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Showing posts by: Nicholas Guild click to see Nicholas Guild's profile
Dec 20 2016 10:00am

The Spartan Dagger: New Excerpt

Nicholas Guild

Spartan Dagger by Nicholas GuildAncient Sparta comes to life in The Spartan Dagger, Nicholas Guild's vivid tale of murder and vengeance (Available December 27, 2016).

On a cold night, at the outskirts of a peasant village, two Spartan youths wait to perform an ancient rite of passage. A family—father, mother, and their son—approaches, unarmed and defenseless. The young men step into the moonlight and claim their manhood by killing the adults. The boy escapes.

The Spartans have no idea how terrible an enemy they have called forth. Nothing could have prepared them for the boy, Protos, whose name means “destined,” whose cunning and inborn skill with weapons renders his enemies almost defenseless, and whose heart knows no pity. The Spartans have oppressed his people for centuries, and to break their power is to free all those they hold in subjection. As Protos grows to manhood, he begins to understand that his private war against his parents’ murderers is also a struggle for liberation.


It was the coldest autumn anyone could remember. Eurytus sat in the shadow of a rock face, tapping the flat of his dagger against his knee as he cursed not the cold but the moonlight. He hadn’t eaten in two days and the moon was as bright as a new gold coin. The night sky was nearly cloudless.

The valley beneath them seemed a stark landscape, full of hard lines and deep shadow. A faint wind blew across it, but the naked branches of its few scattered trees hardly stirred. In daylight it probably would have appeared a different place, but at night, in the tarnished moonlight, it was the land of the dead.

[Read the full excerpt from Spartan Dagger...]

Dec 9 2016 4:00pm

How I Wrote The Spartan Dagger

Read this exclusive guest post from Nicholas Guild, author of The Spartan Dagger, about how he came up with the plot for his latest historical novel, and make sure you're signed in and comment below for a chance to win a copy of the book!

When I was a little boy, I had a collection of toy soldiers and, as little boys will, I created an elaborate fantasy around them, imagining them to be a society of brave and noble warriors. I always called this society “Sparta.” At the age of eight, I was not yet a student of ancient history, so I have no idea how I happened to hit upon that name.

The Spartans have generally been much admired, both in antiquity and later, and while it is true that they were brave and capable soldiers, there is another side of them which is not nearly so admirable.

The problem that molded the Spartan character was the fact that they were surrounded by a peasant population called the “Helots,” who vastly outnumbered them and whom they held in the most brutal subjection. Thus, they developed a military culture in which the only virtues were courage and loyalty to the state.

[This ... is ... SPARTA!]

Feb 22 2016 10:00am

The Ironsmith: New Excerpt

Nicholas Guild

The Ironsmith by Nicholas Guild is a historical thriller that imagines the political plots to kill Jesus, and one man’s attempts to save his life (Available February 23, 2016).

Read this exclusive excerpt of The Ironsmith by Nicholas Guild, and then make sure you're signed in and comment for a chance to win a copy of this historical thriller!

This is the story of Joshua, a carpenter from the village of Nazareth who is called to preach the coming of God's judgment. This is the story of his ministry and its terrible end, seen through the eyes of his kinsman and closest friend, Noah the ironsmith. Noah, a pious man but one who understands the darkness of a world in which treachery and murder are the common currency of power, is prepared to risk his own life to save Joshua's.

Sifting through the tangled contradictions of the New Testament, scholars have arrived at a consensus about these events and their meaning, but the man behind them can only be brought to life through an act of the imagination. The Joshua of this novel-the Jesus of Christian faith-is revealed as a man like other men, a very human hero whose defeat at the hands of his enemies imparts to him a tragic grandeur.


The horsemen appeared without warning.  There were eight of them and they wore the chain-mail corselets of the Tetrarch’s soldiers.  With the sun behind them, they lined the bluff above the river bank, implying that both resistance and escape were impossible.

It was just after dawn, and cold.  The only sound was the whisper of the Jordan as it passed over its rocky bed.

“They must have ridden half the night,” the Baptist said.  He knew, of course, that they had come to arrest him.  He felt no fear, which surprised and pleased him.  The end was always worse in expectation than as an actual presence.

[Read more from The Ironsmith here...]