Bryan Cole’s Futility of Defense Wins Top Prize in International Book Award Contest

March 25 10:04 2024
Futility of Defense, Book 2 of A Paladin’s Journey is recognized for its outstanding writing, design and overall market appeal out of thousands of books submitted into the Book Excellence Awards.

Bryan Cole is the multiple award-winning author of Beginning of Arrogance and Futility of Defense, the first two books in the epic fantasy series, A Paladin’s Journey. Recognized with numerous international literary awards, five-star reviews and accolades, the series explores what it means to be called to divine service by a deity, in a world where gods are manifestly real.

A long-time fan of the fantasy and science fiction genres, Bryan grew up reading and watching everything he could find in those domains, and his love for stories about heroes, villains, magic, and dragons never dimmed. After enjoying a long career in the enterprise software space, with decades of experience delivering presentations and technical sessions to customers all over the world, Bryan developed a unique skill set of crafting words and conveying emotion. In 2022, he finally made the time to take the hundreds of pages of notes, stories, and adventure ideas he had and committed them to the page. With two books released thus far, the story and characters are a testament to Bryan’s passion and dedication for writing, with a total of seven books already plotted out for the series.

In this one-on-one interview, Bryan shares his background and experience writing book two of the series, Futility of Defense.

Tell us about Futility of Defense, Book 2 of A Paladin’s Journey.

Futility of Defense takes place in a small fishing town called Watford, which has come under increasingly deadly assaults from monstrous foes from the sea. Krell, the titular paladin of the series, has been called by ReckNor, the god of the seas and skies, to defend the faithful from harm.

Throughout the story, Krell experiences the consequences of his actions, both in this book and book 1 in the series, Beginning of Arrogance. This is a recurring theme, that the freedom to choose is one thing, but the consequences of that choice must be accepted.

With the strength of his friends, Krell triumphs against a rising threat from an unexpected source and learns that the vicious war against the sea devils has been repeating in cycles for centuries. As his character grows and develops, he comes to understand that there is more to life than violence, and more than one way to serve his god. His ultimate realization is that no war has ever been won through defense.

Ending with a dramatic climax, Futility of Defense takes Krell’s story in an intriguing direction, with plenty of twists and turns in store for him in the upcoming books of the series!

What inspired you to write Futility of Defense, Book 2 of A Paladin’s Journey?

One of the things I craved in fantasy literature, but could rarely find, was how tangibly real deities with observable divine miracles would influence the world people live in. The paladin trope often has them as noble and virtuous warriors who are good throughout. However, in the series, the major theme of subverting the paladin genre is paramount. Krell often struggles with the mantle of paladin and will readily use stealth, trickery, deception, and other dishonorable behavior to keep him and his friends alive.

Another major theme of the series is accepting the consequences of your actions. Many of the events in Beginning of Arrogance needed to be followed through their progression, for both good and ill. So, many parts of Futility of Defense focus on the outcomes of choices Krell made, some of which are completely unexpected.

My goal in introducing these original themes into the fantasy genre as a whole was to create a deeply enjoyable and relatable book series for readers to enjoy.

How did you feel when you found out you received a Book Excellence Award?

When I first started writing, I thought writing the book would be the hardest part. When I started editing and receiving feedback from editors and beta readers, I thought editing would be the

hardest part. Turns out, marketing is definitely the hardest part! I’m pleased to have found the Book Excellence Awards and to have been recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy category.

How did your background and experience influence your writing?

I’ve been telling stories for decades, first through my love of tabletop roleplaying games like Dungeons and Dragons, and later through my career in enterprise software. A great analogy can help people understand complex technology problems in easily understandable terms, and I’ve honed and developed that skill for years.

So, when a friend of mine discovered the reams of notes and content I’d written about Krell, they suggested I should write a novel. Beginning of Arrogance was the outcome of that project, where I discovered I loved the writing process!

What is one message you would like readers to remember?

More than anything, I hope readers walk away happy with their read!

Secondly, the themes of duty and honor not being incompatible with friendship and love is something I hope everyone takes to heart as they look to their own work/life balance.

Finally (and somewhat crassly), I encourage readers to leave reviews wherever they find my books available for sale. As an independent author, this would be extremely helpful!

Purchasing the Book

Futility of Defense is available for sale on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Nook, Google Play, and other online bookstores. Readers are encouraged to purchase their copy today:

For updates on the series and new book releases, visit: To connect with Bryan, follow him on Facebook (@FatPaladin), Instagram (@fatpaladinbooks) or Twitter (@fatpaladinbooks).

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