First Sword is the third book in the Darkweaver Series:
After the spectacular victory at Kortag, Thandor appears safe. Bek and Jez, however, are imprisoned and in grave danger. Forced to fight in the deadly arena where all who face them are enemies, they make plans for their escape… but to escape, they must first survive.
Perdimonn, Warder of the Earth Key, also faces a perilous road. The powerful Magician, Selkor, having restored Darkweaver’s amulet, is now attempting to gather the Keys of Power. Perdimonn must risk everything to stop Selkor and avert disaster.
For Perdimonn a dangerous race… and for Bek, the deadly contest to prove that he is still… First Sword.
First Sword: Prologue
The Emperor lounged indolently in his deeply padded throne-like seat which, as one would expect, offered the best of views over the sandy-floored arena. With a languid indifference he picked at his teeth with a fingernail in a casual attempt to remove a piece of meat that had become lodged there a little earlier. The Arena Master had sent up tit-bits and snacks in an almost endless steam, doubtless in an attempt to make up for the depressingly predictable fights scheduled for the afternoon.
All of the glittering excitement that the Emperor craved so much seemed to have deserted the games over the last few seasons. Ever since Serrius had fought his way up to become the top ranked arena fighter in Shandrim three years ago, there had been a marked reluctance amongst the other fighters to issue challenges and thus rise through the ranks.
No one wanted to face Serrius.
The simple fact was that the man had created a legend in the arena in the space of three short years. Unlike most fighters in the games, Serrius fought to kill. Victory satisfied the majority of combatants, but no one who had entered the arena to face Serrius had ever left alive.
It was a fearsome reputation to have, and there was no doubt in the Emperor’s mind that the man deserved it.
To the Emperor’s surprise, as if just thinking about Serrius was enough to call him forth, the gateway to the fighters’ pit opened again and the top ranked fighter strode out into the sunlight. The Emperor sat up straight, his finger withdrawn from his mouth and his attention immediately focused on the arena.
A buzz of excitement sounded around the tiered seats as the crowd became aware of Serrius. This was not on the programme. Had one of the other top fighters challenged him for supremacy? Nadreck maybe? Or Voldor? The iron gate clanged shut behind the broad-shouldered swordsman as he prowled out with the unconscious grace of a mountain cat towards the centre of the arena. The dark, hardened leather protective gear that Serrius favoured over the more traditional metal, glistened as the sunlight danced on the well-oiled sheen of the straps and plates.
‘But who, and where, is the challenger?’ everyone was asking.
Normally the challenger would walk into the arena at the same time as his opponent. This was completely unorthodox.
‘If the Arena Master is doing this for effect, then he is more talented than I gave him credit for,’ the Emperor growled to no one in particular.
Serrius stopped in the centre of the arena, drew the longer of the two swords hanging at his waist and saluted the Emperor’s balcony.
The gateway to the fighters’ pit opened again and the crowd hushed to an expectant silence. Who would it be? Whoever the crowd had been anticipating, it was not the young tyro fighter who emerged from the pit.
‘An even bigger farce!’ someone to the Emperor’s right spat derisively. ‘That poor kid won’t last five seconds.’
Nevertheless, the Emperor held his peace, for despite the angry mutterings from the crowd, the young fighter walked forward with confidence and the Emperor’s keen eye had noted that the gateway to the pit was not yet shut. Sure enough, after a few more seconds another fighter emerged. Two against one would be a bit spicier, but still the gate did not close. Another fighter walked out into the arena, and another and yet another before the gate finally clanged shut.
‘Five against one!’ the Emperor breathed.
It was hard to believe that the Arena Master was going to risk his best fighter in such a way, unless he was trying to get rid of Serrius. Maybe he had realised that the dominance of the arena by one man was slowly destroying the games. If so, then the Emperor had once again underestimated him, particularly as the Arena Master would have had to convince Serrius to agree to this fight. One of the perquisites of being ranked in the top five was that unless they were challenged, the fighters got to choose when and whom they fought.
Serrius had not fought for six weeks now, and yet here he was calmly awaiting not one, but five opponents to complete their salutes to the Emperor. It was hard to understand the mentality of the man. The Emperor had recognised four out of five of the men now lined up to salute Serrius as fighters who had won bouts in the arena over the last few weeks. One in particular had looked to have a lot of potential to the Emperor’s experienced eye, so Serrius would do well to survive this encounter.
The five young fighters spread out and began to encircle Serrius. To everyone’s surprise, including the fighters themselves, the deadly swordsman remained motionless, his sword held balanced, point upward in front of him and his feet planted firmly at shoulder width apart.
‘Is he suicidal or something?’ muttered someone, voicing a suspicion that niggled at the Emperor’s mind.
‘It’s almost as if he’s praying,’ the Emperor thought to himself, his heart now beating harder with anticipation and excitement. ‘Has something happened to make Serrius want to give up his life?’
The answer came swiftly.
Reviews of The Forging of the Sword
“Full of action, and overall a good read with a fast pace and good plot …. Four stars. Really Good – recommended”
See the full review at: Cool Reads
“First Sword is again first rate, and Mark Robson has done much to make me eagerly anticipate the next part of Calvyn’s story.”
See the full review at: Author Trek
Mrs Mad’s Book-a-Rama
“Mark Robson gets better with each story, this is by far the best, the intricacies and turns from one set of characters to another is masterful. … A brilliant book! FUN: 5 Stars. Easy to Read: 4 Stars.”
See the full review at: Reading Matters
I am a real fan of Mark Robson, I could not put down the “First Sword” book. The fight between Bek and Serrius is so enthralling and dramatic. Mark Robson’s books are the best written books I have read for a long time.
"I think the 'First Sword' is well written and spread out. It displays good describing and cliff hanging at the end."
Danny Williams (10-12)
I think this is the best book in the Darkweaver series. Bek's my favourite character.
A lot of action in this book - it is definitely worth a read.
Hatti (Age 11-15)
"I thought this book was amazing! I will recommend the whole series to all of my friends! The plot kept me interested the whole of the way through and I was on the edge of my seat because it was so exciting! The cliff hanger ending has made me eager to read the fourth book, I can't wait."
"I would just like to say that all three books were of a great imaginative quality, and that I cannot wait to read the fourth book. I really enjoyed First Sword. I have read all three books and Mark Robson is an inspiration."
"I just got the first three books for Christmas and couldn't put them down until I'd finished!!! I can't wait for the last one :)"
Hannah Tindall (11-15)
"I found the title intriguing and after having read the first two books, I was eager to carry on with the story. I found it really sad that Jez died, I think that if he had lived, I might not have cried. The ending was really good leaving me waiting for the fourth. And I'm still waiting. I can't wait for it. I liked it when Calvyn was made a knight, though the story-line was so good I forgot until I read it from the beginning again. When Jenna and Calvyn got together it was really good, as it had been building up for a long time. I can't wait for the fourth one, so please hurry up and publish it."
George Barker (11-15)
“I think that book 3 in the Darkweaver Legacy is the best in the series with action, romance, sorcery and magic. All in all 5/5!! ”
“I have read all the books - they are absolutely fabulous. Once I started reading them I couldn't put them down"
“I think that First Sword is by far the best of the three so far but as the story progresses the plot gets thicker and of course the stories indeed get better. I think Mark Robison's fantasy/fiction books are a work of pure talent and imagination and have not read something as good since Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings"
Charlotte Cook (13-15)
“The third book was great because there was romance in it with Jenna and Calvyn. The best bit with the romance is when they are both in the Academy"
Susi Stacy (21+)
“I loved the first three books of The Darkweaver Legacy that Mark wrote and can't wait to read the fourth. I have told all my friends about it and they are all hooked too. (Aged 32)"
Harris Wilson (13-15) USA
“This legacy is so awesome. I first heard about it in England from a friend when I lived there and then I got the book. I read it, got the next one read it, waited a few months for some friends in England to send me the third one (couldn't find any in stores which is too bad for people in the United States). I loved the book and would like to see further publications set in this world. I look forward to the Chosen One and would give the series 25/20."