The Sword of Forever is the fourteenth Virgin Bernice Summerfield New Adventures novel. The cover of this novel is the last to feature the "The New Adventures" titling and the "NA" logo; it is also the final to feature a conventionally illustrated cover: all future covers are computer-aided in design rather than this and previous covers' painting/drawn aesthetic. As such this is the final Virgin novel to feature Bernice Summerfield on the cover; the next prose-based publication she would appear on is 2000's Big Finish Productions' anthology The Dead Men Diaries. It is also the final monthly release in the novel series; hereafter the frequency of release was reduced.
"I'm sure the Beach Boys didn't have mutant elephants in mind when they wrote "Surfin' USA.".
When Bernice Summerfield finds human skull fragments containing her own DNA in the stomach of a mummified dinosaur, she embarks on a trail of murder and betrayal. From the alien jungles of France to the primal continent of Pangaea, the trail leads ever further back in time. Together with Patience, the cloned smart-raptor, Benny must brave alien hybrids, agents of the Knights Templar guarding a secret older than time — and have breakfast with the man who would be Emperor of Earth.
All to find the fabled Sword of Forever, a mythical device with the power to destroy and create civilisations — but at what price?
Everything goes critical as Bernice and Patience travel across 120 million years and two universes — where ancient traps guard crumbling ruins, love is unrequited, time is running out, treasure is always buried and X never fails to mark the spot.
to be added
- Bernice Summerfield marries Marillian to get a research license.
- Bernice dies...twice. She uses the Sword of Forever to create a new body for herself. When she awakens she refuses to look at her "old" body.
- Patience is a super smart velociraptor.
- Marillian owns London.
- Kenya and Somalia are sites of massive bio-infection (caused by viruses from the Dalek invasion of Earth).
- The Library of Things That Never Were reappears as the Museum of Things That Don't Exist.
- The Sword of Forever has four parts:
- To use the sword you have to die. Benny uses it.
- Knights Templar agents follow Benny throughout her quest.
- The Freemasons assassinate Benny.
- This is the last novel to have the "New Adventures" front-cover logo and title that had been in place since Oh No It Isn't! (although it was retained on the spine) and the cover design format that had been in place since Happy Endings.
- Benny trades the platinum American Express card that the Doctor gave her and Jason in PROSE: Happy Endings and Eternity Weeps.
- Benny previously encountered intelligent dinosaurs in PROSE: Blood Heat.