SideQuests are stand-alone stories or novellas that chronicle the heroes, villains, and adventures in The Foreworld Saga across numerous eras and ages. They can be read in any order with or without prior knowledge of The Foreworld Saga.
When The Italian Job meets the Knights of the Round Table, the ultimate medieval heist caper is born.
It is the summer of 1035 AD and three sons of Tancred de Hauteville are in ambivalent service to Guimar, Prince of Salerno. The three men, who have been trained by their father in the art of war since childhood, spend the sweltering afternoons practicing swordplay, trading barbs, and thinking of how many men they would need to take the prince’s poorly fortified castle for themselves.
But when a mysterious agent asks the prince for the brothers’ services in obtaining a gilded chest, eldest brother William recognizes an opportunity to strengthen the Hauteville legacy. When he assembles a crew of skilled mercenaries, loyalties are tested and truths revealed. Among the group, there is a traitor, a spy, and the carrier of a long-held secret. The trust William places in each of his men will decide the future for himself and his family.
A bold new SideQuest in the Foreworld Saga, Hearts of Iron shows a different side of the middle ages , but with all the deft-sword play, historical accuracy, and political intrigue you would expect from the series that brought you The Mongoliad trilogy.
Scott James Magner
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I recently finished reading Scott James Magner's first Novella, Hearts of Iron. I had no previous exposure to the Foreworld Saga, or any SideQuest offerings, but in the end it did not matter. As a voracious reader of most things Fantasy, it was very refreshing to come upon an author who put time and effort into the finer details of their writing. Far too often Fantasy writers gloss over the technical aspects of warfare, and it was a relief to see that Scott provided quite a bit of information within each encounter.
As a reviewer, I won't bore you with a duplicate synopsis of the story, or potentially spoil things you wish to discover for yourself. Instead, let me emphasize that this Novella displays a strong grasp of unique and memorable character creation, undoubtedly honed over the years of working within the gaming industry, and an eye for descriptive detail. I am a visual reader, and while being a Novella does limit the overall descriptive length, I found a...
I haven't read any of the other Foreworld Saga books, but this one was a pretty good read. And based on it I will probably try the others some day when I get all caught up on my reading.
It read a lot like a Dungeons & Dragons campaign, with some plot twists that I assume relate to the Foreworld world.
It did seem a little too obvious that the "thug" they hired on to help, who was recommended by another character, was going to be a problem. While, of course, I should have been suspicious of his motives, it was pretty clear he was going screw things up from the beginning. It would have been nice to have at least some doubt about my assessment of him.
Hearts of Iron drops you into the Byzantine corridors of power, providing an unflinching study of a harsh world. The three brothers, sons of a Norman knight, use their blades--and their brains--as they deal with threats, promises, allies, and enemies. Magner's writing delivers detailed authenticity that immersed me into the story. This novella should please fans of Dune or A Song of Ice and Fire, or anyone who prefers something more complex than "good king vs. bad king."
An excellent addition to The Foreworld Saga!
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