Guest Post: The Joy of the Quest by Larry N. Martin

The Hawthorn Moon is the annual summer blog tour for Gail Z. Martin and Larry N. Martin, and features guest blog posts, giveaways, surprises, excerpts and more on blogs worldwide. Find the master list of posts and goodies at

Take a group of misfit heroes, combine them with a dodgy demigoddess and a tavern full of ruffians…and you have the kind of book that gave me a life-long love of epic fantasy. That’s why I wanted to write the sort of story that I loved back in the day, with a modern twist. It’s a portal fantasy not set in any gaming franchise, but very much in the heroic quest tradition.

In my new fantasy adventure novel, The Splintered Crown, a group of down-at-the-heels friends are sent by a demigoddess on a dangerous quest in hopes of making their fortune and being able to escape the hardships of their lives in the city.

The city of Kortufan is like a medieval Casablanca, where spies, assassins, mercenaries, arms dealers, rebels, smugglers, and informants do dirty deals dirt cheap.

Think of the Poxy Dragon as Rick’s Place, if Rick Blaine ran a biker bar on the wrong side of the tracks outside the worst part of the medieval Silk Road. It takes balls just to talk into the place, not only from the reputation but its rough clientele, questionable food, awful beer, and abysmal hygiene. Lots of taverns in Kortufan are home to dealmakers and illegal dealings, but the Poxy Dragon is the proving ground for heroes (with a cemetery out back for the ones who don’t make the cut).

Lady Leota, the resident demigoddess at the Poxy Dragon, sends would-be heroes to different realms on quests. Once committed, the only way to return is with your shield or on it.

For Kieron and his friends, getting by in Kortufan means working as guards for shady merchants or pulling off dangerous heists. Kieron, a former warrior, dreams of pulling off a score big enough that he and his found family of friends can pull up stakes, move to the country, and never be hungry again. Kane, an exiled half-elf, is a master thief who knows that her luck won’t last forever. Mitchell is a wolf shifter without a pack until he teams up with Kieron and creates a “pack” of his own with their misfit allies. Those friends include Declan, a mage whose abilities are as broken as his sanity after a battle gone wrong, and Malyn, a spirit medium and psychic who fled his noble background to pursue his magic. Alone, they’re nothing special. But together, with the chance to win big and change their lives, they’re a force to be reckoned with…assuming they survive the challenge.

Find The Splintered Crown in ebook and paperback wherever online books are sold, and watch for more adventures from The Poxy Dragon as the Tankards and Heroes series continues!


About the Author

Larry N. Martin is the author of the new sci-fi adventure novel Salvage Rat and the quest adventure The Splintered Crown. He is the co-author (with Gail Z. Martin) of the Spells, Salt, and Steel: New Templar Knights series; the Steampunk series Iron & Blood; and a collection of short stories and novellas: The Storm & Fury Adventures set in the Iron & Blood universe. He is also the co-author of the upcoming Wasteland Marshals series and the Joe Mack - Cauldron: Shadow Council series.

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Find me at @LNMartinAuthor, on, and on our blog.

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Read a copy of our Deadly Curiosities urban fantasy short story Catspaw for free:

 and check out our epic fantasy Ascendant Kingdoms short story Reconciling Memory here for free:

Giveaway! Enter for a chance to win a copy of The Splintered Crown and Convicts and Exiles