Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Martil vs Sendatsu in a battle to the death

I was asked many questions while touring around Australia but none got me thinking quite as much as one in Penrith: Who would win in a fight to the death between Martil and Sendatsu?
Martil, of course, is the hero of my first trilogy, the Dragon Sword Histories, while Sendatsu is the hero of the new series, the Empire of Bones.
They are very different but both are the best warriors of their generation.
Now this question actually had me stumped. Apart from living 300 years apart, so they could never meet, I certainly hadn't planned they would ever try to fight to the death!
Then it got me thinking.
Firstly, it depends on which Martil and Sendatsu were to meet.
The Sendatsu from Bridge Of Swords and Valley Of Shields would be defeated by Martil, without a doubt. The Sendatsu from Wall Of Spears, however, would prove a much harder opponent.
Equally, Martil before he met Karia would fight in a different manner. For some time there, he had nothing to live for and truly didn't care if he lived or died. If that Martil was to meet the Sendatsu from the third book of the series, then the outcome really would be in doubt.
If Sendatsu's children, Mai and Cheijun, were at stake, then my money would be on Sendatsu.
Yet if Karia's life was also at stake then the game would change again.
Also, we would have to assume that Martil couldn't use the Dragon Sword, for that would be an impossible advantage.
Equally, Sendatsu wouldn't be able to use even a little magic to help tilt the contest his way.
So, we need to set some ground rules.
Both Mai and Cheijun, and Karia, are at stake. This is the Sendatsu from the end of Wall Of Spears, tempered and hardened by what he has had to do. No armour and no magic to be used.
It is also the Martil from the end of Radiant Child, minus the Dragon Sword and accepting of his dark past.
It is clear to see from the start that Sendatsu's unusual skill gives him the early advantage and Martil has to use all his speed and experience to hold him off. Martil will throw dirt and stones, try to use the sun and the surroundings to put Sendatsu off and get some sort of advantage.
As Martil grows more used to Sendatsu's style of fighting and different sword, the tempo of the fight will change. Martil will try to get closer, to use his shorter swords and cramp up Sendatsu's extravagant strokeplay.
Sendatsu hasn't fought anyone who can improvise the way Martil can and will have to use all his own speed to hold him off.
Sendatsu is used to losing (to his father) and this strengthens him.
Martil has never lost - and this also strengthens him.
It will all come down to one tiny slip or mistake and the other will pounce.
But, remember, their children rest on the other fighter not walking out of the arena.
Neither will let that happen.
I see Martil sacrificing himself to get in the fatal blow. Sendatsu will not be expecting someone to give up their own life like that and won't be able to stop himself from delivering a killer strike - but that has got Martil close enough to use his swords.
Technically neither would win - and neither would lose. Sendatsu will get in the first, fatal blow but Martil will live long enough to say goodbye.
And that's the best answer I can give ...


  1. Hi Duncan! Ever since I picked up Harry Potter when I was four, I've loved fantasy. That love continued with Rowan of Rin, etc, but my favourite fantasy book is, and for a while has been Bridge of Swords. Without it I don't think I'd be doing anything productive that I am doing now. I'm only 15, year 10, and I live in Belmont, Perth. A while back my Bridge of Swords, Valley of Shields and Wall of Spears went missing! Knowing the area I live in I'm assuming they were stolen...but I may have lost them. and it broke my heart, honestly. On the 18th of March this year when I turned 15, my Grandmother bought me the first book again. To my excitement, when I opened it, I was welcomed with, "Happy Birthday Renee, and Happy Reading! Duncan Lay." And that made it the best birthday ever. Nanna said she asked you if I'd like it and that I like fantasy. When she was walking away from Dymocks in Belmont Forum she read the blurb and realised it was the series I worshiped. At school, this year and last year I was/am in the extended English class. We had to do a presentation on a book and I chose Valley of Shield, my favourite. Since 2011 I've been writing on a site called Wattpad, my second home. I've only ever put poetry on there and fanfictions, but soon I will be uploading my original fantasy adventure, The Spirit Chronicles: Emerald Peril. It might be a trilogy, it might have more, I'm not sure! But I was inspired by you. And don't worry, my Great Aunt and Great Grandmother bought me the other two books, also autographed! Thank you so much for inspiring me, and I hope to become a fantasy writer (also, and English and Japanese teacher!) just like you.

    From Renee Acott.

  2. Dear Renee,
    What a wonderful comment! Thanks so much for taking the time to write to me and I'm just delighted that the series has had such an impact on you. That's terrible you lost the original ones but thank goodness I was able to sign one for you! I will have to sign the others for you as well next time I am in Perth! Good luck with your writing and teaching ambitions. Believe in yourself, keep working and you will get there!
    All the best,

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