Set on a mythical land northwest of Spain, "Vanity of Vanities," by Martin Bertram, is a novel of fantasy and imagination, but the men - both brave and ruthless - who occupy its pages are startlingly true to life.
In the year 1181, on the island of Vanar, conflict is brewing. The wise and just King Marcus Vortigern rules the Kingdom of Rorq, but he has enemies in the wasteland to the east of the island. His younger brother Reymus, driven by a thirst for power, has mustered his own forces in the east and now looks toward Rorq, and the land of Devlorn that lies in between, to expand his kingdom further, with little care for peace and stability.
Early on in "Vanity of Vanities," Bertram introduces his hero Joshua, "a tall, well-built man of twenty years, with curly brown hair and light-blue, helter-skelter eyes." Joshua, an adventurous farm boy from Rorq, comes to the aid of an emissary of Devlorn, Sir Patrick Beoulve. These are both brave men, and they will both have their own parts to play in the upcoming bitter struggle between the ranged forces in Vanar. Over the course of the book, Joshua rises in status from farmer to knight, meets Lady Jessica, a peerless warrior and assassin, and finds his true love in a woman named Eliza.
This report prepared by Ernie Vasquez