The Freebooters:
Too Brief but Still a Gem

Review by Richard A. Tucker
January 13, 2008



Now that the STORYTELLER project is history this is one of the best ways to appreciate what Barry was trying so hard to do. With his pen in hand, brain in gear and sometimes his tongue in his cheek this man put it all on paper. It’s an epic fantasy that left the epic in the tone but revealed the all too human underside of all legends. Axus once had the status of a rogue hero and now he’s just a schemer, thief and bar owner. His staff likes him and they’re an odd lot but not in that they’re particularly weird, they just have a loyalty that is instinctive instead of rational. Then there’s Axus’ past. It’s ominous and sometimes too full of the epic rhetoric to be believed.

Now, he’s overweight, somewhat rude, crude and often blithely ignorant of his actual place in the world but he’s still fun to hang out with. Then there’s the new guy, Aran. He’s seeking Axus for reasons of an impending doom that he believes hovers over civilization and even has a run-in with a particularly evil sort, but is so traumatized by the event he’s can hardly recall what happened. Somehow Aran thinks Axus is the man who can do something about this impending doom. Is he sadly mistaken?