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Thursday, 19 May 2016

Redemption and resolution

Six years ago, whilst Amanda was pregnant with Henry, I began writing a fantasy book. At the time I had an idea in my brain of a heroine who would find mysterious powers of magic and use these powers to flee her slavery and join two wily thieves on a quest for some magic crystals.

 The concept evolved, far broader than I'd planned as these things often do, and what was once a two book series expanded into three and then after splitting the first meaty tome in twain, into a six book series (despite the 'trilogy' title on the FB page... LOL).

And, six years after I put digit to keyboard, bringing to life scribbles in notepads, and over half a million words later, book six is almost here. In the last throes of proof-reading, I have the distinct pleasure to reveal the incredible new cover for the book.

One of the great relationships I have enjoyed from the early bizarre days of FIBP and through the growth of the mighty Myrddin Publishing Group is the one I have with Ceri Clark. As well as her skills as an author, and writer of internet guides, Ceri has a real talent for book cover design. This has worked in synergy with ideas I have had regarding images, and she can take the raw substance and create some remarkable work. As you'll see below, Ceri's six book covers in my Darkness Rising series, form a great set.

The latest cover was a real challenge. Thus far we have had representations of Emelia (bk1-2), Hunor (bk3), Orla (bk4) and Kervin (bk5). For Book 6 I had always planned for Jem, who is perhaps the other key character in the series (along with Vildor and Aldred). Yet from an early stage I had such a strong image of Jem in my mind that nothing could replace it (if you are interested, I visualise him as David Thewlis as Professor Lupin).

So the image on book six is a representation of one of my series favorites, Ekris, the thespian assassin whose journey with Aldred was driven by his need for vengeance towards Hunor. Book five's finale saw the long awaited fight between the two master-swordsmen, and Book six takes Ekris into some strange uncharted territory in a way you simply won't believe. The hooded assassin, bearing a passing likeness to Ezio from Assassin's Creed, is stood in the ruins of a once great city--the finale location of the series, Erturia.

In a lot of ways, Ekris has changed the most as a character through the books. In the outset he was manipulative and murderous, throwing wit into his killing with panache and style. He borrows from Tarantino-esque hitmen, with a professional pride in the cleanliness of his kills. Yet it is the unabashed friendship from Aldred that chips away at his cold stone soul, and by book four he struggles to leave this one friend he has gained. Ekris wears many faces, and in that he has lost who he is, and so it is with a certain irony that he becomes the minion of the theatrical ghast, Tonrik, whose warped mind embellishes eternal life with drama and self-indulgence. Tonrik's hold on him becomes ever stronger, and we were left at the end of book five with no idea how Ekris would resolve this domination, and atone for the demons of his own past.

So... let's finish with the blurb, and the promise that the book is almost almost here.....

'There's no change without loss. No gain without sacrifice. Redemption is rarely painless.'

War has ripped apart Artoria as the dark forces of Vildor prepare for the final battle. Flying north to battle, Lady Orla forms an uneasy alliance with the Artorians. Yet her heart remains heavy with the guilt of recent betrayal.

In the wilderness of the Wastes, Emelia has succumbed to Vildor's black charm and watches
helplessly as his schemes come to their terrible conclusion. Separated from his partner, Hunor, the Wild-Mage Jem races across Artoria to save Emelia. But more than just Vildor stands in his way as the terrors of the past seek to steal the might of the crystals from his grasp, and with them all hope of salvation.

OOOHH... getting excited now :-D

* If you want to check Ceri Clark's website and work out, then click here


  1. Ooohh!!! Hopping from foot to foot!

  2. It's been a great journey, helped hugely by yourself!