Child of a Mad God

Child of a Mad God

R.A. Salvatore


Adult Fiction, Fantasy, High Fantasy


Four Moons!


‘Child of a Mad God’ is set in Salvatore’s Corona universe, and this is the first novel in his ‘Coven’ series. Because of this book, I feel the need to go back and read the rest of the Corona books. I have long dismissed Salvatore as a sell-out because of his DnD and Star Wars novelizations. I know now that I have done him and myself a disservice. The book is great reading because of great writing!

Don’t read it if you expect happy endings, do read if you love good characters.




The Continental: Castile’s Gamble, part II

The hombre behind me kept his shooting iron to my back, but at least it didn’t feel like he was trying to use it to dig my spine out of me anymore. He was silent; either considering or trying to understand all of the implications of the declaration I had just made. The silence with the subsiding pain allowed some of my other senses to return. The man smelled of beaver. The scent was too strong for him to be a trapper. No, the man wore the musk as an odorant to attract mates and intimidate contenders. Though I dare say that I wouldn’t want to meet the woman or man who would be attracted to the stench. As for me, I wasn’t intimidated. But I certainly wanted to get as far away from Musk Man as I could.

“Is that a threat?” He growled at me as he leaned into my ear the way that a lover would. His breath on my neck did excite me, but not in the way that a lover would have.

“If that is how you wish to perceive it,” I said evenly with a measured cadence and calm tone. “But, I meant it as more of an opportunity.”

“What are you playing at Grant?”

“I have friends in this town who would be very delighted to know the true identity of my traveling companion. And unless I’ve missed my guess, you have the same friends. By all ways and means of measuring, that makes us friends.”

“It seems a sound logic,” The man growled in my ear. I thought that perhaps he wasn’t angry and this was just the way he spoke, but then he continued. “The flaw in your thinking is that you ain’t got friends in Baranca Grande!”

As soon as I felt the Colt pulled away from my back I knew what was going to happen; not that there was any good in knowing since I didn’t have time to react. It was a fraction of a second, I know. But isn’t it funny how moments like that seem to last for eternity?

It’s the strangest sensation of all, really. Being nothing more than a spectator in the theater of your own body. Watching, helplessly, as the carved elk horn handle and brass back strap of the revolver comes crashing into the back of your skull. The feeling of weightlessness as you crumble to the ground like a marionette with its strings suddenly severed. And the final thought that crosses your mind before the darkness claims you…

well- shit!

Silas, part I

“Care to explain to me what the Hell happened in there, Whittle?” Pike growled at me. His eyeballs were level with mine and inches away.

“She goaded me, challenged me. What else was I supposed to do?” I answered in a guttural rebuttal.

“It would have been nice if you had kept your shit together. Or maybe you have forgotten what is at stake here. You told me I would get a confession, a nice tidy bow tied around this case. Instead I just had to let a witness walk out of here free as a bird.” It was needless to say that Pike was angry. As much as I hated to admit it he had right to be. Hell, I was angry with me.

“Artemis is a drug addict, no one is going to believe what she saw. I mean- shit- Pike, most people wouldn’t believe it if they saw it for themselves. And you’re afraid someone might believe the local junkie?” I said it in a nonchalant manner, forcing myself to calm and feigned submission. But truth is I didn’t half believe what I was saying and certainly didn’t feel calm or submissive around this suit with teeth.

“This is a problem on your turf,” Pike’s tone and cadence were steady as he let the words themselves carry the weight and severity without adding emotion, but he tapped my chest with two fingers to underscore his point. “That makes it your problem,” he tapped my chest a second time with more force. “Get a handle on this shit or someone else will, capisce?” The third poke would have left a bruise on a person, and it was all I could do to not rip his arm off and beat him with it.

“Yeah, I got it,” I said trying to sound as though I wasn’t ready to rip his throat out and blame his death on the problem I had just been assigned to handle.

“Good. Now be a good dog and fetch.”


“Hey! I know you!”

The new hand recognized me. His voice wasn’t excited, he was angry. I knew who he was, too. It’s why he got the job. I’m the only man in Texas who’ll give the poor bastard a chance.

We served together in The Revolution. He was branded a coward because when Travis asked for a volunteer to run to Houston for reinforcements he eagerly accepted. Most of The Republic thinks he should have died there with the rest of us.

The story goes that once Travis realized he wasn’t getting reinforcements that he drew a line in the sand with his saber and said anyone who crossed was free to go. Nobody crossed it.

Nice story- but there wasn’t a line. Travis wasn’t that agreeable. And I left. I saw no virtue in dying for a church that some jackass had defiled into a fort just so Travis could say his prick was bigger than Santa Ana’s.

Of course being branded a coward is no great thing out here, so I had to take a new name. But what’s in a name?- some fancy Englishman once said. Lost a name, but I got the biggest ranch in Texas. A lot of hard work and a little blood shed always pays off.

“Yusunuvabitch!” The new hand yelled as he reached for his revolver. And I was mightily grieved at being obliged to do the same.




The lead ball slammed into me and knocked me flat on my ass. I laid there for a moment and watched the black smoke dissipate. I focused on the smell of the black powder. The warmth of the revolver in my hand. Anything to ignore the pain and to delay inspecting the wound.

That’s when I heard him groaning.

I sat up. I took me a few seconds and I started to feel that my left shoulder burned like Hell. And I didn’t need no doctor to tell me I wouldn’t use that arm again. But the fact that I could sit up was a good sign. Next I stood. José, the Tejano top hand, ran over to try and help me, but I waved him off.

I walked over to where the other man laid, he was moving his arms but his legs were still as death. That and the smell of shit mixed with blood told me I had gut-shot him and severed his spine.

Most people would say his was the better shot. He did hit me closer to my heart than I hit him. But those people would be overlooking one very important fact- I hit what I aimed for and he didn’t.

He raised his arm to take a second shot at me, but his revolver wasn’t cocked.

Mine was, and my second shot dug a trench through his forehead and scalp. A mercy, really.

“Enterrar con otros,” I said to José.

The damn fool went to his maker thinking that death was more virtuous than life. I’m sad that I was the one who obliged him.

On the other hand- he was the only man on Earth who could claim I had once deserted Texas in her darkest hour.

The Continental: Castile’s Gamble

“Drury Lane, which way is that?” I asked without turning around.

“At the end of this barrel if you don’t come easy,” the voice said from behind me. It was a vaguely familiar Spainiard accent and I was trying to place where its owner belonged in my life ledger.

“You’re the one with the wheel lock- I’ll come however you please.” I answered in a tone as close to submission as I could manage. I was sure by this time that the speaker belonged into the ‘wronged’ column of my ledger.

“Who is asking for The Muffin Man?” The voice asked, the speaker was closer to my back.

“Name’s Castile.” I answered, bracing myself for violence.

¡Las tonterías! You’re Grant!” I felt the barrel of the Colt press into my back, directly on my spine between my kidneys. “You’ve got some huevos coming here.” He jabbed the end of the barrel in deeper, the muzzle was still warm from some recent use.

“Haven’t I?” I said boastfully. The man didn’t need to know I was here against my will. As far as he knew, this was all a clever plan on my part and not at all jack-assed as I went.

“I couldn’t believe my luck when I seen you and the stranger riding down from the ridge this afternoon. Give me one reason why I shouldn’t shoot you and leave you here for the dogs to fight over.”

“The man I’m traveling with a cousin of The Hanoverian King.”