Blomqvist is now available on Amazon Kindle! Prime Kindlers can borrow the book for free, and as a special surprise it will be free to purchase all day Friday 6th January 2012!
Set in 11th Century Europe, Blomqvist is narrated by the protagonist’s devoted amanuensis, faithful standard-bearer, and unrequited lover, Axel Oxensteirna.
Axel tells us the story of Blomqvist’s search for his betrothed, but in the telling, he also bares his own struggle to find his spiritual footing in a confusing and shifting world.
Part historical fiction, part mystical meditation, this Mediterranean odyssey traces the course of human history in matters that are relevant to this day.
If you’ve already read it, please consider reviewing it on Amazon! Don’t forget you can get a Look Inside on the Amazon.com Blomqvist book page or read an excerpt below.
Ganelon established his court in Amiens, and the powerful knights from around the Somme paid homage and agreed to pay him and serve him when he needed to fight abroad.
Ganelon exulted. “We are free from William the Bastard, and we are free from the Christian tithe.”
From the Seine to the Somme–those were the boundaries of our freedom, and we believed we could hold our enemies at bay forever.
“Is this all there is?” I asked Blomqvist. “The killing and the castles?”
“There’s the fucking too, you forget,” he said.
Yes, the fucking. The men around me all loved the fucking, the pale women with their soft limbs and mouths. They didn’t see, as I did, that it was the men, hard and harder, who deserved our love and admiration.
But there had to be even more.
“Do you worry that the end of the world is coming?”
“No,” Blomqvist said. He smiled again, his mouth miraculously still full of teeth. “Why should the world come to an end?”
“The Christians say it is happening soon, we are near the thousand years. Our own tales warn of it,” I said.
“Thousand years of what?” he scowled.
“I don’t know,” I said softly, embarrassed. What I wanted from him, my protector, my only light, was some kind of admission; that he too was sometimes fettered by uncertainty, a worry for no cause.
“We run from one siege to another, take gold and then spend it, we shiver in the cold and watch for wolves, we never stop, weary or not. Don’t you ever wonder why?”
I bit my lip. I saw from his puzzled expression that Blomqvist was too strong to have such worries.
“I see these men,” he said. “beholden only to Ganelon, free from those who do not respect their solemn oaths and who tithe. I would lead us in some larger enterprise, build an impregnable fortress, bring water from the river. Something.”
He shrugged. He had caught a glimpse of his soul and lost it.
“I am fighting for my freedom. That is my purpose.” It was all he could come up with.
“Don’t you ever ask the gods for help?” I asked. I wondered where he got his strength, and if he would share his secret.
He smiled eerily.
“There is no sense in that,” he said. “The gods, if they ever existed, are dead now, and useless to man.”
“Don’t you ever worry about offending them?”
“Offending them?” He rose and lifted his voice to the heavens. “Listen. If there are any gods, I wish to offend all of you. And if you hear me and are offended, then strike me dead right now.”
Then he stopped and we stood still and alone in the clearing, the branches of slender elms chasing the wind and rustling, clouds racing over our heads like chariots spurred by invisible gods. It was an uncomfortable moment, and I knew that, deny it though he might, Blomqvist was wondering what would happen next.
I wondered why we assume that the gods live above our heads, in a transparent blue sky yet invisible. Isn’t it just as likely that they live hidden underground, accumulating centuries of volcanic fury? That our misfortunes are the result of their jealous eruptions of vengeance?
Of course, nothing happened.
“Okay then,” said Blomqvist. “That settles that.”