When street thief Selth Barnicade pulls off his biggest pickpocketing venture yet, he seizes the opportunity to raise himself from squalor. Armed with a fine dagger and clothed in rich garments, he is ready at last for his revenge on the wealthy. His plans quickly go awry, however, when he is ensnared in conflicts far deadlier than turf wars and dodging soldiers. Marked for death by foes wielding magic and influence in society, he has no choice but to trust a wandering priest named Fredrick, whose own mystical powers give Selth a fighting chance once again. Together with Turgin, a mighty warrior bearing a sword of power, they seek out the lair of their enemies. What they discover are conspiracies and occult societies extending their reach to the throne itself, with the Rod of Faercon, that ancient artifact of dominion, hanging in the balance.
Despite his wishes, Selth finds himself caught between warring factions and battling his way across the Northlands. Inhuman monsters, undying soldiers, bandit hordes, assassins, and magic-wielding armies will prove inescapable as Selth struggles to reach his ultimate goal: Mount Zenola, home of the reclusive Xath dwarves. There he hopes at last to gain refuge from his pursuers and to win the weapons needed to defeat them once and for all. But this quest may turn deadlier than any challenge so far as obscure riddles, insatiable beasts, and nature itself work against him. Fresh allies met along the journey—a priest, warriors, and a wizard—could tip the balance in his favor, if they prove reliable. In the end, Selth Barnicade knows that his life is in his own hands and that he will either survive or perish by rod or by dagger.
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About the Author
I am a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Toledo in Ohio. I have always enjoyed writing, but have little time now to pursue publishing, so I decided to take this opportunity. I enjoy all the classics of science fiction and fantasy, and I hope that is apparent in my work. Have fun reading!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
a really exciting and fun book- i really liked it and highly recommend it to anyone who likes action, adventure, and fantasy. cant wait until book 2!
I wondered if I would enjoy a fantasy/action novel, since I had never tried one before. BY ROD OR BY DAGGER hooked me right at the beginning with the opening scene. Throughout the book, the dialogue was great, too, and made the reading go very quickly. The only down side is that my housework got waaaaaaaaaaay behind, because I didn't want to stop reading! I'm already looking forward to reading more books or other writings by Eric Culler.
True story: I was reading this adventure on a trip to NYC. Our car broke down on the mountain roads, and I didn't even notice because I was SO into the book! I'm usually disappointed with fantasy/adventure novels, being a harsh critic at heart, but "By Rod or By Dagger" really blew me away. Seriously, I loved it! I would definitely recommend this book to anyone that likes action, adventure, and a great story that will keep you enthralled and wanting more.