Skip to main content

Sword of Goliath

Book Synopsis

It is October 1934, a time of great change in the world. In the middle of the Great Depression, there are new, darker governments beginning to rise around the world. But in the stately home of Manley Manor, such matters feel a million miles away to our hero, twelve-year-old Brody Wallace. In less than twenty-four hours, his father, daring aviator, Lord John Wallace, is to compete in the greatest air race the world has ever seen and is hosting a lavish party to celebrate. All the best pilots from around the world are in attendance, and all are hoping to be the fastest to fly from Mildenhall, England, to Melbourne, Australia and win a fantastic prize.

The problem is, Brody is none to enthusiastic about the whole affair. He dislikes aeroplanes and is much more interested in spending time with his eccentric grandfather, archaeologist Fergus Wallace, Earl of Manley, with whom Brody has much more in common. Fergus has recently returned from the Middle East with a map he claims will lead him to the ancient city of Babylon and the legendary Sword of Goliath, an artefact said to imbue anyone who holds it with the power of God. For three thousand years, the Sword remained under the protection of five Immortal warriors. But now someone has found a way to do the seemingly impossible, and kill them. Claiming he was entrusted to keep the map safe by Isaac, the last of the five, Fergus is intent on seeing that request through.

With his head bursting with tales of adventure, Brody reluctantly attends the party only to find his world turned upside down when his father suddenly announces his engagement to American girlfriend and female pilot Mary Chandler, who is also competing in the race.

Feeling betrayed and angry, Brody bolts from the party only to see his grandfather being pursued into the grounds of Manley Manor by two of the guests, Baron Gustav Von Schillinghauser and Count Carlo Salvaggio.

Suspicious of their intentions, Brody follows and discovers that the Baron and the Count are here not just to race. They know of the Sword and are intent on kidnapping Fergus, and forcing him to decipher the map’s clues, whilst using the race to cover their tracks. When the Baron explains how he has placed a bomb on Lord John’s aeroplane, and further claims he can detonate remotely from anywhere in the world, Fergus has little choice but to comply.

Terrified for his family’s safety, Brody confides in his friend, and daughter of his father’s co-pilot, Ellie MacNelly, and together they hatch a plan to attempt a daring rescue mission and save both his father and grandfather.

Thwarted at first by the Baron, Brody uses his natural ingenuity to secretly make a copy the map. Then, with the help of his grandfather’s student, Edmund Roach, he and Ellie hide in the small luggage hold of one of the competing aeroplanes, their aim: to reach Baghdad, find the site of ancient Babylon and get to the Sword before the Baron and Count.

Little did they know that getting to Baghdad would be the easy part. Discovered upon landing by Roscoe Richmond, pilot of the aeroplane, they are escorted to the British Embassy. However, on their way out of the airport, their car is attacked by a fearsome gang who chase Brody and Ellie through the streets into the back room of a nearby cafe. There they meet a charismatic, English speaking teenager named Kadin, whom Brody dislikes instantly. Kadin is the leader of the Demites a network of street savvy children, whose sole task is to protect the Sword with their lives, and that means stopping Brody.

An anxious exchange takes place where Brody must convince Kadin that he and Ellie are no danger to the Sword and, only by working together, can they hope to stop the real enemy, Baron Von Schillinghauser.

After a frantic search, they are joined by Roscoe and head to the ruins of Babylon where they find a trail of slaughter and destruction left by the Baron and Count. They race to catch their quarry, but the Baron is always one step ahead and when he takes Ellie as insurance and steals a sacred artefact known as the Tablet of Destinies from the dying grasp of an ancient Babylonian Prince, Brody’s belief that he can stop the Baron falters. The Tablet gives its owner the ability to issue three commands of their choosing and was thought to be their only chance of reaching the Sword. However, spurred on by his frosty relationship with Kadin, and desperate to get Ellie back, Brody insists he can find a new way to reach the Sword. After almost losing his life when a cave is flooded and then bravely facing a walk across a terrifying bridge of fire, he finally reaches Babylon’s ancient Armoury where the Baron, Count and Ellie are already approaching the Sword.

Taking advantage of some good fortune, Brody manages to incapacitate the Baron and Count and retrieve the Tablet of Destinies, only to come face to face with an enemy he had not anticipated … Roscoe Richmond, armed with the Sword of Goliath. In an unseen twist, Roscoe’s voice changes and he begins tearing away the skin from his skull, pulling it over his eyes and nose and lips as if he was peeling an orange. Horrified, Brody knows he and Ellie have been duped, for it is not skin, but some kind of thin rubber, glued to the true skin beneath. Brody realises the Baron and Count were merely expendable fall guys and that their real adversary had always been the man who helped them stowaway, the man who has lived as part of the Wallace family for many years, Edmund Roach.

Enraged at the betrayal, Brody bravely faces his seemingly un-defeatable enemy. He knows he can beat him, but to do so, must use the final command of the Tablet of Destinies and summon the five ancient Immortals back from dead, a command he had hoped to use to save his and Ellie’s fathers from the bomb on their aeroplane.

In an act of great faith, Brody summons the Immortals. A dramatic confrontation ensues and the Immortals take the Sword from Edmund and offer Brody the opportunity to become its new protector. Edmund furiously tries to stop Brody, but is finally killed when Isaac squeezes the life from his heart.

Noticing that the Baron and Count have escaped and being told that the Sword can no longer be safe in the Armoury, Brody reluctantly becomes the Sword’s new protector. With the help of the Immortals, he and Ellie escape the desert and find help in the unlikely form of Brody’s father’s fiancee, Mary, who has been unwittingly caught up in the whole affair. Together, they commandeer and aeroplane and take off from Baghdad only to find themselves pursued by the Baron. In a grand finale, a mid-air dogfight ensues and Brody faces his fears and uses the Sword to deflect the Baron’s relentless attacks. The Baron is finally defeated, spiraling out of the sky, and Brody and Ellie make it to Melbourne where they are re-united with their fathers.

Growing from a rather spoilt young brat to a humble young man, Brody undergoes a steady, but significant change throughout the story. The search for the Sword is also a search for the type of boy he wants to become. Many times his faith is tested, but in Ellie he finds the ultimate reason to never give in.

Copyright 2012 Paul Fredrics