I'm new to the group, so I thought I should introduce myself. My name is Bill McGrath and I believe I'll feel at home here. As I look up on the shelf above my computer I see my single volume edition of LOTR, a very nice full color Hobbit in graphic novel style, Ward's Planet Narnia, Purtill's Lord of the Elves and Eldils and a little book called Past Watchful Dragons by somebody named Sturgis. All this piled upon bibles, history books, Greek and Norse mythologies, atlases and dictionaries. In the library downstairs are more versions of LOTR, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Ransom Trilogy, The Complete C.S. Lewis Signature Classics (Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, The Great Divorce, etc), books about writing by Tolkien and Lewis, books about the writings of Tolkien and Lewis and enough ancient history books and atlases to give Atlas a back ache. On my Kindle I have copies of LOTR and The Hobbit, another copy of Planet Narnia (just finished my second reading) and Downing's Looking for the King (about half way through it and enjoying it so far). On my mp3 player I have both the Narniad and the Ransom Trilogy. In a word, I have a severe case of Inklingitis and am enjoying the condition immensely.
I first read The Lord of the Rings in 1979 at the age of 18. I was (or at least, thought of myself as), a tough New York City kid, but I almost wept upon finishing the last chapter, not wanting the story to end. I then went looking for everything else I could find by Tolkien. Finishing The Hobbit and The Silmarillion left me hungry for more in that vein, which lead me to Lewis and his Ransom Trilogy and on and on from there.
In 1981 I began writing my own fantasy story called The Sword of Fire. Much like LOTR, the story became too long to fit easily in one volume, so I divided it up into three parts; Asulon, Eretzel and Apocalypse. Also like Tolkien, it took me a while to write the story to my liking and I only finished the first two installments in the last few years. I would like to submit copies of my novels to members of this group for your review.
About The Sword of Fire trilogy: The story takes the events described in the Bible's Book of Revelation and sets them in an epic fantasy environment.
The Story: The kings of Asulon descend from an angel, known on earth as Anak, the last of the Grigori; angels banished to earth because they remained neutral during Lucifer's rebellion and refused to fight against their brothers. The sword of fire was first used upon the earth by a warrior angel to guard the entrance to the Garden of Eden after the Fall. The sword has surfaced here and there throughout history when it's been given to God's servants in times of greatest need. Daniel, prince of Asulon, is tasked with retrieving the sword and use it to defend against an evil that seems poised to conquer all.
From the back cover of Asulon:
The quest for The Sword of Fire. It began with a prophecy-
In fire's ring, where angels sing,
In holies' home, sheathed in stone,
Where blood was spilt, one for all,
To make amends for the Fall.
The first of swords awaits the finding,
Of one whose oath, blood is binding,
Wisdom, strength, honor finding,
To whose arm the sword is binding.
Before the quest is over, kings shall fall, empires shall rise and one
young man shall truly understand what it means to be a warrior.
I have five review copies of both Asulon and Eretzel for members of this group to read, review and pass along to other members to do the same. If you are interested, here is my website which has further info on the books:
There you'll find sample chapters in both text and in audio form, as well as reviews of my novels and articles I've written on Tolkien, fantasy stories and interviews.