“The Haunted Blade” is a tale inspired by the legends surrounding the Maid of Orleans, also known as Joan of Arc. In my tale, the young woman communicates with a spirit of another woman, a woman who’s name, who’s very existence, has passed from legend into myth. Her soul was stripped from her body and imprisoned in an enchanted blade by the leader she had served, a man who became jealous of her for her popularity as the general commanding his armies. My protagonist grew up in a very different society, one where women are forbidden, on pain of death, from learning how to fight. She is a healer, following in the path of her mother before her, but her life is changed when the Haunted Blade comes into the possession of her brother. From the moment she first draws it, her life, her world, will change forever, taking her places she never imagined she would go.
[After several less-than-complimentary comments on the updated Chapter 1, I decided to take the novel back to the original form. Here it is, warts and all.]