S a m B a r o n e
The Eskkar Saga takes place in the early Bronze Age (3158 BCE), when technological changes were spreading rapidly across the Fertile Crescent, also known as the Land Between The Rivers. Bronze metalurgy for tools and weapons, break-throughs in agriculture, use of symbols to record events, and the introduction of numbers and counting, all helped change mankind from a nomad to a city-dweller. But the ever-constant conflict between hunters and gatherers would continue for many thousands of years.
Eskkar, an outcast barbarian warrior forced to live among villagers and farmers, sees only a bleak future ahead of him. Sudden necessity provides him with a challenge: find a way to defend the village of Orak against his former clan. The task is daunting. No village has ever successfully driven off the ferocious barbarian horsemen. Fortunately, Eskkar receives a special gift that will change his no only life but also his destiny - a young slave girl named Trella, whose keen wits are more than a match for the village elders. With her guidance, Eskkar may rise to greatness, if barbarians or assassins don’t kill both him and the girl he comes to love.
The Eskkar stories relate the rise of the first fortified villages, built by men and women as strong as the stones comprising the walls of those early cities.
The Eskkar Saga comprises 6 full-length novels, and 2 short stories.
Eskkar & Trella - The Beginning
His family murdered in a blood feud, Eskkar flees his clan to save his life. As he grows from boy to man, Eskkar is forced to live among his hereditary enemies, and each day brings a new challenge merely to survive. Trella, too, finds her wealthy family destroyed, and she must use all her wits if she is to escape a lifetime of slavery. Read more . . .
Dawn of Empire
Eskkar, once a barbarian warrior, and Trella the young slave girl join forces to build the first walled city. At the same time, they must stop a barbarian invasion and protect themselves from assassination. Outnumbered, Eskkar must train peaceful villagers in the art of war. If they succeed, their walled village will be taking mankind’s first steps on the road to civilization and empire. Read more . . .
Continues the story of the struggles to save mankind’s first walled city. Eskkar leaves his newly founded city to rid the countryside of bandits. He encounters Lani, a woman captured by bandits. Soon he is wasting his days while his city of Akkad is captured by enemies. Eskkar’s pregnant wife is forced to kneel at the feet of her new master, while her husband must find a way to regain his city and save his wife and new-born son.
Quest For Honour
The rise of rival city-states in the Land Between the Rivers brings a new enemy and threat to Akkad. Eskkar and Trella must build the world’s first professional army in a desperate effort to save their city from a Sumerian invasion. New tactics, training, weapons, and battle strategy will be put to the test against a much larger force of brutal Sumerian soldiers. (This story was published in the UK as Conflict of Empires)
Battle for Empire
More than thirteen years have passed since the Sumerian War. But now a vastly more powerful foreign invader threatens the entire Land Between the Rivers. Eskkar and Trella must overcome this new conqueror. They must also find a way to win back their rebellious son, Sargon, who has been banished from Akkad. Now his wild and dangerous behavior threatens his parents’ rule and even his future kingdom.
Clash of Empires
The final clash between two mighty empires. Akkad and the Land Between the Rivers are about to be overrun by a far more numerous and dangerous invader, the Elamite Empire. Eskkar, Trella, and their son, Sargon, must discover a way to defeat the overwhelming might of this empire from the east, or the Land Between the Rivers will be captured and enslaved, and their fledgling city-state captured and destroyed.
Rogue Warriors - short stories recalling Eskkar’s younger and wilder days, when he formed a friendship with a Sumerian thief named Bracca. Fast-talking, hard-drinking Bracca is as dangerous a fighter as Eskkar. Both men wandered the Land Between the Rivers, selling their swords as mercenaries when possible, turning into thieves when necessary. Together they share danger as they travel from one adventure to the next, almost always pursued by some angry group of villagers.
Rogue Warriors - 1
In this short story, Eskkar is reunited with Iltani, his first love. He'd saved her from bandits while still a boy. Now he has to fight to protect her once again, this time from land hungry murderers who want her farm. Soon Eskkar & Bracca are involved in a fight for their lives to save a woman and her family. About 40 pages in length.
Rogue Warriors - 2
In this escapade, Eskkar and Bracca have their horses stolen by a band of bandits, and have to flee for their lives. They decide to chase after the thieves, and discover that the brigands are far more cunning than the two companions expected. This time they will have to outthink and outfight the bandits just to stay alive. About 40 pages in length.