Weekend Writing Warrior 10/18/20 #8Sunday

Brave Little Thrall coverThis week I’m moving on to the next release in my Heartsbane Saga series, “The Brave Little Thrall.” I’d planned to release it yesterday, but life got in the way and edits aren’t quite done yet. It should be out in the next couple days, inshallah (God-willing, as my MC would say).

When I was a kid, Nickelodeon had an anime series of fairy tales that I assumed I watched all of, although only one episode sticks with me thirty years later: “The Brave Little Tailor.” It’s such a fun, silly tale that I knew I had to include it in my new series of retold fairy tales. It doesn’t really fit into the plot arc for the main series, so I decided to adapt it for one of the accompanying stand-alone short stories.

This week brings the start of the story. It starts out in Aghlabid, a distant desert land where book 2 is also set. The main characters in this story – a desert scholar and a barbarian king – are the fathers of two of the characters in the main story line, and this tale is about how they met. Fun fact: the real Viking Bjorn Ironside led a raid on the Mediterranean in 859-861 and basically got his butt handed to him, so this story is pretty dang historically plausible.

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Fahim Al Rasheed sat at a table covered with books and papers in a tucked-away corner of the main library at the University of Bidat Alshroq. His concentration right now was on seven runes in front of him. Scholars had been trying to years to decode their meaning, with no luck so far.

Fahim didn’t need luck. His name meant Fahim the Wise, and he knew that if he focused enough, he could solve this mystery.

“Give up, boy,” a figure said as it strode through the stacks. “That barbarian language has been dead for centuries. Even if you could figure it out, what use is it? Learn a real language.”

* * * * * * *

And here’s the rest of that scene:

Fahim rolled his eyes. Khasir Al Mutakabir was the preeminent geography scholar at the university, and as such considered himself an expert in many other disciplines as well. Including linguistics. But no one was better in that field than Fahim Al Rasheed. He would figure out what the runes meant and then Khasir would be the one listening to him.

* * * * * * *

Book 1 in the Heartsbane Saga, Captive and the Cursed, is available now at Amazon, or you can read more of the characters’ exploits in the prequel short story, “The Maiden in the Tower,” for just $.99. Then post a link to your eight-ten sentence blog entry or join the fun at the Weekend Writing Warriors website.

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About “The Brave Little Thrall:”

Fahim Al Rasheed has spent his life studying foreign cultures, but he never thought he’d actually have the chance to visit them. When his journey of a lifetime leaves him and a young barbarian king marooned in a hostile country, he’ll have to rely on more than book learning to make it back home alive.



  1. I’m definitly intrigued. I just hope his confidence is well-founded.

    No post for me this week. I was away last week–so still cathing up. :-)

  2. I have to say, Fahim is coming off as quite arrogant here. I wonder how well-placed his confidence is?

  3. I’m kind of with the mentor, what point is there in solving these runes? I mean, it’s a nice mental exercise but…if he’s so brilliant maybe he could solve othe rproblems LOL. But I really enjoyed the snippet, very different. I was instantly in the environment.

  4. I don’t think it’s a waste to learn any language. I hope he is able to figure this out!

  5. Your setting drew me in–not so much the room he’s in (I know nothing about it) but the university-like place.

  6. What wonders will he discover when he does break the code. The arrogance of the “scholar” snapped me back to university days – knew a few of those types.

  7. I’m assuming there’s a reason he’s drawn to these runes in particular, beyond just the mental challenge. I’m curious to find out what it is.

  8. I think it’s fun to learn dead languages. I wish I had more time to do so. I learned some Middle English in my youth, but that’s kind of a cheat because it isn’t that dissimilar to modern English. Old English, on the other hand, is utterly foreign.

  9. Nothing like being told to give something up to make you dig your heels in. Great set up.

  10. I’m that type of person myself. The challenge of figuring out the unfigureoutable. And being told I can’t do it just makes me more determined to do it. This story is very intriguing so far.

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