In the time of the Ancients the universe was united—but that was so far in the past that not even memory remains, only the broken artifacts that a few Makers can reshape into their original uses. What survives is shattered into enclaves—some tiny, some ruined, some wild.
Into the gaps between settlements, and onto the Road that connects all human reality and the reality that is not human and may never have been human, have crept monsters. Some creatures are men, twisted into inhuman evil; some of them are alien to Mankind—
And there are things which are hostile to all life, things which will raven and kill until they are stopped.
A Leader has arisen, welding the scattered human settlements together in peace and safety and smashing the enemies of order with an iron fist. In his capital, Dun Add, the Leader provides law and justice. In the universe beyond, his Champions advance—and enforce—the return of civilization.
Pal, a youth from the sticks, has come to Dun Add to become a Champion. Pal is a bit of a Maker, and in his rural home he's been able to think of himself as a warrior because he can wield the weapons of the Ancient civilization.
Pal has no idea of what he's really getting into in Dun Add. On the other hand, the Leader and Dun Add have no real idea of what might be inside this hayseed with high hopes.
THE SPARK: A story of hope and violence and courage. And especially, a story of determination.
At the publisher’s request, this title is sold without DRM (Digital Rights Management).
Drake (the RCN series) is known for expert, long-running series of action novels, and this entertaining tale combining the feel of Arthurian legend with nifty far-future super science, though billed as a standalone, looks like the start of another saga. In what may be the far future, beasts and other beings inimical to all life prowl in the Waste outside the scattered nodes where human beings can survive. A company of noble warriors is needed to subdue brutish renegades and reintegrate society. Idealistic adolescent protagonist Pal treks to Dun Add, "capitol of the human universe," to become a Champion of Mankind. But Pal is more than a warrior: he can sense and sometimes repair the broken devices left behind by an ancient civilization. His rise from talented but naive bumpkin to worthy champion is interesting and ingenious; he faces a series of physical and moral tests, learning that heroes aren't always heroic. Though Pal's own rigid niceness sometimes shades off into priggishness, he's a likable fellow. It'd be fun to follow him through other adventures.
One darn thing after another. Adventure and action. Kept me up much longer past my bedtime than was good for me, but worth it.
An interesting read!
David Drake never disappoints! Always taking Elena’s of history, mythology or ancient literature and weaving them into a science fiction or fantasy novel. This time it seems like elements of the story of Galahad or some other Arthurian tale. Like his other novels, I consumed it all too quickly and was left wanting more. Please write forever David Drake