The Gollancz Blog is delighted to be bringing you a week long series of posts by Tom Lloyd. Join us all this week as Tom takes us further into the world and characters of his Twilight Reign series.
Following on from yesterday’s character post by Isak Stormcaller to celebrate the release of The Dusk Watchman, a rather different perspective for you now: Daken, the Mad Axe himself – lover of violence, drink, anything in a skirt and, well, himself.
Hello my adoring masses – this is your hero, Daken. Today, boys and girls, I’ve been asked to talk to you about the Twilight Reign. Heard it all before? I’m not surprised – Isak’s always been a bit full of himself and the boy’s simple enough to think everything’s about him.
So he was there at the start, I’ve always been of the opinion it’s finishing in style that’s the important thing and I could give you the names of several dozen whores who’d agree with me there. You should trust them, they’re professionals after all. So what’s this story about then? Well, me really. Don’t worry; it’s not being full of yourself if you’re right and luckily I always am.
So, The Twilight Reign: a cluster-fuck of ambition, magic and violence. On one side a shadow so bloody smug it makes (my-technically-lord-and-master) King Emin look like a humble little milkmaid. On the other, well pretty much everyone else come to think of it. Now this shadow’s no fool so the other side spends a long time fighting with itself, or running in the wrong direction, or being stupid enough to think prophecy is something sensible people believe in, or arguing about morality or piety or some such crap… Hang on, why am I on their side again?
Ah yes, I’m a fucking hero. Don’t you forget it neither. And frankly, I’m the only decent hero they’ve got. Ladies across the Land go weak at the knees at one glance from these white eyes, men pale at the very mention of my name – and some of the Goddess I’m on first-name terms with have made some seriously improper suggestions in my direction. I may not be a pretty-boy nobleman like Count Vesna – who’s my only real competition for the title of best hero in this story – but where’s the fun in charming rich women with all the brains of a farmyard animal? Give me a lethal warrior-priestess or immortal vampire any day; the greatest rewards only come with the highest risks after all.
Anyways – every story needs a hero and I’m it. Like I said, it’s the ending that matters and before I got involved… well, let’s just say things weren’t going so well for our side up to then. Altogether too much worrying going on if you ask me, with no one willing to step up and get stuck balls-deep into the situation. Right from the start I told ‘em why they needed me – I’m in it for the glory, I’m in it to be a one-man legend and if that means wading through the blood of mortals, demons and gods, I’m your fucking white-eye for the job.
So keep your magic swords and shiny armour. My reputation’s been made with this here axe and it’s one to make hardened warriors shit themselves rather than face me. Ok, so I might also have a Goddess tattooed onto my chest and she helps out on occasion, but who among you can honestly say you’ve never got a tattoo you now regret? Well exactly, we’ve all had a few jars too many so just remember I’d a fucking hero, best there is, and when I do stupid shit I do it bigger and better than the rest of you put together. Cos it’s not a tattoo of a Goddess, but the Trickster herself, curled up and happy on my chest like many other women have been over the years.
But how I got that is a story for another day I reckon – in fact, I’m gonna go hurt someone until it gets written. The God Tattoo, yeah, I like that title. It’s coming soon, trust me on that, or the goblins of the Gollancz clan won’t know what hit ‘em repeatedly in the face.
Until that happy day when it’s all unequivocally about me, here’s the Twilight Reign – the story of how the Gods put all the last hopes on the shoulders of a young man called Isak, and a hero named Daken stepped in to take charge and save all their arses. And looked good doing it.
The Dusk Watchman is out now where all good books are sold.