What’s it About?
Derek Strongarm and Felix Lightfoot are a pair of hard-luck adventurers for hire with an unfortunate knack for landing jobs that pay too little and threaten their lives too much. Erika Racewind is a hardened elven warrior who doesn’t like people, except maybe when she’s killing them. Winifred Graceword is a kindhearted elven priestess skilled in the healing arts. David is a young sorcerer on a path to discover who he really is — and whether that person has a last name, because going by just David is getting old fast.
Together these companions travel across the land of Asaches looking for adventure and the glory and riches that come with it. Mostly the riches, though, because you can’t buy food and beer with glory.
Who is this Series For?
Sword-and-sorcery fantasy fans looking for something a little lighter than most of the fare currently on the shelves. If you want heavy, dark, serious stories with lots of death, destruction, torture, rape, and political intrigue, go read something else because you won’t find it here.
What you will find is a fast-paced adventure filled with colorful characters, rip-roaring action, humor, and gentle jabs at the classic elements of fantasy fiction.
Which is not to say this series is a comedy or parody. There is still drama aplenty, but as a rule I don’t take things too seriously. You can read these books and not feel like you need a hug and a room full of puppies afterward.
Basically, if you like fare like The Legend of Vox Machina and Dungeons and Dragons – Honor Among Thieves, this is the series for you.
Is it Suitable for Young Readers?
Not really. The series is a hard PG-13/light R for violence, language, and sexual content. It is suitable for older teens, but not for the YA crowd.
What are the Books in the Series?
Scratching a Lich: Derek and Felix find themselves entangled in an urgent quest to slay a legendary lich before he can trigger a world-ending apocalypse – as insane undead sorcerers are wont to do. Together with Erika Racewind, bodyguard for a mysterious young wizard named David, and Winifred Graceword, they head out to discover lost cities, recover long lost magical artifacts, and slay great evils in order to fulfill curiously specific prophecies – as mismatched, ragtag groups of adventurers are wont to do.
Assassins Brawl: The companions are hired to safeguard a spoiled brat of a princess targeted for death by the assassin Ruined Isys, but as is often the case, there’s more going on here than meets the eye. Now all they have to do is determine who is behind the plot before they get caught in the crossfire.
Blades of Glory: Derek, Felix, and company are up for a job that seems a little too simple for a payday that seems a little too generous – but unfortunately, so are the famed adventurers of fortune known as the Noble Blades. Which of them will be the first to find a stolen ceremonial mask that is absolutely positively completely normal and not at all some lost artifact possessed of dark power?
Sworded Affairs: The company takes a job to dispose of a potentially dangerous magical artifact only to become snowbound in an isolated city besieged by flesh-hungry beasts — and under assault from within by a dark conspiracy.
Elfish Motives: Winifred Graceword is called home under mysterious circumstances, which lead to the company revisiting the lost even city of Wihend. But what do the four clans want with their long-abandoned ancestral home?
Twins and Losses: The company finally returns home to Ambride, only to become immediately embroiled in a scandal threatening to consume the Ambride Academy of Magic.
Draconian Measures – David is charged with a diplomatic mission that could unite Asaches’s fractured magical academies, but first he has to contend with a maniacal warden, political upheaval, and an enormous dragon terrorizing the coastal city of Atebo. Tentatively set for a late 2023 release.
The Final Summons – An Anthology of the New England Speculative Writers: Featuring The Going Rate For Penance, a short story set in the Strongarm & Lightfoot world. Mercenaries Jessica and Samantha Summerland receive an assignment from their least favorite client, and one way or another, this will be their last job.
How Long Will the Series Run?
Unknown, but tentatively ten books.
Are They Available As Audiobooks?
The first four books, narrated by Heather S. Auden, are currently available on Audible.
Where Can I Learn More?
Read can read sample chapters from Scratching a Lich, buy signed copies, connect with me through social media, and get regular updates at my website: innsmouthlook.com