The story. . .
In the ancient Kingdom of Parmall, Sam Hatcher lives a simple life with his parents—until the day he turns sixteen.
Then Sam meets Rigby Skeet, a wisecracking guard who calls himself a "Sword for Hire." The two uncover a plot that has imprisoned King Olive in a dungeon guarded by the terrifying Boneman. The king’s evil (and very strange) brother now rules the kingdom.
Sam then joins Rigby on an cross-country adventure—encountering evil guards, a magical sorcerer, and even a beautiful girl held captive.
. . . and the story behind the story
In 1979, 22 year-old terminally-ill cancer patient Will Allen surprised friends and family with his manuscript for "Swords for Hire," a funny, exciting fantasy story about a sixteen year-old boy, a wisecracking guard, a good king, his evil brother, and the very scary "Boneman."
Twenty-two years later, Allen’s brother resurrected the manuscript and entered a preliminary version in a national contest, where it won an award. The finished book includes a foreword by Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson.