upon stars

Burning like cold and endless flames

White as bone, falling like tears

 

Glistening like ice upon a sunny day

Gracing the height of the world

Ceaseless in their dance

 

Gelgeth (Star-Tower) will wane and fall,

Yet from the sky,

Be never dimmed in light,

You flame for the world, to see

 

Fair light upon the stars

Of gods and men, you shine equal on

The world content to sleep another night

Beneath your every burning gaze

 

Fair light upon the stars

Burn ye forever bright

For without your light

A world of dark and endless night

Geladhithel, Last Holdfast of the Silver Elves — August 2, 2017

Geladhithel, Last Holdfast of the Silver Elves

With the fall of Glanfech, the first kingdom of the Hlútrian, or the proper name of elvish people, was lost. The elves were divided, many chose to stay close to the ruins of their home, residing in the lake city of Evrand, while others went north towards the woodland realm of Lusani, where a great number of their people already dwelled. A small fraction departed for Antiquii, the ancestral homeland of the elves, where they devolved in technology and culture to a more primitive state, seeking harmony with nature. The fourth group of elves fled to the east, hoping to avoid the senseless brutalities ensuing in the west. Along the eastern coast of Yennen, they settled in the palisade of Geladhithel, which had been a minor border fort until this point.

The eastern elves became known as the Silver Elves, called this by the native men who marveled at their skill of smithing and art, for their steel was well made it appeared as shining silver. The elves built up Geladhithel, turning the earthen mud fort into a stone city with many walls and towers. The royal palace in Geladhithel became known as the Blue Star, for the blue tile which adorned the roofing of the keep. Here, the Kings of Geladhithel rose to power over the lands they had fought and journeyed for, yet they could never surpass the majesty of Glanfech.

In worship, the Silver Elves worship Duwel alone, believing all other gods to only be his cohort of angels and servants, not worthy of prayer. They take their sigil after Duwel's cloud, which supposedly fell over Rohiel, greatest of elven kings, and gave him the knowledge of the world.

Wars with the Dradanians to the north and Silverscale to the south bled the treasury and army. On Lake Fyrk, the Silver Elves had attempted to build a city similar to Evrand, naming it Lirfell, yet the city was burned and left to ruin by a host of Silverscale who sacked the city for its deposits of gold and jewels. After this, nearly a fourth of the Silver Elves population had been lost to war, and finally, the Sky Kings were forced into a peace with a heavy tribute of taxes to Silverscale.

Allied with Nacia for centuries, Geladhithel had begun to regain strength, and have finally paid off their war debts; wealth they intend to win back through martial power or cunning plot.

Dorea, The Masters of the Western Gulf — July 6, 2017

Dorea, The Masters of the Western Gulf

The Duxy of Dorea stands on two small isles of Nacia, known as Old Pelaga and New Pelaga. With the sigil of a golden seahorse upon a blue shield, they rule through strength and trade. Confined to the sea, their food comes from the ocean, with an impressive fleet of fishing ships able to supply the islands with a steady and wide variety of maritime delicacies. Their power resides in their massive navy, the largest on the eastern half of the world, and their economic connections with the Joint-Kingdom of Menidon across the Gulf of Gilmire, as well as the Merchant Princes of Krivich to the north. Even when Cato, previous King of Nacia, declared war against Krivich, Dorea maintained their trade relations.

In their first years, House Oleri, the lords of Dorea, were a noble family in the original lands of Nacia, on the western side of the continent of Yennen. Their ancestor, Boves the Brave, aided in the taking of the isle where Nacia now stands. Boves snuck into Old Pelaga, which was a thriving trade hub at the time. Disguised as merchants, he and a band of thirty knights, their order is alive today known as The Pelagean Thirty, took control of the city by morning, and handed the keys to Imperator Felix. In exchange, Boves was granted Pelaga as a personal holding, while the Imperator took the rest of the lands and titles.

When the Nacian Empire collapsed, House Oleri saved the royal family and many people of Nacia who had journeyed to the eastern coast. The Imperator’s host was closely followed by an army of barbaric invaders, and it seemed they would be cut down on the beaches. Using their navy at Pelaga, they ran a rescue operation which took only one day, saving nearly two thousand lives. For choosing to save their liege rather than let him die on the coast, they have been considered the most loyal of any vassals to the Kingdom of Nacia.

The current lord, Dux Festus, is an incredibly old man; a renowned warrior in his youth both strong and tall, he is now confined with a cane and cannot wear full armor without the weight overcoming him.

Tritania, the Hidden Gem of Nacia — June 23, 2017

Tritania, the Hidden Gem of Nacia

To the south of Vindorium, capital of the Nacian Kingdom, the Tritanian Peninsula thrives with culture and learning unparalleled to any lordship of the realm. Their sigil in the brown rabbit, representing quick wit and a creature common to their many fields and forests, as well as three mountains, to signify strength and fortitude as well as the three-pronged defense surrounding their city. The sun represents the enlightenment and purity of their folk.

Tritania has always been close to the court of their liege lord, often filling the role of steward, marshal, or close advisor, due to their superb education and gregarious nature. Publius, the current lord of Tritania, serves as Lucan’s steward and sees to the day-to-day running of the kingdom, as well as all foreign affairs. A man shrewd as the rabbit of his pendant, Publius is determined to keep Nacia unified in the face of adversity, which now comes from across the sea.

Publius has a host of loyal knights as well, notable amongst them is Sir Andreas of the Lockedwood, a grizzled war veteran both brave and cunning on the field. He saved Tritania and possibly all of Nacia from a southern invasion which landed in his homeland when he was but a lordling without knighthood to his name. The Merchant Princes of Krivich intended to flank around the south of the isle and march directly to Vindorium, choking the capital from the rest of the nation. They came with five thousand lightning fast lancers, to show their navy was mighty enough to support cavalry. This took their army directly through the Lockedwood in Tritania, where Andreas, in command of only five hundred mounted militiamen, seized the day.

Andreas ordered a chain stretching nearly four hundred yards to be secured deep in the Lockedwood. Andreas then took his detachment of cavalry and rushed forward from the woods, charging directly at the Krivich host. The Princes thought him mad, and so, copied the order to charge. In the moment before the horses broke upon each other, Andreas sounded for retreat and led his men back into the forest. The Krivich horsemen gave chase, but soon lost sight of Andreas’ smaller, more versatile army, but nevertheless, they charged forward at a blazing speed.

The Krivich host charged directly into the chain, sending men flying from their horses who shattered like waves upon rocks as they struck the hard steel. Many fled, while others were pursued by Andreas’ army and slain. Andreas forced the complete removal of Krivich forces of the south and was knighted by the king at that time, Cato, taking the sigil of an oak tree with a golden chain locked around its frame.

 

 

%d bloggers like this: