Six novels, two short stories, and 1.2 million words, a saga of action and romance set in the Early Bronze Age.
The Eskkar Saga takes place in the early Bronze Age (3158 BC), when technological changes were spreading rapidly across the Fertile Crescent, also known as the Land Between The Rivers. The bow developed into a powerful weapon, capable of bringing down any enemy. Horses, too, have been bred taller and stronger, now capable of carrying a man and his weapons. Bronze metalurgy for tools and weapons, break-throughs in agriculture, use of symbols to record events, and the introduction of numbers and counting, all helped change mankind from a nomad to a city-dweller. But the ever-constant conflict between hunters and gatherers remains, and continues to delay the rise of civilization.
For unrecorded ages, the dominance of the wide-ranging hunters and warriors has ruled over the farmer and herder. But the new innovations are challenging that order, and the time is ripe for a new paradigm. The rise of the first city-state is at hand.
Dawn of Empire, published in 9 languages, is the first book in the Eskkar series. There are 2 main characters. Eskkar, a wandering and mercenary barbarian forced to sell his sword for hire. While still a boy, he escapes from his steppes clan of horsemen after his father and family are brutally murdered in a blood feud. Eskkar is forced to live among his hereditary enemies, hated and feared by those his former clansmen call ‘dirt eaters.’
Chance finds him in the village of Orak, a thriving center of trade on the River Tigris surrounded by fertile farmlands. Eskkar sees only a bleak future ahead, until sudden necessity provides him with an opportunity. When the senior leader of the village guards abandons his duties, Eskkar is summoned by the village elder and ordered to prepare Orak to resist a barbarian invasion.
But peaceful farmers have never stood up to the fierce horsemen. All Eskkar has to do is defeat the barbarians of his former clan. The task is daunting. No village has ever successfully driven off the ferocious barbarian horsemen. Despite his fighting skills, Eskkar is no planner. So the Village Elder gives Eskkar one of his newly-acquired slaves, a young girl named Trella as a helpmate.
Trella is the second main characters, and she is unique. Possessed with great intelligence (say an IQ of 165+), keen perception, and the ability to understand people, Trella was originally raised and trained to be the wife of some prosperous village leader. But evil chance destroyed her family and her life, and condemned her to slavery.
Now the fifteen year old girl has become the property of an outcast, thirty-year old fighter. Her future seems as bleak as the hard visage of her new master. But Trella sees something more in her new owner. Together they have a chance to save themselves and the village of Orak. Just as important, they can take control of their own destiny.
The odds are long, but the road to empire beckons, if they have the strength to rise above their stations and build mankind’s first walled village. With her guidance, Eskkar may rise to greatness, if barbarians or assassins don’t kill both him and the girl he has come to love.
There’s plenty of action and lusty romance, as Eskkar and Trella fight against enemies within and without to save themselves and build a dynasty strong enough to endure the uncertain and dangerous future.
The Eskkar Saga relates the rise of the first fortified villages, built by men and women as strong as the stones comprising the walls of those early dwellings.
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Disclaimer: the image shows the author’s face (a few years younger) on Conan the Barbarian’s body.