Hidden Things Book Cover Hidden Things
Swords of Charlemagne Book 1
Elizabeth Schechter
Historical Fantasy Romance
Independently Published
January 26, 2021

In 773 AD, Roland, a young man of King Charles’ court, was gifted with the sword Durendal. That sword was one of four swords of rare power, three of which were held by Wardens, mages charged with protecting the sacred bloodline of the Merovingian kings. The last sword was held by their mentor, the mage known to history as Turpin. That same year, a Saxon priest seeking retribution against Charles enlists the aid of a mage who seeks the swords for his own purpose, setting into motion events that lead to the battle at the Pass of Roncevaux, and to Roland’s death.

A thousand years later, a research group doing excavations in part of Aachen Cathedral uncovers a collection of books and scrolls, a ring, and a sword. As they uncover the sword, they are attacked. Summoned to the site by the power of the magical attack, Yael Mystere and his apprentice, Warden-in-training Doctor Douglas Keith discover the sole survivor – Margaret Prentice, the daughter of the man leading the excavation. A second attempt on her life fails, sending Yael, Douglas and Margaret on a quest for the power behind the attacks ─ a power that has been waiting a thousand years to win the swords at all costs.


Reviewed By Aethena Drake 

Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team

Hidden Things begins during the time of Charlemagne in his early years as Charles, King of the Franks, and follows events in the life of Turpin, the main character.  The story has some very interesting paranormal twists to events that occur during Charlemagne’s reign.  Like so many other wonderful fantasy novels, a sword is a key element to the story, but this time the reader gets to follow the path of more than one sword in more than one timeline.  One aspect of this book that I really enjoyed was the manner in which the author incorporated two distinct timelines without creating any confusion or giving the reader a chance to get bored with one of the timelines.  


This book has the elements of an epic fantasy tale full of adventure and romance.  A few underlying lessons can also be found hidden in the pages.  The variety of the  characters and the settings offer interesting perspectives on subjects such as culture, religion, gender roles, sexuality, family, and history.  


The setting for this story was elegantly crafted.  I had just enough details about the culture and time period to paint a clear picture, but not so much that I was overwhelmed by details.  The settings are compelling enough to inspire an interest in the recorded history of Charlemagne.  Did he have an archbishop named Turpin traveling with his army?  The characters and their relationships with one another are equally compelling.  I really want to get to know Roland and Turpin better, and Margret’s strength is a pleasant surprise.  


This book had so many of the elements I find in my favorite books, engaging characters , fantastic settings, a fascinating plot, and an end that leaves the reader hoping for more…  soon…  like tomorrow…