If only all nights were this sultry, all moons so bright and clear. The tendrils of Spanish moss dripping from the oaks whispered adventure in Will Blackwood’s ear, made him long for gallant quests and fiendish dungeons and exotic, leather-clad heroines. With practiced flair, Will threw his cape over his shoulder, pulled on his gauntlets, and twirled his sword above his head. Then he shut the trunk of his Honda Civic and trudged through the parking lot to the employee entrance of Medieval Nights, a joust-themed joust-themed dinner theatre in New Orleans.
To make ends meet, Will spent a few nights a week engaging in staged battles with a staff of fellow underachieving twenty-somethings. Once Will stepped into the pennant-lined arena, the music started, and the crowd of children and bored retirees screamed at the top of their lungs for blood and victory, he knew he was as close to Middle Earth as he was ever going to get.
After dispatching two trolls and a papier-mâché dragon, Will changed into a pair of Carhartt pants and a T-shirt and headed to the House of Spirits, a funky little joint where his brother Caleb tended bar. It would be the same routine: two draft Abita Ambers to take the edge off, a little online gaming back at the apartment, and then asleep by midnight so Will could wake up at six a.m. for his day job as a general contractor’s assistant. Just like every other night, just like every other morning. Right before he walked through the beaded entrance of the House of Spirits, Will felt his cell buzz.
Wanna go get some bad guys?
The text was from his oldest friend, Lance Wesson, whose name Will envied for not sounding like a hobbit’s. Lance had enlisted in the Marines after high school, then joined the New Orleans Police Department after returning from active duty. Will’s history of severe panic attacks, which had started after his father died, prevented Will from joining any profession involving danger or stress. Lance was sympathetic and let him ride along on calls he knew wouldn’t involve any risk. Will texted back.
Animal noise disturbance at Laveau Cemetery
Will sighed, running a hand through his blond hair. What would be his next big vicarious adventure, staking out jaywalkers? He always felt patronized when he rode with Lance, but he had trouble resisting the siren call of potential excitement. Will’s fingers flicked across the keypad.
Pick u up in 5. Ur at bar?If you can conceive it, you will find it in Layton Greens new Blackwood series...But be prepared...all that you have never thought of--all that what you've seen in your nightmares... They, too, will be there... Say, for instance, do you think there are parallel universes existing at the same time in the same location on earth? Will Blackwood was into all things fantasy--you might even call him obsessive, as he read, saw or participated in any activity related to fantasy... Magic was so real to him, but his life was so boring. He had a panic disorder--a disorder that had appeared when his father left and also died--that affected many of his potential choices...
Will stepped outside to wait. His quick blue eyes roamed the darkened street, all too aware that nothing truly mysterious lived in the shadows of New Orleans, or anywhere else on Earth. Why had evolution enabled human beings to develop
such potent imaginations?
Will is the main character, often the story following his point of view; however, his two brothers are very close. His older brother Van feels he has a responsibility for the care and protection of his two brothers, while Caleb tends bar and is also a pacifist. The combination of these three create a storyline that is refreshingly new as they come to discover who and what they really are...
One of their father's friends, Charlie, was the one to initiate the discussions of their startling background, when he presented three gifts to each of the brothers. Will was the most thrilled since he received a sword which fit right into the many scenarios he already routinely participated in... What was surprising was that the sword was so heavy that Will could hardly lift it, which was strange since Will was a building contractor and had developed extra strength in his hands...
That was the first thing that set him to wonder what was so special about the sword...
The second thing was on the night that his friend, Lance, had called him for what he thought would be a routine call about a disturbance in a local cemetery, and would get Will out for a small adventure... But that disturbance proved to be a major event when a Rottweiler dog, which actually looked dead, came toward them prepared to attack! Will's immediate reaction--he was a zombie dog...
And hunting for that dog led Will and Lance to His house...the necromancer... one who communicates with the dead... normally a wizard...
And that, readers, quickly leads into the three brothers trip into the parallel universe of New Orleans...where no technology can be found... It is the world of magic...and those who control magic control the world...Religion lost to those with their magic and all who live there must take an oath to support what is called The Congregation...(I liked that little bit of irony by the author.)
Think Harry Potter (Will) and his wizard life...but for adults! The interesting thing, like the Charmed Ones, the Brothers Three, had no idea their father was a Wizard and, as the book begins, they have little skills to even take care of themselves on earth! They could not have made it in Wizard World New Orleans without help...
And that's when many more main characters start coming into the book...Major people who, for gold, will help them get to the place they need to go...the home of the necromancer in this place that somewhat looked like New Orleans, felt like New Orleans... but...wasn't
Thankfully, I had been provided the second book, which will not be out until September, so I'll be sharing that book soon! Leaving you with one early look, Van, the older brother, goes to Wizard school!
Sooooooo much magic...and more to come! Fantasy Readers have a real treat and should consider this series must-reads! But, even though I don't read Fantasy that often, I was hooked by Green's Debut from first page to last, which, by the way, does end at an appropriate time to be a satisfactory single read as well... but I don't think you'll be able to not move forward...
Layton is the author of the internationally bestselling Dominic Grey series, as well as other works of fiction. His novels have been nominated for several awards (including a finalist for a prestigious International Thriller Award) and have topped numerous genre lists. The Shadow Cartel reached #2 overall on Amazon UK.
In addition to writing, Layton attended law school in New Orleans and was a practicing attorney for the better part of a decade (even though he still resents having cut his hair for that first interview). He has also been an intern for the United Nations, an ESL teacher in Central America, a bartender in London, a seller of cheap knives on the streets of Brixton, a door-to-door phone book deliverer in Florida, and the list goes downhill from there. Currently based in Durham, North Carolina, Layton has traveled to more than sixty countries, lived in a number of them, and has a burning desire to see every country, city, beach, moor, castle, cemetery, twisted street and far flung dot on the map.