Forging of a Knight: The Stolen Thief by Hugo V. Negro – Blog Tour
Forging of a Knight, The Stolen Thief by Hugo V. Negro – Blog Tour
Author – Hugo V. Negro
Pages – 392
Publisher – Lulu Publishing Services
Release Date – 14th September 2015
Legend calls them the Ruinous Ones: the Dokahlfar and Vartahlfar. They were evil elves and dwarfish minions that controlled an unknown technological magic. Driven to corrupt all things of goodness and light, the evil elves sought power beyond that of tree and root. They warred against their own kin, the high elves, and were defeated, fleeing into the dark, perhaps never to be heard from again.
Honorable and brave knight Qualtan knows little of elves as he sets out on his own quest. His half-orcne friend, Glaive, went missing during a secret assignment from the king, which went awry. Qualtan searches for his lost ally, but in the process he is caught up in the story of the Ruinous Ones and now must uncover the secret of their disappearance—and if they seek to return and claim the power they seek.
Figures in shadow responded to the sharp command. They darted to and fro, staying close to the darkened corners and shady recesses of the many stalwart buildings that comprised the warehouse district. Their footsteps landed softly on the brick-paved streets, halting at crossings where pendants of lit glass betrayed their presence. The evening was late. A pale moon dangled low, veiled by shifting streams of lazy cotton. The smell of the sea was strong; sleeping ships were moored nearby, jostling on gentle waves. More footsteps. Other night-stalkers appeared, huddling to whisper direction and gauge approach. Although there should have been little worry of passersby at this hour, they were wary, for there were others in the night as cautious as they.
“There. Look there!”
An outline barely discernible in the gloom stood atop a flat roof. It bobbed and soon disappeared.
One of the intruders smiled, flashing small fangs. They were right not to have brought more men, he thought. Sentries had been posted throughout, and had they selected strength of arm vs. tenacity of stealth, their plans would have been easily foiled. The avenues zig-zagged through a labyrinth of crowded storage houses and cluttered lots. Another sentry was detected, again high above the streets.
“I can barely see him,” an intruder said, straining his vision to the sky.
“I can’t see him at all. Are you sure?” said a second intruder.
“He’s there. I can see him. Another reason why I’m here with you lot,” the toothsome intruder said. “Keep low and marry the walls.”
Passing by a train of idle wagons, the intruders came across a wandering guard keeping vigil during his evening shift. He barely nodded, continuing on his way, for he knew the spies on the rooftops were keeping silent watch over the area, and had been observing him. He held back any recognition of the intruders; after all, he had been expecting them.”
What’s your book about?
‘The Stolen Thief‘ continues a sub-plot from the prior book, ‘The Prison Planet of the Mah-Lahkt‘. Glaive the thief has gone undercover for a special mission for the King which falls apart and he seemingly disappears. Qualtan insists on finding him, but the King, who has some bias against the thief because of his half-orcne heritage (orcnes being these bestial creatures they usually war against), won’t allow it, so the knight decides to go against his wishes and find him anyway. In the process, he uncovers the truth about the legend of the Dokahlfar and the Vartahlfar, evil elves and their dwarfish companions that controlled an unknown technological magic, and ends up having to forge a truce with a band of servants from Those That Stand in Shadow (evil creatures that are recurring villains in the series), to attempt escape from the clutches of the Dokahlfar, while not trying to kill each other in the process.
There’s adventure, excitement, and further developments in Qualtan’s growing schism with the King, especially from the way his close friend Glaive has been treated because of his mixed orcne race. In addition, there is the return of a knight that fled from a battle back in Book Two. In each book since then, I’ve been showing snippets on what has been happening to this character. His fate, along with that of a mystery character revealed in the last few pages of The Stolen Thief (a mystery character, by the by, that was referenced way back in Book One that probably no one will ever catch, heh heh), will lead to what happens to Qualtan in Book Five of Forging of a Knight – ‘Knighthood’s End‘.
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead characters from your book?
That is a toughie! No one specific comes to mind, but someone along the lines of a David Wenham (who played Faramir in the ‘Lord of the Rings’ movies) would have the right “look” and presence for Qualtan.
Glaive the half-orcne thief would be even tougher. Being this sarcastic, distrustful, glass half-empty kind of a character, and yet still loyal to Qualtan and their friendship, would require the need for a combination of the snarkiness and deadpan comedy of a David John Battley (sadly deceased), similar to his role as Ergo the Magnificent from the movie ‘Krull’, and Roddy McDowall ala his role as Cornelius in the old ‘Planet of the Apes’ movies (another great actor that has long since passed). Maybe your readers can help me out on that one, lol…
What are you working on at the minute?
The rough write-through for Book Five of the Forging of a Knight series, Knighthood’s End! The so-called curse Qualtan has been dealing with since the start seems to finally come through at last. Will he betray his knighthood, become a hunted fugitive, and lose everything he has, all for the sake of a love forbidden? The title might just give it away…
What was the hardest part of writing this book?
When you build up an ongoing series, you want to ensure that (a) the characters grow and the storyline progresses, built up by sub-plots and the actions of one story to another, but at the same time you want to make sure that (b) the next book in the series can still stand alone and be accessible to a new reader without getting bogged down with too many bits from the books that went before it. Having all these references to strange names and stranger places from prior tales can only confuse a new reader and make them lose interest.
Do you write every single day?
I try to – sometimes I can be really productive and get a handful of pages in, other times maybe just a thought or paragraph to expand on later. If I hit a wall, I’ll take a few days off to recharge.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write what you have a passion for, and not just to follow a theme or fad – the honesty of your writing will definitely shine through. Also, be patient with your ideas, and take the time to hear what your characters have to say. For some variety, I switched a supporting male knight in Book Two of the series into a female knight, not thinking much beyond that, but she literally took a life of her own, taking the storyline into a whole different area I hadn’t thought of and becoming a bigger part of the overall saga, improving it as well.
Is there any person/s that has inspired you to write Forging of a Knight, The Stolen Thief?
Notwithstanding the aforementioned cartoon, for the entire series, I have given thanks to quite a few people – of course, my wife for giving me the gumption to write the stories now, not later, my mother and father who had always supported and encouraged my voracious reading habits, but especially my 7th grade teacher. She introduced her class to the creative wonder of role-playing games as a means to teach leadership and teamwork, and was also a big fan of fantasy herself. After that, I was really blown away by the concept and never looked back.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
There is usually a subtle hint of acceptance and redemption in my stories, where the worst is assumed from certain individuals or groups until they are given a chance – such as Glaive in the first book, a certain Giant in the second, and of course, the wild and crazy band of orcnes in the fourth – another life lesson I wanted to touch upon, and one that really hits hard when you get to book five…
What books have most influenced your life most?
Tolkien, of course, with regards to the introduction it gave me to fantasy. Although I write fantasy, I have always loved the intellectual battles of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, which helped me to think of questioning things in a logical manner and not just be taken in by the passion of an argument vs. the facts behind it, and the atmospheric detail of an H.P. Lovecraft where there was such a blend of invented mythology and real life locales the reader could easily become confused on what was real and what was not if they didn’t dig deep enough – another life lesson to be wary of!
A lover of myths, fantasy and horror, Hugo V Negron has a passion for reading and writing. From H.P Lovecraft to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, he enjoys them all, even having an extensive Marvel comic collection (Iron Man).
Writing in his spare time, he is busy helping people infd jobs during the day, working as a full-time recruitment manager. He is also a keen cartoonist and has taken courses at the Art Institute of Chicago.