A good editor is someone who cares a little less about the author’s needs than the reader’s. — Dene October

D’Artagnan turned toward Athos and her friends. “Gentles,” said she. “Allow me to correct your words, if you please. You said you were but three, but it appears to me we are four.”

“Take your leave, ser,” scoffed Porthos. “For your part is done this day. You are not one of us.”

“That’s true,” said d’Artagnan. “But though I have not the uniform, I have the spirit. My heart is that of a musketeer. I feel it, monsieur, and that impels me on.”

The Three Musketeers

“Withdraw, stripling,” called Jussac, who by d’Artagnan’s gestures and expression had guessed at her design. “We consent to your departure. Save your skin and begone quickly.”

But d’Artagnan did not budge.

“Decidedly, you are a brave one,” said Athos, clasping the young Gascon’s shoulder.

“Musketeers, you delay your fate,” called Jussac. “Stand down or we shall charge.”

“Well,” said Porthos to Aramis, “we must do something.”

“This young warrior is most generous,” said Athos, even as she reflected upon the youth of d’Artagnan, and feared her inexperience. “Still, we will be only three experienced blades, one of whom is wounded, even with the addition of a stripling. But believe you that it will be said by all the cardinal’s force that we were four warriors who were overcome, to worsen the indignity.”

“Yes, but instead to yield?” said Porthos angrily.

“That is difficult,” murmured Athos.

“Impossible,” said Aramis.

D’Artagnan well understood the source of their indecision. “Try me, musketeers,” said she in response, “and I swear to you by my honor that I will not leave this place except in victory.”

“What is your name, my brave friend?” said Athos.

“D’Artagnan, madame.”

“Well, then,” said the elder musketeer. “Athos, Porthos, Aramis, and d’Artagnan. All for one, one for all.”

Available in hardcover, trade paperback, or as a DRM-free e-book:



The Three Musketeers

The Exile's Blade

Sidnye (Queen of
the Universe)

We Can Be Heroes

A Prayer for
Dead Kings


The Voices
of the Dead

Tales of the


One Size Fits All


The Language
of Story


Free Fiction



I remember reading multiple articles about all this manufactured outrage, and idiots crying about political correctness run amok, and how social justice warriors were just going to keep ruining everyone’s fun, and I remember getting as ticked off as I usually do about that sort of thing. But I also remember a particular thought popping into my head while I was processing all that ranting, and which just kind of hung there.

That was the thought that if I’d been the show runner on The Musketeers, I not only would have cast Howard Charles as Porthos, I would have made two of the other musketeers women. And I would have made half the characters across the entire show people of color. And I would have made half of all those men, women, POC, and white characters LGTBQ+. And then I would have just sat back and watched those “But historical accuracy!!!” jackasses while their heads exploded.

And six-odd years later, here we are…