Monday, March 09, 2009


Welcome to an adventure of mythic proportions! Have seen the trailers and the incredible things that are on the Fantasy Castle Books website for this book, I'm enchanted! It is my great privilege to introduce you to a grand, epic tale that I think you'll love - and a really great author, too!! So, enjoy....


R. Scot Johns is a life-long student of ancient and medieval literature, with an enduring fascination for Norse mythology and epic fantasy. He first came to Beowulf through his love of J. R. R. Tolkien, a leading scholar on the subject. As an Honors Medieval Literature major he has given lectures on such topics as the historical King Arthur and the construction of Stonehenge. He owns and operates Fantasy Castle Books, his own publishing imprint, and writes the blog Adventures of an Independent Author, where you can follow his progress as he writes The Jester’s Quest, his second novel.

You can visit his website at


The Saga of Beowulf is the first complete and accurate novelization of the epic Old English poem Beowulf, chronicling the tragic wars of the rising Nordic nations, the endless blood-feuds of their clans, battles with mythic creatures in an ancient heroic age, and the final, futile struggle of one man against the will of Fate that made of him a Legend.

The story follows the young Norse warrior Beowulf as he embarks upon a fateful quest for vengeance against the creature that slew his father, setting in motion a sequence of events that will bring about the downfall of a nation, all the while fleeing from the woman he has sworn to love. Based on extensive historical research and steeped in Nordic myth and lore, the saga unfolds across the frozen fields of Sweden and the fetid fens of Denmark, ranging from the rocky heights of Geatland to the sprawling battlefields of ancient France, as our hero battles men and demons in a quest to conquer his own fears.

"An epic adventure 1500 years in the making," this classic tale now comes to life once more in a bold new retelling for a modern audience.

Do you have any particular types of blogs that you would like us to query? For example, a book about baseball might be “baseball blogs.”

This is a work of epic fantasy, so sites specific to that genre are a must. Fantasy book blogs, fantasy gamer sites, and even medieval-themed or historical fiction webs that might like tales of Viking days are a possibility. However, please bear in mind this is not a book geared toward young adults - not that they should particularly be discounted (there is a fair amount of violence, but little sex or language), but it is a lengthy and fairly serious read (at 640 pages) written in a college-level prose.


On Romance In Fantasy

When Hæreth says to Beowulf, “I will love you always and forever,” the young Norse warrior takes her at her word. But when she weds the hero’s aging uncle to become the Queen of Geats, the brooding youth boards ship and sails away as fast as churning oars can bear him. So begins the epic adventure that will turn a boy into a man, a warrior into a king, and bring about the downfall of a nation.

Romance in fantasy is often tragic, an unattainable ideal, whose consequences loom so large that entire kingdoms are destroyed as a result. Few examples are so poignant as the love of Lancelot for Guinevere, whose adulterous affair behind the back of her husband King Arthur would bring about the fall of Camelot and plunge Britain into the Dark Ages for some three hundred years. Likewise, Greek mythology is fraught with examples of tragic love, in which abducted maidens are changed into birds or flowers, and bold heroes brave the dangers of the underworld to rescue them, only to be doomed themselves.

But ideal love can overcome as well, and in romantic fantasy the obstacles and perils loom far larger than real life. Maidens must be rescued from dragon-guarded grottos or the towers of enchanted castles, all for the hope of a second date. Don Quixote traipses up and down the countryside in hopes of proving his love of Dulcinea, a woman to whom he has never even spoken. But no lengths are too great, no trials too much to suffer for this ideal love, the mere idea of which is enough to sustain the smitten Knight when food runs short.

Often in modern romantic fantasy it is the women that take matters into their own hands, or evoke an innate power previously unknown. But even in the oldest tales this is not uncommon. Scheherazade, for example, in the Thousand and One Arabian Nights has no intention of sitting idly by as the sultan has his way with her then takes her head. Brünhild in the Nordic sagas is a Valkyrie shieldmaiden of renown, and not to be trifled with. Likewise, Hæreth, in The Saga of Beowulf, is no idle maiden, but holds her ground and fights with a broadsword as well as any man, even when her hands are tied.

When Beowulf returns again to Geatland, his first action is to rescue the missing Queen Hæreth from the vile clutches of her abductor, for her marriage to the King he learns was not by her free choice, and she is in grave danger. “I knew that you’d come back for me,” the Queen intones as they embrace. “Then you know me better than I know myself,” the repentant hero replies. Standing atop the rocky Trollhight, awash in the passion of their reunion, they kiss amid the aftermath of battle, in full view of Hæreth’s husband, the uncle of Beowulf, and King of all Geatland. The battle may be over, but the war has just begun.


  1. Good morning, and thanks for stopping by! I'll be checking in this afternoon to answer any comments or questions you might have, so please feel free to ask away. But first I have to drive 200 miles to get to work...
    All the best,

  2. Looks like a wonderful story! I love fantasy and will never forget the story of Beowulf from my highschool literary class! Glad to see it revived again! :)


  3. What a great post! I am soooo loving the cover and think that's it's perfect to catch the eye of a wide range of readers!

  4. Scot, the Saga of Beowulf sounds exciting and I too love the cover.

    200 miles to get to work...?!! *blinks* *shudders* Glad my desk is a heck of a lot closer, even if my brain isn't always. Safe travels!

  5. This man has such a way with words. Hi Scot! I'm doing my rounds but not getting very far...sorry I'm so late in coming in here. Thank you, Denyse...again, you did a terrific job!

  6. Hello all!
    Well, I'm done with work for the day and stuck in a hotel 200 miles from home, but it has a pleasant view of the winding Snake River near the falls that give their name to his town of Idaho Falls.

    I deliver books to schools throughout southern Idaho and eastern Oregon, so I'm on the road a lot. Today I had to leave at 4 a.m. to be here by eight, so it makes for a rather lenghty day, especially with the time change. But I enjoy it, and it pays the bills until my book sales do! Given the economy, I'm just glad to have a job.

    To April and Elizabeth,
    Thank you so much for the compliment on my cover art. It's the first piece of art I've done completely in digital, using my cool new pen tablet. If you go to my website you can see some earlier development art for it, plus some promo videos I did using it.

    I, too, have had a fascination with Beowulf for quite some time, and couldn't believe no one had ever written a full-length novel based on it (at least not one that's accurate, that it). If you do read it, please let me know what you think. Stop by my blog or website and share your thoughts! And that goes for all of you.

    I'll check back again after I get a nap and supper, so keep the comments coming.


  7. Hi Dorothy,
    Better late than never, as they say! And I second the thanks to Denyse - thank you so much for having me.

  8. Hi, Scot!

    It was my pleasure to have you guest today, I'm just sorry more of my usual readers haven't stopped by yet!

    Your book sounds fabulous, and I really want to read it and review it!! I can well imagine the research and time that went into it, my first major release was based on Greek Mythology, and I think half the fun of it was the background reading and reshaping the legends and myths!!

    Thank YOU for gracing my little blog with your beautiful book!!

    Best of luck, and tons of sales!!
    Blessings to you and those you love,

  9. Hi Scot. As an English major myself with an emphasis on Medieval and early lit (the Malus Maleficarum being my favorite) I am fascinated by this. As a high school English teacher I always gave my students a translated and an original manuscript and we painstakingly went through it, talking about the role of women in the story compared to modern day literature. I can't wait to read it. Thanks.

  10. Denysé,
    I, too, loved the background study, delving deeper into the stories that shaped that culture, and I can't wait to do another. I'd love to read your Greek myth story! Thanks again for having me.

    I would love to hear your views on the women's roles in my adaptation compared to the original poem. I would have loved to listen in on some of those discussions with your students! Roles have certainly changed.


Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.