On October 145th, 950 years ago, England and its peaceful, wealthy Anglo Saxon society was brutally destroyed by the Norman Conquest. The consequences of this have resonated through the centuries, even to this day.
Many years ago, my ever wayward Muse sent me ideas for an alternative history version of the lead up to the battle, This inspiration blossomed into a novel, then called Prince of Ravens, One where Celtic warriors helped by pagan magic and courageous Saxon warriors take on the might of William the Bastard's army...with a very different ending.
It is a visceral, adult-orientated book set in an alternative Britain, highlighting the turbulent events leading up to 1066. Only this is a world where the Normans have acquired primitive steam-powered weaponry and the Celtic Twilight realms of Ireland, Wales, Cornwall and Brittany are still staunchly pagan and have the use of formidable ancient magic to defend them. Anglo-Saxon England is a prize many powerful enemies seek, a peaceful, prosperous Christian realm under the saintly but ineffective and ailing Edward the Confessor. His death without an heir, will unleash a great storm of greed, ambition and a bloody struggle for power which will change his country for ever.
The book’s narrative is seen from the eyes of three people. Hereward, a young Saxon nobleman who is sent as an envoy/hostage to the Norman court of William the Bastard. Naïve yet courageous, what he learns in Normandy places both him and his beloved England in the gravest of dangers. There is thirteen year old Seren, a Welsh novice witch, deceptively vulnerable from her blindness, she is gifted with the ability to communicate with mysterious other dimensions and beings. She will endure many dangers, both from human hands and a supernatural evil from a shocking source. At the centre of the book is an Irish mercenary, Brandon of the Golden Harp, a devil may care charmer, a gifted musician and skilled in both warfare and seduction. He is also a man who harbours an unknown dark secret in his soul, one that if released could endanger mankind itself.
In 2O15, Telos Publishing brought out this novel now called Death's Dark Wings .