Act of Will
Act of Will
Act of Will is a boisterous fantasy adventure that introduces us to Will Hawthorne, a medieval actor and playwright who flees the authorities only to find himself inextricably bound to a group of high-minded adventurers on a deadly mission. Will travels with them to a distant land where they are charged with the investigation and defeat of a ruthless army of mystical horsemen, who appear out of the mist leaving death and devastation in their wake.
In the course of Will’s uneasy alliance with his new protectors, he has to get his pragmatic mind to accept selfless heroism (which he thinks is absurd) and magic (which he doesn’t believe in). Will must eventually decide where his loyalties really lie and how much he is prepared to do--and believe--to stand up for them.
be rendered into English.* I have made up for my slowness to realize the significance of my find by diligent work on the manuscripts ever since. Using Henby’s translations and notes as a kind of Rosetta stone, I have been able to work out the grammar, diction, and tone of the Fossington House papers, which I have renamed the Hawthorne Saga for reasons that will become apparent. In the translation, I have used a modern, colloquial style in an attempt to capture—or at least echo—the uniquely
greasy smoke curled from the cracks in the hot walls, suddenly enveloping me. My throat burned and I started to cough desperately as the skin of my arms pricked from the burning tinder falling from the roof. I stumbled about, rubbing my eyes, and somehow blundered out of the acrid fog and back into the burning street. And suddenly, thirty yards in front of me, was a horseman. He wore a helm that covered his face, and it glowed orange and yellow in the firelight. I saw the crimson cloak and the
saying, but they seemed to have connected somehow. Once, the officer threw back his head and laughed loudly, flourishing his lance in a strong right hand. Garnet nodded enthusiastically and showed off his ax. They wanted something to happen: could hardly wait. Even their horses seemed to be tapping out dance steps on the road, as if eager to gallop away from the wagons and into the fray. Close by, a pair of the officer’s men (they couldn’t have been more than my age) swapped nervous smiles and
less appealing. And painfully brief. Without him, I would have been snuffed out like a candle, and not a particularly bright candle at that. Scattering crossbow bolts on the ground in a moment that called for absolute silence hadn’t been too bright, and it had been an act of unprecedented mercy that Mithos hadn’t killed me himself. His glower on returning from the empty street softened into a resigned sigh and the muttered remark that it “could have happened to anyone.” Perhaps so, but it had
the whole building as they had fired the Sherwood, but that was a noisy and unreliable means of assault, even if we were supposed to be in a drugged stupor. I wondered why they hadn’t just poisoned the beer they’d sent up, but I suppose we had been there long enough for people to know that I was the only one who drank beer in any quantity and at least two of the party never touched the stuff (unless I was educating one of them in the delights of getting totally hammered). Time passed and Orgos