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 Battle-Chasers by T. S. Robinson
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Battle-Chasers is T. S. Robinson's debut novel, and I would say it's a debut he should be proud of.

T. S. Robinson says he got the idea for the story after seeing Mel Gibson's Braveheart movie, and there seeing a scene that focused in on the aftermath of a battle. This is something that most Fantasy novels tend to skip right past, but with T. S. Robinson things are different. His story actually begins after the real battle is over, he rather introduces us to some of the survivors. Survivors might actually be a wrong word since some of them come after the battle. They are battle-chasers with reasons of their own.

Whereas many fantasy series spans over years and centuries this novel is quite unique. The whole story from beginning to end takes place in a matter of hours. We actually get to follow each and every characters single move as they roam around the battlefield.

We have an albino priest, a vampire, two dragons, a dwarf, an elf, a wizard and his companion, an assassin, some undead people and a fire elemental... A long list? Maybe, but not in this case, since that's all the characters you will meet. It's simply fascinating to see how the author has managed to create such an intense story with so few characters.

I must say that this is a very well-written novel. The characters are described in a way that makes you feel them. Even the "bad guys" have feelings and that's something that actually makes you understand them and their actions. At the same time as the different characters follow their own goals the author also manages to bring it all together in a brilliant ending.

T. S. Robinson is definitely an author you should be looking out for in the future, I sure know I will.

By Gene Doty
Professor of English ~
University of

What happens on a battle-field after the battle? Battle-Chasers, a new novel by T. S. Robinson answers that question as it applies to fantasy worlds. The action in Battle-Chasers is intense and not pretty, but it is fantastic as Robinson tells a gripping story.

Tim Robinson graduated from UMR with a BS in Computer Science (1990). As an undergraduate, he took my course in fantasy literature. Many students in that class have aspirations to publish fantasy novels. As far as I know, Tim is the first to realize that ambition.

Battle-Chasers opens on a battle-field after the battle. Since the battle involved magical forces, there are some strange remnants of the battle. The battle-chasers of the title are human and nonhuman creatures who come to the battle-field for various purposes, some good, some evil.

The battle chasers include a dwarf, an elf, a human cleric, a mad assassin, a vampire and a human sorcerer. The elf, by the way, is huge--seven feet tall--and enormously strong. Each of these beings has his or her own agenda.

The cleric, for instance, seeks to heal any survivors of the battle, no matter which side they were on. He is also seeking vengeance on Minghella, the vampire. Minghella for her part is gathering an army of undead warriors.

The action in Battle-Chasers is fast, furious, and bloody. In the opening scene, the dwarf Ringlerun, is trapped under a huge dragon. Robinson successfully presents violent action without glorying in the gore. Some of the action is fairly "normal" sword-play and hand-to-hand combat. Other action is far from normal.

Here are two examples of fantastic action: A sorcerer, Bakmono, summons the Lord of the fire elementals. Because of Bakmono's careless arrogance, the fire elemental burns him to a crisp and escapes. In another scene, Minghella, the vampire has brought some dead gnome thieves back to a sort of life (they're "undead") and sends them to fight the heroes.

I saw several underlying influences in Battle-Chasers. First, of course, is the heroic fantasy genre made popular in the work of J. R. R. Tolkien. Next is the world of role-playing games, especially Dungeons and Dragons. Third, there is an underlying suggestion of a Christian world-view.

Robinson has made successful use of these influences. In terms of the heroic fantasy genre, the setting and plot of Battle-Chasers uses a new theme, different from the usual catalogue of "destroy the magic weapon" or "restore the true king" plots.

It is risky for a writer to base a novel on role-playing games. While these games are a form of story-telling, the stories created are hard to convert to fiction. I don't know how closely Battle-Chasers is linked to gaming, but Robinson has successfully told a story that does not require any familiarity with gaming to be enjoyed. At the same time, experienced gamers should enjoy the book.

As far as the Christian implications go, they are understated. Robinson does not have a message to hammer home. He has a story to tell, which is what fiction, especially fantasy fiction, is about.

I recommend Battle-Chasers to anyone who likes heroic fantasy or who would like to see what computer science graduates from UMR can get is into. The book is available from the online booksellers and from Robinson's web site at Local bookstores should also be able to order it.


by Dr. Mira M.


The genre of fantasy entails the freedom to create wondrous, spell-binding worlds.  All too often though, the creativity and imagination of the writer result in a story brimming with characters, settings and vocabulary that presuppose a knowledge on the readers' part which cannot be attained without a painstaking course in the workings of the writer's world.  Not so with "Battle-Chasers."


"Battle-Chasers" is an exercise in imagination and imagery, but those two components become very real and very familiar from the very beginning.  The imagery here becomes intricate verbal brushstrokes, painting an ensemble: dragons swirling through the sky, vampires feeding on the evil of war, noble dwarves, Gods of fire, priests of rain, and villians so imaginative that the reader's mind leaps on the journey of discovery.  All these characters are inexorably joined together by the circumstance of the battlefield, drawn to each other in concentric circles of events, echoing the flight of the dragon that the reader is introduced to in Chapter 1.


T.S. Robinson not only gives us characters that are intricately portrayed, and given an existence that holds through the very difficult feat of drawing a canvas populated by numerous protagonists, but landscapes those characters in a storyline overlaid with sub-plots that, on their own, could hold up as stories in and of themselves.  That is a rare feat, especially for a new novelist.


"Battle-Chasers" does not leave dangling components to frustrate.  It introduces a complex cast of the most imaginative characters, places them in a breathtakingly described setting, and then takes the reader on a wondrous journey of experiencing the battlefield from the vantage point of each of the characters.  The point-of-view changes are a joy to experience in "Battle-Chasers", especially given the fact that the events are not isloated; the experiences and actions of each of the noble and not so noble characters affect the unfolding of events in the sub-plots of the novel.  As the reader progresses through each event, he sees the actions and results magically woven into the canvas of the subsequent and simultaneous events.  The antics of the fire God, Inciner, incredibly presented after his summoning by the evil wizard, Bakmono, take the reader on a spell-binding vision of magic.  When other characters undergo their turn in this wonderfully told, multi-faceted novel, the presence of the fire God is echoed in the ominous fire glow from afar.  Such incredible attention to detail and incredibly drawn storylines are a joy to behold.  The reader is not left dangling when the vantage point shifts from character to character, from one part of the battlefield full of gore and mayhem and hope to another filled with evil and death.


"Battle-Chasers" gives us unforgettable characters: Ringlerun, a noble dwarf, whose perfection of soul is marred by his drive for vengeance; Chawk, a white-haired priest who has the power to summon rain and possess the magic of healing, accompanied by Vu, an owl that is his eyes in more ways than one; a very beautiful and very evil vampire Minghella, amassing an army of undead, and a group of very unsavory characters who still have, under the pen of T.S. Robinson, incredibly drawn lives, deaths, and behaviors, and are not regulated to the backdrop function which happens in some multi-protagonist stories.  The character of the assassin, with a three-faceted multi-personality is a powerful feat of writing, both for the creativity of the idea as well as the incredibly and impeccably drawn internal dialogue the reader experiences.


T.S. Robinson has a gift of making even the most minor character a beautifully drawn portrait of imagination and writer's craft.  Rumplestumple, the evil wizard's assistance, a tiny little creature with a penchant for clumsiness, and poignantly comical, makes us almost wish for the evil wizard's successful endeavors, because I, for one, did not want to see that story line end.  When it does, it makes the reader content with the resolution.


"Battle-Chasers" does that: beautifully drawn stories and characters, with even the props nourishing the imagination.  The evil wizard's magic cloak will be remembered long after the last page is turned.  The ending is very satisfying, also: there is redemption, comeuppance, reconciliation, and justice.  Most of all, there is a magical world created in "Battle-Chasers."  It is a magical, beautifully written exercise in the power of the written word.  T.S. Robinson needs to get started on the next novel!  I can hardly wait to see what is in store for us from such a talented writer who can take the most imaginative ideas replete with magical weapons, both nobleness of souldand failure of it in evil, quests for power, and quests for redemption, the power of good and the magic of friendship and forgiveness, and place them in words for our minds to journey through ... and what a journey it is!

Reviews Interviews Reader Reviews


by Science Fiction and Fantasy World

Q: With degrees in Computer Science and an MBA, how did you get this fascination for the Fantasy genre?

A: I played a lot of Dungeons and Dragons as a teenager, and my interest for high fantasy stemmed from there. Gary Gygax, co-creator of D&D, who wrote a series of novels in the 1980's (Gord the Rogue series), and that's what shifted my focus from RPG modules to high fantasy novels. I never really thought about writing for a living until recently, so I pursued an education in the business arena to make ends meet in the "real world."

Q: How did you come up with the idea for Battle-Chasers?

A: I was watching the movie: BRAVEHEART, and there was a scene that pans out over a bloody countryside, where a recent hand-to- hand war had just been waged. They focused in on the aftermath of battle - all the horror and suffering. It was then I had the thought, "I've never read a fantasy book that focuses on the aftermath of war." They all just lead up to it, and afterwards, quickly move beyond it to the next setting. That's what gave me the idea to write a high fantasy book about what happens AFTER a war has been waged.

Q: Can you tell us a bit about the experience, writing your first book?

A: People say the hardest part about writing a book is just that - actually writing it. But for me, that was the easiest part. I wrote BATTLE-CHASERS over the course of three months, writing 1,000-2,000 words a day. To me, writing is like driving a car at night during the fog -- you can only see as far as your headlights - but you can make the whole trip that way. :0) I had a story to tell and it just flowed onto the page everyday - I never had a block.

The hardest part was understanding the critical role that writing style plays in getting published. I hadn't really studied style before I began writing - so I found out the hard way that publishers and editors want a great writing style over a great story. I ended up buying a shelf of books on writing style and taking some college classes to educate myself on an effective style, and armed with this knowledge, edited BATTLE-CHASERS accordingly. I had a lot of help from other writers, including Piers Anthony who has mentored me over the years.

One thing you have to be if you want to publish your work is patient. It's a constant learning experience, but one that I enjoy very much.

Q: Has it been an easy way getting published?

A: Not really. I've saved all the "nice" rejection letters from publishers, agents and editors over the years. I believe it's a lot more difficult in this day and age to get published than it ever was before. Most publishing houses and agents don't want to take a chance on an unknown author when they have a clientele that's established and has a following. You just have to be patient and persistent. Don't give up!

Q: What are your plans for the future?

A: Well, no matter how BATTLE-CHASERS fairs in the market place, I will continue to write high fantasy novels. I'm passionate about it, and see myself ending my corporate career if my writing career takes off. If not, I'll continue writing in my spare time.

Q: What has the Internet meant for you as an author?

A: It has provided me with a wealth of opportunity, not only to market my book but also to learn and grow as a writer. Early on I joined a couple of writers groups and corresponded with a host of other writers daily, sending and critiquing each others' work. I learned so much! Now, through online publications like this, I'm able to reach a readership that was once impossible to do on my own, and give back a lot of what I've learned and crafted. I'm hopeful you find my efforts as exciting as I do, and I welcome your feedback.

Working in a Fantasy World
An Interview with T. S. Robinson
The Rolla Daily News
by Lance Feyh

Tim Robinson lives in a fantasy world. By day he's a telecommunications director for Bank of America in Jacksonville, Fla. By night, he writes stories about knights in shining armor, damsels in distress and fire-breathing dragons.

Robinson's first novel, "Battle-Chasers," was recently released by XLIBRIS Publishing Corp. He got the idea for the story after watching the movie "Braveheart." "There was a scene (in the movie) that pans out over a bloody countryside, where a recent hand-to-hand war had just been waged," Robinson says. "That's what gave me the idea to write a high fantasy book about what happens after a battle."

The computer science graduate, who once took a science fiction and fantasy course at UMR from associate English professor Gene Doty, says he will continue to write fantasy novels no matter how "Battle-Chasers" fairs in the market place. "I'm passionate about it," says Robinson, whose interest in fantasy can be traced back to the Dungeons & Dragons games that became popular in the 1980s. "I see myself ending my corporate career if my writing career takes off. If not, I'll continue writing in my spare time." During his time at UMR, the Kansas City native landed a summer computer programming job at AT&T through the cooperative education program. By the time he completed his degree, Robinson knew exactly what kind of job he wanted -- one in telecommunications -- and he actively interviewed for such a position in his senior year. He ended up staying with AT&T, when they offered him a full-time management position in Jacksonville. He later went to work for Bank of America.

Although quitting his day job isn't an option yet, Robinson is able to write as many as 2,000 words per night after he gets home from work. "To me, writing is like driving a car at night during the fog," he says. "You can only see as far as the headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way."

After reading "On a Pale Horse" by Piers Anthony in 1986, Robinson was so moved that he wrote the author a fan letter. Anthony responded promptly and the two began a correspondence that helped shape Robinson's emerging writing career. Anthony helped him develop a winning writing style and gave him advice about the science fiction and fantasy business.

Robinson's next novel, "Into the Dragon's Maw," is complete and is due out next summer. He is currently working on his third novel, "Mirror of Opposition." The novels are "high fantasy" and not science fiction, he says. "I've shied away from science fiction altogether.

I get enough of computers and technology in my real job." :o)

Reviews Interviews Reader Reviews


From the outset, Battle Chasers is a wonderful yarn to read, from it's great way of introducing each new character, to the artwork at special points in the story, to the believable way all the people within the story act. The story follows a somewhat unlikely group, each doing what they do for reasons all their own, some brought together by coincidence, some by similar interests, some by no more than bad luck it would seem, yet, none of the relationships feel in any way forced, or false, but much like a relationship you might have had, some friend you always knew for some reason nobody would believe the truth of, simply because it was something as simple as coincidence. T. S. Robinson is a wonderful author, and his experience as a Game Master shines through in his storytelling, proving him quite competent, I'd wager at both the role of Author and Game Master.  I'm looking forward to his future stories. For any of you out there that haven't guessed it yet, go, read this book, visit the author's website, it's a GREAT story.

~ C. Armstrong

Like a different take?   This book takes an innovative twist on the Fantasy genre. Instead of leading up to a large battle and confrontation, the battle is over with a new about to take place. Involved characters, new ideas on existing creatures, definitely a must read.

~ S. Chubbs

Wow.  I mean just wow!
This book is great for any AD&D players, and it sticks right to the spirit of the game.  However, you don't even need to have heard the name AD&D before for this to be an outstanding book.  This sounds really cliché, but I say this honestly.   I really couldn't put it down.

~ J. Murphy

"Battle-Chasers" is not your typical fantasy novel. This first novel by T. S. Robinson is quite a surprise. It has a very intriguing and unique plot premise, a shocking setting, an one of the shorter time frame for a novel that I have ever read. And the book itself is a little piece of art.

Beginning with the story, "Battle-Chasers" is set in a battlefield. There are no fancy castles or beautiful, enchanted forest--although you heard of them-- in this story. There are wanderers, dead people, and deadly creatures, all lurking in the aftermath of an horrible battle. The point being made is that all battlefield are horror, nothing noble can be attached to them. That is something you don't get in your traditional fantasy stories. In these battlefield, several characters: a dwarf, an elf, a blind druid, an insane assassin, a dark wizard, a dragon and a sultry vampire, walk and scheme in this battlefield. There is not a main character in the story. All seems to have a say and a part in this story. Finally, the story begins at the end of the battle and will end at the beginning of the new day.

These elements made this novel a very interesting reading. Robinson portrayed this place not as a place to find glory but an horrible place the result of people fighting for stupid reasons. The desire of glory or blind revenge just bring death and heartaches. Almost all the characters of the novel have secret reasons to be in this battlefield. Some reasons are more clear than other but nevertheless you will have a nice time to see why anyone will want to stay after any battle have been won or lost.

In term of the characterization, Robinson follows very closely the rules set by role-playing games, like Dungeons and Dragons and Forgotten Realms. For example, you find characters with specific alignments: lawful good or evil, chaotic and neutral. In the small bio of the author, he explained that he is a fan of these games, so that could explain it. So if you like those games, you will like the characters and artifacts that populated the novel.

In general, I think that some of the characters needed a little more work and depth, to understand their motives and their stories. The novel felt like there was a lot more to be said but it was in the past of the characters. A past that we barely learn through the novel. Although, I think that a possible sequel will answer all those little questions that plague me about the characters: Who really is the Tree of Life? How Chawk
survived an attack of a vampire? Who are the voices in the head of Chosser? Possibly the story could have been more clear if one of the character would have been the main character, like more traditional novel, but the same
time, this is not your traditional novel and it takes time to get use to
something new.

Finally, a nice touch in this novel that really help you to feel part of the story is the beautiful illustration by Charles J. Urbach. Through the text several illustration of each of the characters add a window to the world portrayed in "Battle-Chasers". Overall, this book published by Xlibris, a new online publishing company, is superb. My hardcover copy is
beautifully crafted.

My recommendation? If you are looking for a new writer with a different take of fantasy, I definitely recommend you T. S. Robinson. His writing still needs time to mature but for his first try, this is a very fine novel. I will look forward for his next novel and hope for the answer to my little question. I also hope that he invited Charles J. Urbach to illustrate his
novel since it really add a beautiful touch to the novel. So go and enjoy your reading!

~ Marisol Ramos

I didn't expect Battle Chasers to be THAT good!  I've read gobs of fantasy over the last decade, some good and some bad.  From Robert Jordan to Tolkien, R. A. Salvatore, Weis and Hickman, Jeff Grubb, I've read quite a bit.   Therefore you know that I am speaking with experience when I say...BATTLE CHASERS IS ONE OF THE BEST FANTASY BOOKS I'VE EVER READ!!!!  I am sincerely impressed and have become a T. S. Robinson fan for life!!!!!

~ A. Rotsinger

BATTLE-CHASERS ~ A Tale of Honor, Friendship and Courage...Battle-Chasers is traditional fantasy in the spirit of Dungeons and Dragons, but with strong themes of friendship, personal courage and honor. There is redemption, sacrifice and enlightenment within the characters, who come to life within the pages. If action is to your taste, then Battle-Chasers delivers, offering many exciting scenes of battle and adventure. Many of these scenes are beautifully illustrated, something rarely seen in novels, and powerfully rendered here.  If you want a good, fast read that delivers depth and excitement, then check out Battle-Chasers.

~ C. Scott

A Great Book...
I have read more than my share of fantasy novels. I of course have read Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, but mostly I have stuck to and preferred the other type of epic fantasy, more human-centered instead of filled with dwarves and elves and orcs and
trolls. However, after receiving an e-mail from the author, I decided to try this book out. I waited the 4-6 weeks for it to be shipped, and when it arrived I was a little skeptical due to the relatively small size of the book, as I am used to the more daunting size of such as Jordan's Wheel of Time and Martin's Song of Ice and Fire. However, when I started reading, my concerns were quickly assuaged.  The story, instead of taking place over months or years like most books, instead takes place over the course of one night. The setting -- the aftermath of a three day long battle between the city of
and the evil Circle of Death. Battle-Chasers is the story of the survivors of the battle, as well as the thieves, healers, and others who come afterwards.

All of the characters are true characters, not mono-dimensional stereotypes of their races. The protagonists are a courageous dwarf, Ringlerun, my favorite character, a giant elf who has made it his life's quest to oppose the Circle of Death, and the magic-endowed blind albino cleric Chawk with his owl, Vu, there to help any survivors, as well as to fulfill a more personal quest. On the other side is a voluptuous vampire, a Circle of Death sorcerer, an insane assassin, a huge dragon, and the various evils which they can summon. However, there is no character who is all bad. All of the 'bad guys' have real motivations and feelings and fears, and there is not a single character who remains static. The writing is aided incredibly by the illustrations throughout the book, which display various scenes.  While this story takes place on a battlefield full of dead soldiers and creatures, the gore is emphasized when necessary but never overdone, and the weapons, charms and spells are all convincing (well, most of them anyway).

Perhaps the best thing about this novel, though, is its originality.  While the author was obviously influenced by other sources, such as Tolkien, AD&D, and maybe Dante, there was no feeling of, "I've read this before, I know what's coming, and how could they permit this virtual plagiarism to be published."   Granted, there were a few little flaws, mostly small grammatical errors and passages that could use a little smoothing over, but when aren't there?

Overall, this is a great debut novel from a promising
new author.

~ Taseldor

“I tried to pace myself through this book, reading one chapter a night. Soon I was reading five chapters a night, and now I've read it through more than ten times now. I've told all my friends about it, and I highly suggest that if you are going to buy one book this year, make it Battle Chasers.  T.S. Robinson creates a new realm of fantasy, and vividly depicts this new realm, creating unforgettable characters, and a world you want to be a part of.  I am not paid to put this, this is my sincere review of his book, and I highly suggest it for anyone interested in the fantasy genre.”


~ C. Rushton

“This book was actually the third one I read after reading Into the Dragon's Maw and Mirror of Opposition.  T.S. Robinson continues to excel in his story-telling and like the other two books this stands easily on its own merits. Unlike most other novels, the real story is not what you would expect and as before the surprises in the storylines will make you laugh or smile along the way. The author does a great job to bring you into the story, while all the while never letting you know until later who the real villain might actually be. T.S. Robinson has amazing talent for telling a story and I certainly hope to see more from this author.”


~ M.A. Bernier

“I found this book un-put-downable. From start to finish the pace never lets up giving you little time to think about such mundane acts as eating and drinking. Mr. Robinson's vivid description and use of the putrifying mess that's left after a major battle adds great a twist to the story. I recommend this book with only one reservation that it should to be read on an empty stomach. Otherwise buy it!”


~ L. D’Souza

“Being an avid fan of fantasy, choosing to read this book was easy. After getting into it, I found it much more exciting than most. Number one, the story is based after the battle, not a pretty scene and well described in gory detail. Mr. Robinson puts you there, on the battlefield itself. Once you get through the first couple of chapters, you begin to put all the characters together, each one having a unique personality, be it good or evil. You begin to relate to each one. This is not a book that you will want to put down, once you start reading it. I found myself getting deeper and deeper with with each chapter. Mr.Robinson has a talent for keeping you on the edge, wanting to know what is going to happen next. It is very well written - you become so involved that you don't want to stop reading, until the book is finished. Being that this is T.S.Robinson's first novel, it is excellent reading - I can hardly wait until his next one is released.”


~ V.J. Davant

“It was a good day to die." That's the first sentence of this book, and believe me, it sets the tone for what is to follow.

From page one, this book grabs you by the throat and drags you along through the filth, decay, and appalling aftermath of the death and destruction that is the sad result of a fierce battle. The setting is a big battlefield, and interestingly enough, the whole story takes place in a single day after the battle has ended. Not everyone on the battlefield is dead, though most are. But of those left alive, all have a purpose for living. Some have noble causes, others slink around looking for even more victims. This story tells you...excuse me, shows you what their objectives are, and what they do to accomplish them.

This is not your typical fantasy. For example, this is the first book I've read that has a cast including dragons, dwarves, vampires and even zombies to name a few. But it's a good story told very well. As you change chapters, you move back and forth among the characters and see the story from their eyes. On one page, you'll find yourself holding your breath as one person struggles desperately to stay alive, and a few pages down, you'll find yourself hoping the bad guy gets what's coming to him. Either way, you'll come to care for some of the characters. And don't worry, while the premise for the story seems dark, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

This book is just the way I like them -- the pace is fast, the action is furious, the scenes are described well, and the story is darned good. I recommend this book to fantasy lovers who want to try something a little different.”


~ L. Tady

“Battle Chasers is not your typical Fantasy. It starts where most books finish. After the war is over the surviors come out. You know you are in for a ride when in the opening sequence when Ringlerun has to hack his way free thru the body of a dragon. From there the different people and motley surviors come together for an ending that will have you sitting on the edge of your seat. As a lay person who`s only goal is to enjoy reading the book, I highly recomend this book. T.S. Robinson will only get better.”


~ D. Fann

It all happens in the course of a single, bloody day and night -- thieves loot the slain, a priest searches for survivors, a sorcerous vampire raises the dead to join her soulless army. The battle-chasers of T.S. Robinson's illustrated debut novel may come from a wide variety of races, may be driven by many different motivations (some good, some evil), but they all have one thing in common: they tirelessly follow the fight. Driven by greed, hate and hope, these allies and enemies grimly walk the blood-soaked ground of the battle's aftermath, looking for glory and revenge.


Few are left alive in the stink and silence following a three-day battle between the Circle of Death and the citizens of Obo. First to rise up from the carnage is the dwarven warrior Ringlerun, whose centuries-long quest is nothing less than the total annihilation of every dragon in the world, a vengeance sworn after the death of his best friend. Trapped under the body of the dragon he slew during battle, he cuts a grisly path to freedom through its body with his beloved battle-axe, only to be confronted with his victim's enraged mate.


Chosser is a mad assassin, a despised man whose mind is not his own. Three disembodied personalities vie for control of their host: MADMAN, the violent, dominant voice without even a vestige of reason; DEMON, a sly, serpentine whisper of lust and selfishness; and PREACHER, the rational voice of caution. The assassin's poisoned blade, wielded desperately by the dwarf, is responsible for the slow death awaiting a great red dragon. A beautiful vampirous sorcerer, whose pet the dragon is, will suffer mad Chosser to live only as long as it takes for him to find the antidote to save the closest thing to a friend she has. The vampire Minghella believes she has the assassin's mind firmly in her control, but she has only managed to subdue the voice of MADMAN. DEMON and PREACHER join forces in Chosser's mind to try to escape Minghella's seductive clutches.

Chawk, the blind albino priest whose sight is borrowed from his companion white owl, comes to the battlefield outside Obo for two reasons. One is to aid as many survivors as he might; the other is to find and try to destroy Minghella before she can raise enough undead for her army to rule the world. The vampire destroyed Chawk's home, leaving him for dead centuries ago when she raised up his fallen fellow priests, and he's followed her silently for years in hopes of ending her unholy hopes. He comes across the Tree of Life, a giant elf whose life goal is to break the Circle of Death. The two join up to find survivors, hoping for the opportunity to realize their quests.


The characters in Battle-Chasers are drawn in broad strokes, given just enough personal history for readers to understand what drives them. Culled from familiar fantasy stock, Robinson's warriors and wizards use powers borrowed from the standard canon of the occult and from the author's acknowledged passion for RPGs. Comic relief is provided by a stubby little Yoda-talking demon who serves an ambitious sorceror. There's a lot of room for world-building left at Battle-Chasers end; the novel's detailed descriptions of a battle's aftermath set the stage as the prologue to a continued story.


~ S. Elsing