John Scritchfield spends his days wrangling three future readers and his nights wearing costumes and pretending to hit people with blunt weaponry. There is very little money it. He holds an MFA in Acting, which he puts to use by teaching at a Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Michigan and as the Creative Director for the Calvin Theatre Company. In his free time, he enjoys playing Dungeons & Dragons, reading, writing, and spending time with his wife, three children, and two cats (Jasnah and Vin). Oh, he's also the new Booknest Admin.
The Winter of Swords kicks off with a family enjoying a casual hunt in the woods near an ominous set of ruins. It bares all the hallmarks of calamity waiting to happen. Luca, the youngest of the party, pretends to sword fight with his brother Hunter, while two older men hunt for food. Eisa, Hunter’s and Luca’s sister, has a few moments where she gets startled, leaving the reader with portentous feelings. These feelings prove true when a six-limbed monster (I honestly imagined the mindflayer from Stranger Things season 3) snatches Luca and uses him all angler-fish style to capture the others. The two older hunters are brutally murdered off page (though we see their mangled bodies), Hunter is beaten (to death?) and Eisa is abducted for nefarious (but not sleazy) purposes.
At its heart, the Dragonslayer of Edgewhen by Jason A. Holt is a tale about a small group of people from different backgrounds coming together to overcome something bigger than themselves…it’s dragons. Surprise.
Take Alice in Wonderland and any one of its darker variants and set them on a collision course with each other. Throw in some of the woodland cast of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and C.S. Lewis’ the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. For good measure, toss in a few Arthurian legends, a smattering of hard language, a bottle of whiskey, some epic violence, and then blend until chunky. Serve cold. Thus is born Phil Tucker’s Throne.