The Crimson Sword [NOOK Book]

Overview

The Age of Man has begun. The "undesirable" creatures of legend have been driven from their lands, magic has been forsaken, the old gods reduced to myth.Now humans will rule the kingdoms of the island continent of Pentania. But they are not alone.

Alson's king has been assassinated, its capital besieged by a malevolent wizard. The chaos and terror now sweeping the land have come to the remote village of Diln -- sending young Jarom far from his home to seek aid against the ...

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The Crimson Sword

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Overview

The Age of Man has begun. The "undesirable" creatures of legend have been driven from their lands, magic has been forsaken, the old gods reduced to myth.Now humans will rule the kingdoms of the island continent of Pentania. But they are not alone.

Alson's king has been assassinated, its capital besieged by a malevolent wizard. The chaos and terror now sweeping the land have come to the remote village of Diln -- sending young Jarom far from his home to seek aid against the nefarious usurper. But a mysterious council has decreed Jarom must find one of the mythical Swords of Asahiel -- the divine talismans the elven avatars used to forge the earth -- in order to save a quarrelsome, fledgling humanity. For a Demon Queen has awakened from the abyss -- and humankind is about to discover its powerlessness in the face of the ancient terrors of the world.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Eldon Thompson's debut novel, The Crimson Sword, is the first volume in an epic fantasy thriller comparable to bestselling series like Jennifer Fallon's Hythrun Chronicles, Mitchell Graham's Fifth Ring trilogy, and Terry Brooks's Shannara sequence. Brimming with magic, monsters, and nonstop adventure, this Tolkienesque story pits a reluctant hero -- a young woodsman named Jarom -- against a demonic queen and her armies of nightmarish dragonspawn. With the fate of millions of innocent lives in the balance, all Jarom has to do is find a mythical sword used by godly avatars in the creation of the world, elude a vengeful wizard who happens to be his banished brother, and somehow defeat a seemingly endless swarm of monstrosities from the Abyss.

After saving a terrified woman from a band of pursuing soldiers, Jarom finds his world is turned upside down by her story. The woman turns out to be the Queen of Alson, and after sharing her horrific tale about the king's assassination and a wizard's siege of the kingdom's capital, she informs Jarom that she is in fact his mother and that he is the secret heir to the throne! As the wizard wreaks havoc -- and ghastly creatures begin appearing throughout the countryside -- Jarom is sent on an almost hopeless quest to find a sword of legend.

While this novel is clearly not on the level of Tolkien's archetypal classic, Thompson shows great promise in this page-turning debut, which features generous amounts of magic, mythology, and mayhem. Here's one fantasy fan who's very curious to see where Thompson goes with his Legend of Asahiel trilogy. Paul Goat Allen
Publishers Weekly
Marred by wooden prose and lethargic pacing, Thompson's earnest fantasy debut, the first of a trilogy, tries hard to follow in Tolkien's and Terry Brooks's footsteps (Brooks provides a blurb), but only half succeeds. The story opens with a promising air of mystery with the murder of King Sorl, the despotic ruler of Alson, one of the several kingdoms of Petania. The assassin, known only as the Shadow, was hired by Soric, Sorl's disinherited older son, now an evil wizard intent on claiming his birthright. The widowed Queen Ellebe seeks out her younger son, Torin, who's been living for 19 years as Jarom, a mere mushroom farmer's son, unaware of his royal heritage. Once he recovers from the shock of learning he's really a prince, Jarom/Torin resolves to overthrow Soric, an effort that will involve him in a quest for a legendary sword. This kindhearted book employs all the familiar fantasy tropes-elven folk, dragons, demons, a fair lady-but unfortunately Prince Torin's vanilla personality is about as exciting as a hobbit without a ring. The more interesting Shadow vanishes too quickly and appears later only rarely. Hopefully, the next installment will have more bite. Agent, Matt Bialer. (May 3) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
The assassination of the king of Alson throws the succession into chaos; the city of Krynwall has fallen to its enemies, and the desperate queen flees her home in search of safety and of the son she has not seen since his birth 19 years ago. Now a young guardian named Jarom, he wants nothing to do with politics. Nevertheless, Jarom finds himself on a journey across the world in search of the mythical Crimson Sword. Thompson's first novel creates a richly detailed world of shadow assassins, demon queens, and magical swords. Jarom is a sympathetic and engaging hero who fights for his principles and for his duty. In the tradition of high fantasy, this book belongs in most fantasy collections. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061840975
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/13/2009
  • Series: Legend of Asahiel Series , #1
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 720
  • Sales rank: 259,549
  • File size: 984 KB

Meet the Author

After washing out as a college quarterback, Eldon Thompson returned to his first love, writing. Unfortunately, he's found wrestling plots and characters to be every bit as rough—though with less physical bruising. The author of The Crimson Sword and The Obsidian Key, he splits his time between the Oregon coast and Southern California.

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Read an Excerpt

The Crimson Sword

Book One of the Legend of Asahiel
By Eldon Thompson

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Eldon Thompson
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060741511

Chapter One

Midnight shadows filled the forest, spectral images born of moonlight filtering through a thicket of gnarled oak and shagbark hickory, of pine and spruce, of ferns and fronds and slithering ivy. Upon the ground, dark profiles weaved and merged, gathered over twigs and needles in a series of dry pools. Once puddled, the darkness shifted in silent ripples, mimicking the languid motion of branches and leaves swaying overhead in a late summer breeze.

At the edge of one such pool, standing just within the sifted radiance of a pale moon, a mouse lifted its head to sniff the scented air. Whiskers wriggled atop its nose, brushing the air with ceaseless anticipation. Its heart beat furiously within its chest. The creature glanced quickly to one side, then the other, then looked back to the small grain seed clutched in its paws. Once, twice, it nibbled experimentally, turning the morsel over, testing it from either end. Finally, it cast the seed aside and reached for another.

A sudden shadow fell over it. The mouse squealed as iron talons pierced its flesh, a sharp squeak of fear and surprise. Before it could draw another breath, its chest collapsed beneath a crushing grip as it was hoisted freeof the earthen floor.

The owl bore its twitching meal skyward, winging its way through a labyrinth of dark trees.

The Shadow watched the owl's flight and remained hidden, eyes and ears probing the darkness. But the attack had been perfect. Almost immediately, the shrill echoes of the mouse's cry were lost to the wind, and what remained of life within the forest went about its business without notice or concern. The Shadow permitted itself a private smile. Perfect.

It detached itself from its concealment then, peeling from the trunk of a nearby birch like a strip of bark. It cast north and south, crouched low, searching for a response to its movement. Detecting none, it resumed course, a shimmer amid the trees. Like the owl, it flew upon wings of death, slipping through the foliage without a whisper to mark its passing. Rodents scurried from its path; trees shuddered in a gust of wind. Made anxious by its ghostly presence, nature recoiled, finding safe quarter from which to watch and wait out the trespasser's foul purpose.

It helped the Shadow to think in such exaggerated terms, to distance even itself from its true identity, to imagine itself a creature of supernatural origin and prowess. It fancied itself a fiend among children, pitiless, as inexorable as death itself.

Unhindered, it slid into a copse at the fringe of the forest. Less than a hundred paces to the south, down a gently sloping hill, loomed a forbidding shape, a wall outlined against the night by the pale wash of moon and stars. The Shadow's gaze swept the wall's surface, a skin ravaged by mosses and ivy and crumbling mortar seams. Despite its weathered appearance, the stone structure towered over the land. A trickle of a moat ringed its base, little more than a stream of sewage headed for the nearby Royal River. Most importantly, only a single sentinel stood watch upon this section of the rampart, one who, amazingly enough, appeared to be dozing while leaning upon his rusted pike.

Without further hesitation, the Shadow dashed from its cover, plunging into the knee-deep prairie grass that carpeted the hillside. It crossed the clearing in a crouch, leapt the putrid stream, and came to rest against the cold stone of the castle wall. With only a slight breeze to mark its passing, it need not have paused to ensure that it had not been spied. But the Shadow wore caution as a soldier would his heavy armor, a coat of arms enmeshed over limbs and joints, impossible to remove without concerted effort, and shed not a moment before the battle was won. Caution shielded against overconfidence, which often led to mistakes. And in a contest such as this, a single mistake could grant passage into death's domain. So the Shadow made none.

An army of crickets chirped in shrill cadence. Farther off, an owl hooted deep within the woods. Nearby, the waters of the moat lapped against their earthen banks. But the Shadow's presence, draped flat against the wall, remained undetected.

Secure in this thought, the Shadow turned to face the unyielding stone, producing a coiled length of slender rope from within its cloak. To one end was fastened a tiny, three-pronged grapnel, its metal hooks wrapped in cloth to help quiet any sound and guard against the reflection of light. With deft movements, the Shadow sent the hook hurtling to the top of the crenellated battlement some ninety feet overhead. The throw was true. A muffled clank echoed upon the wind as the hook swung around a crumbling merlon and bit like a serpent into the resisting stone.

Below, the Shadow waited, a tiny crossbow poised to bury its bolt into the unsuspecting face of any curious sentry. But once again, its caution proved unnecessary, as a sudden snore broke the near silence.

The crossbow vanished, and a pair of daggers appeared. After spinning them in its fingers, the Shadow placed the blades in its mouth. Seizing the threadlike rope, the invader tested its hold before beginning to climb.

The Shadow breezed up the monstrous structure, running skyward along the wall while pulling hand over hand upon the rope. Upon reaching the top, the Shadow swung skillfully between two moss-covered merlons, drew the daggers from its mouth, and buried each to its hilt in the throat of the oblivious guardsman. Slumping to the ground within a shadowed alcove, the sentry fell silently into a sleep from which he would never awake.

Pausing briefly to draw a breath, coil its rope, and retrieve its blades, the Shadow turned and raced along the battlement, down a flight of lichen-covered steps, and into the city below ...

Continues...


Excerpted from The Crimson Sword by Eldon Thompson Copyright © 2006 by Eldon Thompson. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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First Chapter

The Crimson Sword
Book One of the Legend of Asahiel

Chapter One

Midnight shadows filled the forest, spectral images born of moonlight filtering through a thicket of gnarled oak and shagbark hickory, of pine and spruce, of ferns and fronds and slithering ivy. Upon the ground, dark profiles weaved and merged, gathered over twigs and needles in a series of dry pools. Once puddled, the darkness shifted in silent ripples, mimicking the languid motion of branches and leaves swaying overhead in a late summer breeze.

At the edge of one such pool, standing just within the sifted radiance of a pale moon, a mouse lifted its head to sniff the scented air. Whiskers wriggled atop its nose, brushing the air with ceaseless anticipation. Its heart beat furiously within its chest. The creature glanced quickly to one side, then the other, then looked back to the small grain seed clutched in its paws. Once, twice, it nibbled experimentally, turning the morsel over, testing it from either end. Finally, it cast the seed aside and reached for another.

A sudden shadow fell over it. The mouse squealed as iron talons pierced its flesh, a sharp squeak of fear and surprise. Before it could draw another breath, its chest collapsed beneath a crushing grip as it was hoisted free of the earthen floor.

The owl bore its twitching meal skyward, winging its way through a labyrinth of dark trees.

The Shadow watched the owl's flight and remained hidden, eyes and ears probing the darkness. But the attack had been perfect. Almost immediately, the shrill echoes of the mouse's cry were lost to the wind, and what remained of life within the forest went about its business without notice or concern. The Shadow permitted itself a private smile. Perfect.

It detached itself from its concealment then, peeling from the trunk of a nearby birch like a strip of bark. It cast north and south, crouched low, searching for a response to its movement. Detecting none, it resumed course, a shimmer amid the trees. Like the owl, it flew upon wings of death, slipping through the foliage without a whisper to mark its passing. Rodents scurried from its path; trees shuddered in a gust of wind. Made anxious by its ghostly presence, nature recoiled, finding safe quarter from which to watch and wait out the trespasser's foul purpose.

It helped the Shadow to think in such exaggerated terms, to distance even itself from its true identity, to imagine itself a creature of supernatural origin and prowess. It fancied itself a fiend among children, pitiless, as inexorable as death itself.

Unhindered, it slid into a copse at the fringe of the forest. Less than a hundred paces to the south, down a gently sloping hill, loomed a forbidding shape, a wall outlined against the night by the pale wash of moon and stars. The Shadow's gaze swept the wall's surface, a skin ravaged by mosses and ivy and crumbling mortar seams. Despite its weathered appearance, the stone structure towered over the land. A trickle of a moat ringed its base, little more than a stream of sewage headed for the nearby Royal River. Most importantly, only a single sentinel stood watch upon this section of the rampart, one who, amazingly enough, appeared to be dozing while leaning upon his rusted pike.

Without further hesitation, the Shadow dashed from its cover, plunging into the knee-deep prairie grass that carpeted the hillside. It crossed the clearing in a crouch, leapt the putrid stream, and came to rest against the cold stone of the castle wall. With only a slight breeze to mark its passing, it need not have paused to ensure that it had not been spied. But the Shadow wore caution as a soldier would his heavy armor, a coat of arms enmeshed over limbs and joints, impossible to remove without concerted effort, and shed not a moment before the battle was won. Caution shielded against overconfidence, which often led to mistakes. And in a contest such as this, a single mistake could grant passage into death's domain. So the Shadow made none.

An army of crickets chirped in shrill cadence. Farther off, an owl hooted deep within the woods. Nearby, the waters of the moat lapped against their earthen banks. But the Shadow's presence, draped flat against the wall, remained undetected.

Secure in this thought, the Shadow turned to face the unyielding stone, producing a coiled length of slender rope from within its cloak. To one end was fastened a tiny, three-pronged grapnel, its metal hooks wrapped in cloth to help quiet any sound and guard against the reflection of light. With deft movements, the Shadow sent the hook hurtling to the top of the crenellated battlement some ninety feet overhead. The throw was true. A muffled clank echoed upon the wind as the hook swung around a crumbling merlon and bit like a serpent into the resisting stone.

Below, the Shadow waited, a tiny crossbow poised to bury its bolt into the unsuspecting face of any curious sentry. But once again, its caution proved unnecessary, as a sudden snore broke the near silence.

The crossbow vanished, and a pair of daggers appeared. After spinning them in its fingers, the Shadow placed the blades in its mouth. Seizing the threadlike rope, the invader tested its hold before beginning to climb.

The Shadow breezed up the monstrous structure, running skyward along the wall while pulling hand over hand upon the rope. Upon reaching the top, the Shadow swung skillfully between two moss-covered merlons, drew the daggers from its mouth, and buried each to its hilt in the throat of the oblivious guardsman. Slumping to the ground within a shadowed alcove, the sentry fell silently into a sleep from which he would never awake.

Pausing briefly to draw a breath, coil its rope, and retrieve its blades, the Shadow turned and raced along the battlement, down a flight of lichen-covered steps, and into the city below ...

The Crimson Sword
Book One of the Legend of Asahiel
. Copyright © by Eldon Thompson. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 19 of 18 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2012

    I read epic fantasy to be entertained. this was 4 star entertain

    I read epic fantasy to be entertained. this was 4 star entertainmant

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Wow

    This author reels you in with descriptions that make you feel like you're a part of his world then keeps your pulse up with action that just won't stop. This book is a thrill ride!

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  • Posted December 18, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Good reading

    I like this book though the author portraits elves as cannibals. I love Tolkien elves and I can't see then as low as he portrait them in this book.<BR/>But overall it was a very entertaining book. The story was well done and easy to follow. I like the personality of the characters and the ending.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2007

    A Must Read

    Eldon is a refreshing new voice in fantasy who weaves a very gripping tale. His talent for description puts the reader right alongside the compelling characters. If you like Salvatore and Jordan and are looking for a story that will not only have you turning pages long into the night, but MOVE you, then this is a must read. It should be on everyone's bookshelf.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2006

    Impossible to get into

    I have tried three times now to start this book. I simply canNOT get into it. I purchased it because Terry Brooks (I guess) read it and gave it a decent review. But seriously now, did he really read it? Also, was his review supposed to make his fans happy or for this particular upstart author? I know that it is difficult for authors to get a toehold in this business, but my advice, begin a book with a chapter that really captivates the reader, and sucks them in, so that by the time they get to the *yawn* parts, it is still fresh in their memory, and keeps them intrigued, and ready to go through anything to get to the end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2006

    Brilliant!

    The Crimson Sword was simply amazing. I was able to finish this book quite quickly, It was simply too difficult to put the book down. Though the first chapter starts out fairly slow, I urge you to read this book. It is worth it! The characters captured my heart. I would re-read this book any day.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2006

    An Excellent Debut Novel!!!

    Nothing but praise for Eldon Thompson's debut 'The Crimson Sword'. It is an excellent book with intriguing plot-lines and characters. It was so good that I couldn't put it down until I had finished it. Without a doubt, Eldon will emerge as one of the top fantasy authors if he keeps up the good work. With characters like Jarom(A.K.A. Torin) and the evil and devious Shadow I promise that you will like this book(IF you have ANY brains at all).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2005

    VERY good book. =)

    I read this some time ago, and my opinion has continually been that this is an awesome book. I would HIGHLY recommend it -- Eldon is an awesome writer, and I hope his success equals his ability.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2005

    Crimson Sword

    After an evil king is killed, his long lost heir is catapulted into destiny. Jarom never knew he was a prince, but once he learn that fact, he finds himself on a quest to recover a magical sword that will keep the Queen of Demons from replacing the Age of Man with the Age of Demons. With intrepid companions to help him, the prince fights all manner of evil and monsters to save his world, claim his throne and win his true love. The author uses all the classic imagery that hallmarks this particular genre. Description on a grand scale and able writing almost make up for the shallow characterization.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Appealing fantasy

    The island continent of Pentania, in the kingdom of Alson is ruled by King Sorl, a man steeped in debauchery and without a care for his subjects. One day the king is found dead; his son who he had banished for trying to kill him before succeeded this time and has become the new monarch. The new king is also a wizard allied with the forces of darkness............................ The queen travels to the village of Diln and informs Jarom that he is the son she gave up at birth to protect him and let him grow up as a man worthy to rule. When she returns to the castle, the wizard kills her while Jarom and his friend Allion seek help; on the trek, they encounter an Entient (an avatar of the gods who watches out for and guides humanity) who drops a book and before their eyes the writing disappears. Jarome sees a map where THE CRIMSON SWORD is located beneath the buried Elven city. He finds it and becomes the rallying point of those who oppose the Demon Queen who wants to destroy mankind. Jarom fights her minions and her dragon spawn who also wants to see the end of man on earth...................... Although this is book one of the Legend of Asahiel trilogy, it is a stand alone epic fantasy that leaves the audience feeling as if they have completed a thrilling journey. Most if not all the threads are woven together into a colorful tapestry that make up THE CRIMSON SWORD. The characters are well developed and the quest they undertake compares favorably to The Lord of the Rings (can Peter Jackson be far behind?). ....................... Harriet Klausner

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted August 3, 2010

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    Posted October 8, 2011

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    Posted January 18, 2010

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    Posted January 3, 2011

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    Posted March 1, 2013

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    Posted April 30, 2009

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    Posted March 4, 2010

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    Posted April 20, 2009

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