An Investigation Gone Awry
Sometimes, your case takes a left turn. Or three or four. Marten Mingenstern and Boog Eggstrom are provisional inspectors, fresh out of Inquisitor’s Guild training and eager to prove themselves. Assigned the mundane task of tracking down stolen jewels, they instead uncover a mysterious cult set on destroying the city. After a thief explodes, they earn the enmity of a vicious noble, the Chief Inquisitor gets bought off and goes rogue, they are seized by barbarians, and they are sentenced to death at least a couple of times. In a final, frantic race with prophecy, they face ruthless fanatics, a city turned against them, and terrible forces long buried.
Flames Over Frosthelm is the first novel about the Inquisitor's Guild, the investigative arm of the government of Frosthelm, a medieval city-state where criminals thrive, nobles scheme, and dark secrets lurk. Expect intrigue, mystery, swordplay, adventure, politics, romance, and the strong bonds of friendship. And a little magic along the way. Described as Princess Bride meets CSI, this new novel is a tale of classic adventure with a healthy dose of humor.
If the description above was too much, you might prefer this
TLDR Summary Haiku
Young inspectors flail
Against a rising darkness.
Fighting, jokes, and more.
About the Book
Flames over Frosthelm is a full stand-alone novel clocking in at just over 120,000 words. Beginning, middle, and end, and no waiting for sequels to find out how the adventure ends (hear that, George R.R.?). There is swordplay, violence, death, and some romance, but the book does not include anything terribly hardcore. Think PG13 or Harry Potter and you're probably in the right place.
Ever since I started reading the Oz books and Andrew Lang's fairy tale compendia in elementary school, I have loved fantasy. As I grew as a reader, I branched out into heroic and epic fantasy, starting with tales of heros like Conan and John Carter, set in places like Middle Earth and Witchworld. I also adored comedic fantasy, from Terry Pratchett to Neil Gaiman to a host of others, and my favorite tales were those where young heroes and heroines grew (or were forced) to play a role beyond their station, in many cases learning on the fly and making it up as they went along.
There are so many great authors working now trying out new ideas, pushing the fantasy genre in interesting new directions (some of them full of sparkly vampires or brooding antiheroes with anime hair). Despite all that innovation, it is hard for me to resist the draw of the classics. In this book, I've tried to weave together many of my favorite threads from the books of my childhood, to write the kind of book I have always loved reading, both at 13 and at 49. If I've succeeded, this story should provide a fun mix of humor and adventure, an introduction to a new world and a few new cultures, with derring-do and jokes along with some solid emotional touches, against a backdrop of a classic fantasy city, bustling with taverns, markets, nobles, politics, religions, thieves, and warriors.
There's magic, but it's limited to rare wizards, scholars, and artifacts, not pervasive, and it's not well understood. Everybody you meet is a human with human goals - no elves, dwarves, dragons, trolls, or Klingons. Although moral complexity is fascinating, and even the best people are not always their best selves, in general I like my good guys good, my bad guys bad, and the stakes high. I hope you do too.
Please enjoy Flames Over Frosthelm.