Before Arthur, There was Uther. Before Lancelot, There was Balin The Savage. Before the Holy Grail could be found...it had to be lost. Balin grows up revering the memory of his father, a storied knight of the High King Uther's time. He is held back from following in his footsteps by his mother, a priestess of the old religion whose capitol is the Isle of Avalon. When she is burned at the stake as a witch by fanatics, Balin blames the corrupting influence of Avalon and sets himself against all that is pagan. A new high king arises; Arthur, whose rule must unite pagan and Christian alike. Sir Balin, now known as The Savage for his ferocity in battle, answers the king's call for champions, but in his heart, questions the presence of the shadowy wizard Merlin beside the throne. When a vengeful enchantress comes to Camelot bearing a cursed sword that will make Balin the greatest knight in all Albion, but doom him to slay his beloved king, Balin sets out on a long quest that will veer between God and glory, love and madness, justice and revenge, and change the land forever.
This exceptional Arthurian epic from Erdelac (Merkabah Rider) a tale of honor, faith, and bitter betrayal is rich in period detail, intricate plots, and breathless swordplay. The story centers on twin brother knights who take divergent paths. Balin "the Savage," a Christian, swears fealty to the boy king Arthur, while Brulen "the Sinister," a pagan, joins Arthur's enemy, Sir Lot of Orkney. Balin's accidental killing of an arrogant knight sets in motion a complex scheme by the knight's pagan paramour and sorceress, Nimue, to bring down both Balin and Arthur. Nimue tricks Balin into accepting the cursed Adventurous Sword, which guarantees that every victory will be followed by an equal failure. The first of these failures is Balin's rage-killing of Arthur's benefactor, the Lady of the Lake. To atone, Balin embarks on a series of quests, reunites with Brulen, and defends Arthur's fianc e, Guinevere, all under the watchful eye of Arthur's shape-shifting mage, Merlin. Readers will become engrossed in the political alliances, fierce fighting, magical antics, and dark secrets of this unusual take on Arthurian legend. (BookLife)