S a m B a r o n e
Ever wonder how it all started, what events turned Eskkar into an outcast from his clan, shaped his character, and formed the man who would one day rule Akkad?
Eskkar was just over thirty years old when he took over the defense of Orak, and Nicar gave him Trella to help him save the village. But in the previous fifteen years, Eskkar walked and rode and fought his way up and down the Land Between The Two Rivers, an outcast barbarian hated and often hunted by almost all he encountered. Each encounter not only strengthened Eskkar, but also provided him with the knowledge he would need someday to defend Orak.
In the beginning, however, there was a happier time when Eskkar was just a boy living with his family, part of the great clan of the Alur Meriki. Life was simple then, and he could look forward to the life of a warrior, and to the day when he would ride with his clan as one of the rulers of the earth.
All that changed in a single night of blood, and chance hurled Eskkar down a different path than the one chosen for him by his parents.
Discover how everything began.
Eskkar & Trella - The Beginning (659 pages) the prequel to Sam Barone’s bronze age historical series in the tradition of Conn Iggulden, Bernard Cornwell and Jean Auel.
In Dawn of Empire, Eskkar the warrior and Trella the keen-witted slave girl come together in a mighty struggle to survive a barbarian invasion and build mankind's first walled city.
But Eskkar's story began many years earlier, when his family was brutally murdered in a blood feud. His name and heritage obliterated, young Eskkar flees his clan and the only life he knows. Condemned as an outcast, he learns to survive, hunted by his own kind, and hated and feared by all others.
For fifteen years, Eskkar wanders the Land Between The Rivers, home of his hereditary enemies, fighting to stay alive and to reach manhood. All the while he is learning the skills that will one day make him not only a true warrior, but a leader of men on and off the battlefield.
Trella, too, witnesses her family destroyed in a single night of vengeance, and her life of ease and privilege lost. Captured and sold to a slave trader, she must use her keen mind, extraordinary perception, and perfect memory to regain control of her life. While appearing to serve her masters, Trella learns to manipulate the powerful men who now own her body. Soon she becomes the unseen influence whose knowledge and training guide the way to the founding of an empire.
Eskkar and Trella join together and form a unique bond that enables them to overcome the limits their world has placed upon them.
These are the stories of their journeys toward one another and to their shared destiny, an enduring love that changes civilization forever.
Notes from the Author . . .
These are some of the stories from Eskkar’s early wanderings, and Trella’s misfortune and enslavement.
I didn't include all the tales I heard. Some went on too long, others were too violent, and a few showed the dark side of Eskkar in his days as a bandit. Not all the stories have happy endings. Real life isn't like that anyway. Bad stuff does happen. Someday more of these untold stories may find their way into print. (They have - see Rogue Warriors 1 & 2)
If you're looking for a story about the perfect man who finds the perfect woman, and they both live happily ever after, this isn't that story. Five thousand years ago people lived and died in a ruthless world, where death often came suddenly, and mercy was not necessarily a survival trait.
A wise man learns from his experiences, good and bad, assuming he manages to survive. Eskkar did learn, and became wise, after a fashion. Though he was far from perfect, he nevertheless is the man you'd want at your side when trouble started, and for sure he was the kind of leader you would follow into battle, no matter the odds. Warriors, both ancient and modern, who read this will understand that quality. Eskkar’s bravery and loyalty should count for a great deal on the scales that judge a man’s life.