Book I of The Dragon Sword Mysteries. Martil is a haunted man – a war hero, now derided as the ‘Butcher of Bellic’. Leaving his beloved homeland he is set upon by bandits and tricked into taking a small child, Karia, to her uncle. But they only find one ex-bandit in the town, along with the Dragon Sword, a magical relic belonging to the rulers of Norstalos. Norstalos’s first-ever queen is trying to keep her crown. Her cousin, Duke Gello, wants it and is prepared to do anything to get it. Martil can find no way out of caring for a child, fighting for a queen and discovering that even a magical sword is no guarantee of victory …Cover art by Les Petersen.