It's a collection (omnibus) of the first three Royal Wizard of Yurt novels and is a big, hefty book, 750 pages long. It's available on Amazon (click here), and should shortly be available through B&N or your local bookseller. It's already available as an ebook from Amazon for Kindle, as well as available on the Nook, Kobo, and iTunes platforms.
One of the advantages of indie publishing, which is what I'm doing, is that one has complete control over what gets published. I've been thinking for close to 20 years that it would be good to have a big fat paperback that included the first three Yurt books, and indeed I've had the title in mind for that long. Now at last I've made it come about.
One of the challenges was getting a good cover. I hired fantasy artist Cortney Skinner, whose work I've always liked, and he and I worked out the image. It shows Daimbert, my wizard hero, and the old, retired wizard of Yurt trying to fight a dragon who has invaded the castle. Daimbert is attempting, without much success, to make himself invisible (his legs have disappeared but that's it), and the old wizard is distracting the dragon with illusory red balls. So far it isn't working too well. The scene appears in the first of the three books, "A Bad Spell in Yurt."
Here's a sample from the first chapter of "Bad Spell" to whet your interest.
I was not a very good wizard. But it was not a very big kingdom. I assumed I was the only person to answer their ad, for in a short time I had a letter back from the king’s constable, saying the job was mine if I still wanted it, and that I should report to take up the post of Royal Wizard in six weeks.
It took most of the six weeks to grow in my beard, and then I dyed it grey to make myself look older. Two days before leaving for my kingdom, I went down to the emporium to buy a suitable wardrobe.
Of course at the emporium they knew all about us young wizards from the wizards’ school. They looked at us dubiously, took our money into the next room to make sure it stayed money even when we weren’t there, and tended to count the items on the display racks in a rather conspicuous way. But I knew the manager of the clothing department—he’d even helped me once pick out a Christmas present for my grandmother, which I think endeared me to him as much as to her.
He was on the phone when I came in. “What do you mean, you won’t take it back? But our buyer never ordered it!” While waiting for him, I picked out some black velvet trousers, just the thing, I thought, to give me a wizardly flair.
The manager slammed down the phone. “So what am I supposed to do with this?” he demanded of no one in particular. “This” was a shapeless red velvet pullover, with some rather tattered white fur at the neck. It might have been intended to be part of a Father Noel costume.
I was entranced. “I’ll take it!”
“Are you sure? But what will you do with it?”
“I’m going to be a Royal Wizard. It will help me strike the right note of authority and mystery.”
“Speaking of mystery, what’s all the fuzzy stuff on your chin?”
I was proud of my beard, but since he gave me the pullover for almost nothing, I couldn’t be irritated. When I left for my kingdom, I felt resplendent in velvet, red for blood and black for the powers of darkness.
It was only two hundred miles, and probably most of the young wizards would have flown themselves, but I insisted on the air cart. “I need to make the proper impression of grandeur when I arrive,” I said. Besides—and they all knew it even though I didn’t say it—I wasn’t sure I could fly that far.
The air cart was the skin of a purple beast that had been born flying. Long after the beast was dead, its skin continued to fly, and it could be guided by magic commands. It brought me steeply up from the wizards’ complex at the center of the City, and I looked back as the white city spires fell away. It had been a good eight years, but I felt ready for new challenges. We soared across plains, forests, and hills all the long afternoon, before finally banking steeply over what I had been calling “my” kingdom for the last six weeks.
From above there scarcely seemed to be more to the kingdom than a castle, for beyond the castle walls there was barely room for the royal fields and pastures before thick green woods closed in. A bright garden lay just outside the castle walls, and pennants snapped from all the turrets. The air cart dipped, folded its wings, and set me down with a bump in the courtyard.I looked around and loved it at once. It was a perfect child’s toy of a castle, the stone walls freshly whitewashed and the green shutters newly painted. The courtyard was a combination of clean-swept cobbles, manicured flower beds, and tidy gravel paths. On the far side of the courtyard, a well-groomed horse put his head over a white half-door and whinnied at me.
© C. Dale Brittain 2017