The Fallen Blade

local sci-fi author Kelly McCullough's new series

Lindsey Matysik, photos by Leah Dunbar

Menomonie writer Kelly McCullough’s news fantasy series, The Fallen Blade, was released in November.
Menomonie writer Kelly McCullough’s news fantasy series, The Fallen Blade,
was released in November.

Local author (and cat enthusiast) Kelly McCullough is distinguished. He’s had a starred review in Publisher’s Weekly for his science fiction novel Webmage, and he’s a “Writer of the Future” thanks to an award won in 2000. Since said review (which is rare for a science fiction author) and award, McCullough has kept himself busy. He’s written five more books (four in the Webmage series) along with writing several short stories, poetry, helping illustrate curriculum for middle school physical science, and he even keeps an active blog. His newest novel, Broken Blade, is the start of a brand new series for McCullough, entitled The Fallen Blade series, and was released in November via Ace Books (the oldest continuously operating science fiction publisher in the U.S.).

Broken Blade centers around the story of Aral Kingslayer, whose life has been turned upside down since the death of his goddess. Aral, along with his shadow Triss, used to walk on the side of justice working as a Blade of Namara. However, since losing his goddess and his kind becoming outlawed, Aral has become a mercenary with a drinking problem. In his world, mercenaries (or “jacks”) are described as being sunside (won’t take a job that seems too sketchy), shadowside (will help you play dirty to get what you need), or black (will kill for the right price). Aral is a shadowside jack. His odd jobs from clients help him continue through life, but both Aral and Triss do not like their new way of life. After being hired to deliver a message by a woman named Maylien, Aral discovers a chance to possibly live differently then he currently has.

Broken Blade has great reviews on Amazon, and is sure to please any reader who enjoys fantasy and magic with a little bit of intrigue. Readers who discover that Broken Blade is the start of a series and can’t wait to read more will only have to wait until June and December of this year for more installments.