Art by Bruce Pennington

Baen Books’ SHATTERED SHIELDS anthology is coming this November, a feast of military-themed fantasy tales. “Swords and Shields. Faith and Magic. Soldiers—ordinary and otherwise–struggling against extraordinary odds to survive the day…epic landscapes and characters…but also epic battles.”

“Yael of the Strings” is my own contribution to the festivities. It represents a return to the World of Zang for me, a universe I haven’t visited in at least seven years. Most of the  Zang Cycle stories were collected this year in THE REVELATIONS OF ZANG, but this is a brand-new excursion into that world. The protagonist isn’t a soldier at all, but a minstrel whose fencing skills become his only chance at survival when the red tide of battle overwhelms. This story revisits the nation of Ghoth (from “Oblivion Is the Sweetest Wine”), and introduces Sharoc, Land of the Griffon. There is music, and sorcery, and not a few monsters.


Art by Frank Frazetta—the cover of CONAN THE CONQUEROR (i.e. HOUR OF THE DRAGON)

It really is an impressive lineup of stories by some superb authors, and I am thrilled to be included. Fans of Epic Fantasy and Sword-and-Sorcery will come together like John, Paul, George, and Ringo for this one.

There’s no cover art yet, but here’s the Table of Contents:

  1. “Ashes and Starlight” (Runelords) by David Farland
  2. “The Fixed Stars” (October Daye) by Seanan McGuire
  3. “The Keeper of Names” by Larry Correia
  4. “The Smaller We Are” by John Helfers
  5. “Invictus” by Annie Bellett
  6. “Rising Above” by Sarah A. Hoyt
  7. “A Cup of Wisdom” by Joseph Zieja
  8. “Words of Power” by Wendy N. Wagner
  9. “Lightweaver in Shadow” by Gray Rinehart
  10. “Hoofsore and Weary” by Cat Rambo
  11. “Vengeance” (Frost) by Robin Wayne Bailey
  12. “Deadfall” by Nancy Fulda
  13. “Yael of the Strings” by John R. Fultz
  14. “The Gleaners” by Dave Gross
  15. “Bonded Men” by James L. Sutter
  16. “Bone Candy” (Black Company) by Glen Cook
  17. “First Blood” (Paksenarrion) by Elizabeth Moon