The Sword of the Seraphs is one such work which could stand on the high-rising mantle of good fantasy literature. Paul Johnson, a University of Huddersfield student originating from Scunthorpe, is the master-craftsman behind this upcoming fantasy novel. Whilst it is obvious the novel pictures a fantastic fantasy world, Paul's dreams were not always so.
|Southern Drenvian coast, one of the locations in the book.|
"It’s a funny thing really, because I didn't have an interest in fantasy books as such, although I’d grown up reading Harry Potter, and I emulated Rowling a lot in short stories I wrote as a kid. For a long time I’d wanted to write science fiction, but I could never nail down a story I was happy with, so I shelved writing for around a year."
Only after watching the Lord of the Rings films in 2010 did Paul have a passion for fantasy.
|Paul's vision of the Blue Mountain lakes|
"I discovered the beauty of fantasy, and high fantasy in particular in terms of its creative freedom. With science fiction, the stories I wanted to tell in that genre were always somewhat limited by the tropes of that genre, so I always felt restricted. With fantasy, I found the obvious solution – make up your own universe. "
And with that soon came The Sword of the Seraphs:Rise of the Companions, the first of a potential series of novels set in a far-gone world where mad princes and unlikely heroes vie for the power of a supernatural sword. The writing process came naturally, as did the plot.
Paul summed up the plot very neatly: "The plot is focused around a landowner, who by circumstance and fate inherits the status of knighthood from his dying friend, and becomes the bearer of the Sword – an ancient and destructive weapon created by a now-extinct race of angelic beings called Seraphs as a last resort against one of their kin who betrayed them – Vitria."
|Abandoned Drenvian fortifications|
Paul likens The Sword of the Seraphs' writing style to Simon Scarrow and the fantasy elements to the Lord of the Rings, which suggests a well written and intricate tale. This passion for fantasy writing hasn't slowed down and a sequel is already in the works.
"The first novel is completed (though if it gets to publication it will no doubt go through some edits), and I'm roughly 40% of the way through the second novel, which is turning out to be a fantastic joy to write."
Alongside this, Paul has hinted at returning to his sci-fi roots. Only time can tell, but I sure hope to see more from this budding author and all-round great guy, and I wish him the best in finding a worthy publisher. If you want to know more about the Sword of the Seraphs, or want to support the project, visit and like the Facebook page.
(images from http://www.photoeverywhere.co.