So, my first science fiction story. The characters and their universe are old, this is something I have had with me for decades, and that was also the reason which made starting to write them more scary, I wanted this to be something as good as I could possibly manage. This first story is something of a coming of age for one of the four main characters, and the one who will most often be the POV character, Rahan, a fairly normal young man who has the misfortune/fortune of having three very unusual siblings. What it would be like if both of your sisters and your older brother were extraordinary, while you were… well, somebody who might be able to shine among normal humans, but could never compete with his own family? Easy solution – leave. Harder, stay.
A bit about these novels: Both are fantasy with a female protagonist, both women become reluctant heroes, but the premises are somewhat different.
Fourth Sword is the story of a modern day woman who has been an avid reader of fantasy, and has daydreamed of being the hero, but would have very much preferred to keep those only as daydreams. When she ends up in a world with medieval level technology and working magic she manages to slowly transform into one anyway. But it is not an easy road for her. Her reluctance stems not so much from not wanting to get involved as it does from her doubts whether she has what it takes, and those doubts are also pretty well founded.
In The Demons of Khemas the girl is somebody who very much has never wanted to be a hero or adventurer of any kind, she craves security more than anything, and would happily settle down as the wife of a good man. Circumstances, and falling in love with a man who is an adventurer, force her into a more active role, but while her role is crucial she does not transform into anything like Red Sonja or Xena, the warrior princess. Sorry about that 😀 – I like warrior princesses, and I may write one of those stories sooner or later, but this one grew from wondering what a Conan the Cimmerian type of story would look like from the point of view of the girl – especially a girl who was not a princess, but just one of the tavern wenches. SPOILER WARNING (if you want to read that part highlight it)
SPOILER But I ended up giving her a different ending than the usual Sword and Sorcery Barbarian stories have. In a world like those being a lone woman without a protector would presumably not have been much fun, especially not for the lower class women. So she is not left to pine behind while he rides towards further adventures. They become, at least temporarily, a team. What happens after that, well, I am going to write a few more stories in that world so sooner or later you’ll get the chance to find out. SPOILER ENDS