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No Holds Bard
Tales Of Fortannis: Book 5
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ISBN-10: 1-77115-416-0
ISBN-13: 
Genre: Fantasy/SF/Fiction/Adventure
eBook Length: 227 Pages
Published: June 2018



From inside the flap

Introduction

Welcome to Fortannis-a place where adventure waits to waylay you around every corner.

It's a land where humans mingle with stubborn dwarves, mysterious elves, and feathered biata against shape-shifting gryphons, necromantic zombies, and silly goblins. It's a land where things are never as they seem; where good and evil are not always clear-cut, and where the strong do not always prevail.

In Fortannis, one can learn magic by summoning the power of the flow of order in the world, to tie yourself to the living cycle of all around you. Or, if your inclinations are darker, you can be tempted by the flow of chaos and entropy, which allows you to create undead abominations and cast substantially more powerful spells (in exchange for the corruption of your soul). Hey, the choice is yours.

This is the fifth collection of stories which take place in the world of Fortannis. Some of these stories feature characters introduced in the novels and the first four collections, but you don't have to read the earlier ones to enjoy these stories. You'll enjoy them more if you do, however. I recommend reading the books in the following order to keep the timeline consistent: Arch Enemies, The Axes of Evil, A Bard's Eye View, A Bard in the Hand, A Bard Day's Knight, It's a Wonderful Death, A Bard Act to Follow.

Happy reading!

Table of Contents

The Hidden Treasure of Pirate Percy - Michael A. Ventrella

Greenpool - Sarah Stegall

Chalric Hill - Henry Hart

To Be a Squire - Jon Cory

Hoarfrost - Susan Bianculli

The Storm Before the Calm - Mark Mensch

Hidden Bouquet - Derek Beebe

The Lost - Miles Lizak

Bartleby Goes Adventuring - Jesse Hendrix

Squeeze - Shane Porteous

The Hole in Vorak's Peak - Bernie Mojzes

History Never Repeats - Beth W. Patterson

“Like a favorite smorgasbord, No Holds Bard is a rich, eclectic banquet of wonderful stories, alike only in their unpredictable telling. Want bards? Check. Elves? Check. Betrayal? Love? Sacrifice? Humor? Got ‘em all. This collection of authors come together, each with their own offering, to give the reader an experience they’ll not forget.” - Peter Prellwitz, author of the Shards Universe

“Fortannis is a copmlex world. This richness gives its authors plenty of room to move around in, the freedom to pick and choose, or to start with a clean slate. Some stories are light, almost humorous. Others are darker, some grim, and some even tragic.” - Allen L. Wold, author of The Planet Masters and Jewels of the Dragon

“Whole-hearted adventure, swashbuckling fun, daring heroics and plenty of humor. Prepare to be thrilled and amazed!” - Gail Z. Martin, author of Scourge and The Chronicles of the Necromancer

“The best feature of the Fortannis books—one strongly re-emphasized here—is the diversity of stories. Heroic tales are side by side with character studies, with workaday people just trying to get by in a fantasy realm, with tragedy and comedy.” - Ryk Spoor, author of author of The Balanced Sword trilogy


No Holds Bard is the fifth entry in the Fortannis collections conceived, vetted, and edited by Michael Ventrella. “Fortannis” is the world in which all the adventures take place—a fantasy land which combines the familiar with the innovative (humans, elves and dwarves are around, but so are the feathery, telepathic biata, various animal-kin, and other species).

The punny titles of the collections (others included A Bard Day’s Knight and A Bard in the Hand) give fair warning that some of the stories may be lighthearted, but this is not always the case. Some certainly are (“Bartleby Goes Adventuring”, for instance, which is a rather Danny Kaye-ish fantasy tale) but others are dramatic sword-and-sorcery or poignant tales of how adventure and honor come with prices.

No Holds Bard is at least as good as the prior volumes, and in fact appears to continue the trend of the stories reaching higher bars. Unlike some prior volumes, I found none of the stories in these weak in any respect; there were certainly some that stood out above the others, but none that made me think they were out of place in the collection.

The best feature of the Fortannis books—one strongly re-emphasized here—is the diversity of stories. Heroic tales are side by side with character studies, with workaday people just trying to get by in a fantasy realm, with tragedy and comedy. This is a rare mix; many collections tend to a particular flavor, and while all the stories are clearly “Fortannis,” they don’t slot neatly at all into the same categories—and that’s really a great strength. I highly recommend No Holds Bard!

No Holds Bard (Excerpt)


Introduction

Welcome to Fortannis-a place where adventure waits to waylay you around every corner.

It's a land where humans mingle with stubborn dwarves, mysterious elves, and feathered biata against shape-shifting gryphons, necromantic zombies, and silly goblins. It's a land where things are never as they seem; where good and evil are not always clear-cut, and where the strong do not always prevail.

In Fortannis, one can learn magic by summoning the power of the flow of order in the world, to tie yourself to the living cycle of all around you. Or, if your inclinations are darker, you can be tempted by the flow of chaos and entropy, which allows you to create undead abominations and cast substantially more powerful spells (in exchange for the corruption of your soul). Hey, the choice is yours.

This is the fifth collection of stories which take place in the world of Fortannis. Some of these stories feature characters introduced in the novels and the first four collections, but you don't have to read the earlier ones to enjoy these stories. You'll enjoy them more if you do, however. I recommend reading the books in the following order to keep the timeline consistent: Arch Enemies, The Axes of Evil, A Bard's Eye View, A Bard in the Hand, A Bard Day's Knight, It's a Wonderful Death, A Bard Act to Follow.

Happy reading!

Table of Contents

The Hidden Treasure of Pirate Percy - Michael A. Ventrella

Greenpool - Sarah Stegall

Chalric Hill - Henry Hart

To Be a Squire - Jon Cory

Hoarfrost - Susan Bianculli

The Storm Before the Calm - Mark Mensch

Hidden Bouquet - Derek Beebe

The Lost - Miles Lizak

Bartleby Goes Adventuring - Jesse Hendrix

Squeeze - Shane Porteous

The Hole in Vorak's Peak - Bernie Mojzes

History Never Repeats - Beth W. Patterson