An Inception of Ideas
The Plight of Steel is the first novel of the previously titled series of the same name, in which author Tony Del Degan started to explore the world he’d imagined.
The Known World has been charted and mapped by ancient kings since the birth of humanity, separated into kingdoms and countries that are ruled by monarchs and warlords who seized the crowns during the Great Victory of the First Age. Upon each throne sits a different ruler, and in each kingdom, many plot to take these seats for themselves. In the north, a scheme to murder a queen on her coronation day is conceived, while a boy king to the west lives as a slave to a powerful warlord. The southern monarchs hear of a threat from the lips of sailors about an old legend come true, while the eastern king secludes himself from the rest of the world, hiding from a darkness that drives him mad. Through murder and conspiracy, happiness and sorrow, there is one true plight that all must face: the plight of steel.
Cassara Vendyros is coronated, as her father is sick with an unknown illness. Her brother, Balthier, tries to assassinate her, giving cryptic hints through thoughts and dialogue as to his reason for doing so. She escapes unharmed, and over the course of the story, comes to learn that, not only is her father alive and well, he is also using her in a master plan to regain his former power. She is banished, then wrecks on the shores of Yvaereth, where the sadistic prince, Duncan Wysteria, keeps her as a pet and tortures her for weeks.
Adrian Starmane accidentally amputates himself with a sword, and falls ill with a fever. He begins to have visions of strange things, including Gods, demons, and dragons, and wakes up to find out that his father’s council believes him to be the mythical Savior, destined to destroy The Specter King. His father is now intent on training him, then getting him to the Forest of Rock in order for him to fulfill the prophecy given to humanity by the ancient priests.
After beheading a beleaguered and disgraced Dymon the Black, boy-king Castian Valinor miraculously survives The Silencing – a test where criminals are drowned in vats of grain. He then becomes king, but his success is short lived. His sister, Kelyssa, must learn to become queen of a corrupt kingdom, its prestige and honor long dead, though her council and advisers are seemingly working towards their own malicious goals.
Alistair Wildlight believes his son to be the Savior, and pushes him beyond his limit both mentally and physically. Ancient stories start to drive him mad with fear and uncertainty, and as he sequesters himself in his castle, restricting all travel to and from his kingdom, his people start to die out, all while his new elven advisers poison his mind further.
After being summoned to Velerin by a young Nictus Sharpe, Duchess Elyssia Delerosa and her cousin Jaymes are asked by Cyran Sharpe, the disgraced king, to help him defeat Dymon the Black. The warlord has conquered the kingdom, and now rules it with an iron fist, making it difficult for the duchess to accomplish her task. Eventually, she begins to have her own visions of the future, which complicate an already dire situation.
“This novel was my first foray into the world of literature. I began writing at the age of fifteen, and completed it two years later. I had planned two sequels and a prequel afterward, but the story was not planned out enough to continue without needing to go back later for too many edits. It was a lesson learned-it gained me a bit of a name for myself among close circles and is still my most popular book, but the story is too personal to either shoehorn or neglect. It drew too heavily from other works instead of making its own name, which ultimately put the nail in the coffin for me. I plan to leave it up on Amazon for interested literary spelunkers, but I consider it more a precursor to something much more planned-out, long-lasting, and meaningful.”
Buy on Amazon
The Plight of Steel is available for purchase on Amazon and Google Play Books.
“For those who want to see where the origin of the Evermore Compendium lies, pick it up and have a read. See what translated from the old to the new.”