It’s Friday once again, and time for another Lost Dogs introduction. This is the first time in the series that the introduction does not describe the location where the story takes place, but rather some other aspect of the world. In this case it’s about International Rail, the company that runs pretty much all of the train traffic within the civilized world.
International Rail. The fifth super power. The hand that moves the pieces across the board.
A network of railroads spanning the entire civilized world. Its employees numbering more than a small country’s population, and its management structure so hidden in the shadows not even the elves know who’s at the top.
Ever expanding. Ever changing.
Always the same. Always the train.
It’s how the world rolls, as the old slogan goes.
It’s how you get from A to B, and back again, or on to C.
It’s how you travel.
Cheaper than airships. More comfortable than horse and cart – or donkey, or camel, or the dog drawn sleds of the cold dark north. Easier than walking. Faster than anything.
No one messes with International Rail.
Not the Empire of Mahradia. Not the secret police of The Republic. Nor the thugs and gangsters of the east and south, or the warlords in the west.
It’s not even the law. It’s just not done.
For everyone’s heard the stories. Rumours and lies and urban legends. Whispers in the dark. In alleys and bars. In board rooms and courts. And everyone knows someone who’s heard something, about someone, who saw something. It’s just the way it is.
You don’t mess with international rail.
They make their own rules.
They have their own currency, gods, and superstitions.
And when an International Rail security guard tells you to do something, you’d better listen.
That’s it for this time.
Much of this book takes place on a train, and events on a train station are important. It seemed like a good idea to include a little bit of the importance and power of the company that runs the trains. It’s been hinted at in previous books, but not much has been given away as far as actual information goes.
Originally, the series was going to be called Werewolves On A Train, and the actual train travel was going to be a bigger part of if, but in the end it didn’t turn out like that. I’m also quite happy I managed to come up with a better name.
Bonus content this week is a short poem-like section from chapter 19. It does show a little of what’s to come, but I wouldn’t say it contains any major spoilers.
Silver Skin: Chapter 19 (excerpt)
A waning moon looks down on two wanderers lost in the night.
Side by side.
The old wolf. The fledgeling monster.
Broken and scarred. Within and without.
Beasts without beauty.
And sure he is handsome, and sure she is sweet.
Rugged charm and youthful vigour.
Blood on his hands. Blood on her skin.
Killers. Fighters. Murderers. Monsters.
Alone in the night, and side by side.
Running for a past long gone. Searching for a future not undone.
Clinging to hope. Chasing a dream.
There we go. That’s all for this time. If you’re curious to learn more about the Lost Dogs series, I’d recommend checking the About page, here.
You’ll also find the first Introduction chapter, for Lost Dogs #1: Last Fight of the Old Hound, here.
If you’re already sold and just want to start reading, I’d recommend picking up Lost Dogs: Betrayals. It’s an omnibus edition, containing the first five books in the series, and it’s available here.
Finally, if you do check out the book, please leave a review, it’s very much appreciated.