The Bite on the Lineby Simon Cantan
Clinging to the bar running along the front of the platform, Sergeant Osric has a lot of time to think about how he got there. About how he’s shooting through a forest on a rocket powered train platform. About how a grinning thief is clinging to the same bar beside him. Most of all, though, about how he’s heading for Bytarend; a town no-one has heard… See more details below
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Clinging to the bar running along the front of the platform, Sergeant Osric has a lot of time to think about how he got there. About how he’s shooting through a forest on a rocket powered train platform. About how a grinning thief is clinging to the same bar beside him. Most of all, though, about how he’s heading for Bytarend; a town no-one has heard from in almost a hundred years. There has to be a reasonable explanation for their silence, after all. Osric tries to think of a reason that doesn’t end in his horrible death…
… he can’t come up with one.
Interview with the Author
Q - What makes the Bytarend books so special?
A - I set out to create a series that combines everything I love in fantasy. I’ve never been a fan of slow moving fantasy books, I prefer a little bit more action and adventure in my stories. At the same time, I love banter between characters. I’m a big fan of the biting comments characters can make to one another as they face down danger. Those kinds of books aren’t all that common. It’s fairly rare to find fast-moving action and comedy in the fantasy genre. So I set out to write a series that I would want to read.
Q - There are a lot of characters in these books?
A - There sure are. In the first book, we follow Tondbert’s coming of age, dealing with his loss. At the same time, Osric is out for a kind of justice he’s having trouble finding in a world ruled by nobles. The rest of the books in the series follow more characters, quite a lot of whom are women. I love strong female lead characters in books, so that was something else I wanted to make sure of. Along with some romance, for good measure. In the six books, I think I’ve pulled in every type of character I could think of.
Tondbert, for example, is dark-skinned because I hadn’t read many (or any) books with black main characters. It made no sense to me that fantasy characters always seem to be Caucasian. Since it’s a fantasy setting, I saw no reason not to add a bit of diversity.
Q - Should the books be read in order?
A - While I’ve tried to setup each book so it can be read individually, I’d recommend reading them in order. Each books tells its own story, but the events of one do affect the next. So I’d recommend:
- The Bite on the Line
- The Bite of Minds
- The Bite of Death
- The Bite of Forest Dark
- The Bite of Rust
- The Bite of a King
Q - Why should readers give these books a try?
A - The Bytarend books are ideal for anyone who wants to try some fast-moving, action-oriented fantasy. I’ve had emails from readers saying they don’t normally read fantasy, but they loved these books. With the first one on special offer, there’s no reason not to give it a go.
Thanks for reading!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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liked it. reads a bit like terry pratchett. much violence and small amount of adult humor, not really for kids.
Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite Simon Cantan’s The Bite on the Line (Bytarend Series Book 1) is a fantasy novel interwoven with mystery, magic and humor. The story starts with the invasion of Latraio castle by the Ministrians. Seventeen-year-old Prince Tondbert escapes the raid and ends up at Wikeadward, trying to stay inconspicuous as Thief Kings are not welcome in the city. By fate, he somehow got himself enlisted as one of the City Guard. Meanwhile, Sergeant Osric Ward of the City Guard successfully nabbed a serial killer. Unfortunately, the crime involves a noble and injustice prevails. Osric and Tondbert, who accidentally got himself involved in the case, are sent to Bytarend as punishment – a small mountain town no one has heard from in almost a hundred years. The pace of the story starts to pick up at this moment, as one wonders about the duo’s fate and what lies in the mysterious town. The world building is interesting with the different races that Cantan presented alongside humans – the short, blue skinned Desertmen, and the tall Greymen with their advanced technology. In Bytarend, protagonists Osric and Tondbert have to face the lifeleeches or dark mages who are addicted to the power, draining life from people and using the energy for themselves. Animal leeches, on the other hand, drain life from animals. Then there’s the lifeless, the bodies of the people that the lifeleeches have drained, which are certainly no different than zombies. Characterization is solid and the straightforward prose helps to unfold the plot swiftly. Initially, the storyline is somewhat hectic and the backstory of each character seems loose and detached at first. That said, everything comes together as the story progresses and I truly enjoyed the action scenes and humor. Overall, an entertaining novel from Cantan.
Easy read for a Sunday afternoon.