Travelers’ Rest: He came, he saw…

James Enge short story Travelers' RestJames Enge short story Travelers' RestTravelers’ Rest by James Enge

Travelers’ Rest is short and sweet. (Much like myself except the sweetness of Travelers’ Rest is Morlock Ambrose’s dispersion of justice, and the sweetness of me is, well I’m just freakin’ adorable). Also, Travelers’ Rest is a free e-book from Pyr  in honor of The Wolf Age, the latest MORLOCK AMBROSE novel, being their 100th book. Just in time for Christmas too. So a sincere thank you to Pyr is in order. They are already my favorite publisher, so they really didn’t have to, but it’s nice they did. (Click here for Kindle or here for ePub).

The many that follow my reviews — well, the few… OK, OK, the one poor FanLit reviewer who draws the short straw and gets stuck editing my reviews — already knows how much I’m into Mr. Enge’s  infamous maker and swordsman, Morlock Ambrose. So I won’t go on and on about him again. Morlock couldn’t care less to hear it anyway and would only respond with his typical reply of “Eh” and that would only be if he’s feeling talkative.

Travelers’ Rest takes place before the events in Blood of Ambrose, and Morlock fans will be happy to see that his dwarf apprentice, Wyrth, accompanies “the Crooked Man” in this story. I know I’ve missed the little guy.

In their wandering they come across a sleepy little town. Wyrth wants to move on, but Morlock insists they spend the night at the inn, aptly named “Travelers’ Rest.” A rather bulky looking thug intrudes upon Morlock’s and Wyrth’s dinner to take the innkeeper’s daughter, who is also their waitress. So Morlock, in his normal fashion, defends the girl and we learn that the townspeople had made a pact with a sorcerer many years before. As payment for services rendered, the sorcerer has his occasional pick of villagers or, better yet, visitors when available. Even though the innkeeper and his family believe Morlock to be an evil entity that drags damned souls to hell — of course they don’t realize its Morlock himself that has visited their establishment — he can never stand idle while the weak are being preyed on. Well, at least not when he’s sober. So Morlock proceeds to do what he does best. Simply put; he came, he saw, he kicks some ass.

This short story is the “Crooked Man” at his most superb which is why Travelers’ Rest is the perfect introduction for any newcomers to James Enge’s MORLOCK AMBROSE and a quick thrill for established fans.


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GREG HERSOM’S addiction began with his first Superboy comic at age four. He moved on to the hard-stuff in his early teens after acquiring all of Burroughs’s Tarzan books and the controversial L. Sprague de Camp & Carter edited Conan series. His favorite all time author is Robert E. Howard. Greg also admits that he’s a sucker for a well-illustrated cover — the likes of a Frazetta or a Royo. Greg live with his wife, son, and daughter in a small house owned by a dog and two cats in a Charlotte, NC suburb. He retired from FanLit in Septermber 2012 after 4.5 years of faithful service but he still sends us a review every once in a while.

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5 comments

  1. So I “purchased” Traveler’s Rest for my Kindle and planned to read it right away after seeing your review, but I left the Kindle unplugged for too long and now I have to recharge. I’ll read it tonight.

  2. Oh well, at least you can read it in one sitting.
    I saw some reviews that complain there isn’t enough backstory about Morlock in Travelers’ Rest. But I have to say, it’s a short-story after all and besides that’s really just the kind tales these are. Regardless of what story someone starts with (they are all self-contained), you just hit the ground running, which is often the case with Sword & Sorcery.
    Blood of Ambrose probably details who Morlock is and his past more than the other stories, but for every question that book answers, more mysteries are created.

  3. I read the short story first and had no problem. In fact, I bought BLOOD OF AMBROSE based on how much I liked Traveler’s Rest. I should also mention that Pyr produced very nice-looking ebooks in these two offerings. The font is not the Kindle standard font, and the dagger images used for scene breaks came through nicely on my Kindle.

  4. It does look really nice!

  5. @Karen- I thought the exact same thing about the very nice Kindle versions of the Morlock books. This Crooked Way even has the map.
    If you can, check the Morlock short stories in the anthologies Return of the Sword and Swords and Dark Magic. In the latter; Morlock is on a drunk again and can’t be bothered to take on an all-powerul maruding villian until his bartender goes missing. Its one of my favorite Morlock tales.

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