My second novel now available

Mike Ventrella

HQ Staff
"The Axes of Evil" is now available as an e-book. The paperback is coming within the month (they take longer to get done).

I had posted it as I wrote it here online and really appreciate all the comments; they were very helpful. This final version is quite a bit different though. This time, the publisher hired an excellent editor who really worked with me for months to improve it paragraph by paragraph. I'm quite proud of it.

I hope you'll all check it out. I'd love some "reader reviews" for my web page from anyone who reads it.

The cover is by Hugo-nominated artist Alan Beck.

You can order the e-book from Double Dragon: ... x=51&y=105

And, in case you don't know, the books take place in Ashbury, although I don't follow the Alliance rules too well!

Here's the back cover blurb:

Werewolves, barbarians, and misguided goblins stand in the way of Terin's attempt to resolve three contradicting prophecies.

If he can live that long...

Accompanied by his fellow squires, Rendal, an expert swordsman, and Darlissa, a biata spellcaster, Terin sets out to obey his Duke's orders -- orders that go against everything he believes. Can fulfilling the barbarian prophecies help him find a way to morally obey the Duke's orders as well?

“Here Michael A. Ventrella takes up the mantle of Christopher Stasheff. Terin’s exploits are as entertaining as those of Rod Gallowglass, and fans of The Warlock in Spite of Himself will hugely enjoy 'The Axes of Evil'.” - Gregory Frost, author of Shadowbridge and Lord Tophet

"Humor, danger and a twisted tangle of unlikely prophecies make for a page-turning adventure." - Gail Z. Martin, author of The Chronicles of the Necromancer series

“'The Axes of Evil' is a taut nail-biter of a thriller. Edgy, funny and dark.” - Jonathan Maberry, multiple Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Dragon Factory and Rot & Ruin

Mike Ventrella

HQ Staff
A few more reviews:

A witty and original fantasy. Grips you from the start and never lets go.

Patrick Von Raven, author of The Bride of Annwn

Axes of Evil continues the story that began in Arch Enemies. In this one, Michael Ventrella weaves another of his perplexing tales where it seems his protagonist, the squire but would-be bard Terin Ostler, cannot succeed in solving one problem without betraying another.

Terin is now a squire of Duke Aramis of Ashbury – albeit a very new and unskillful one. His companion squires are Darlissa, the biata, from a race of magic skilled but enigmatic people created by gryphons, and Rendal, a skillful and brave normal human. Terin would much prefer a peaceful life but as in the other story, events seem to swirl around him. He wonders why he keeps being featured in prophesies which all lead to troubles that appear satisfied only by his death. The prophecy in the earlier tale was cryptic in that he was required to fulfill it without ever being able to see its contents – a conundrum deliciously solved in the finale. In this tale he is Bishortu, of whom three conflicting but secret prophecies are told and which he and his companions have to face many dangers to learn.

We meet the three tribes of the Vansir who live in a sparse and rocky land they call the Vansir Reclaim. Each of the chieftains has one of the three magic axes which have kept the tribes separated and at war with one another for many generations. The goblins also live in this inhospitable land – also perpetually at war with the Vansir. As Bishortu, Terin is expected to solve all the problems before the armies of Ashbury arrive to destroy them all.

As the perpetual pacifist, Terin often succeeds through his very reluctance to fight. He believes himself a coward, but is one of those who acts despite his fear. He stoically faces the dangers that keep him and his companions from their goal in a non-stop sequence of action and setback. He collects new friends and supporters by his purity – as well as a new admirer who joins the little band. In the very Taoist manner of succeeding by avoiding to contend, he leads the adventurers to conquer by failing, and to solve the problems by allowing the prophecies to prove themselves.

Christopher Hoare, author of Arrival and The Wildcat's Victory
"He" is the most clever spambot ever. It makes a few barely related comments, then posts links to costuming websites. It's been doing it for a couple weeks now.