Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Blood and vengeance from the Dark North

Fancy a story about love, hatred, blood and revenge with a few flesh-tearing, bone-crushing monsters thrown in for good measure?

Course you do, otherwise you wouldn’t be on this blog, would you?

It’s not very often that I post information about my works in progress, but while ABADDON BOOKS are now happy to start promoting my next novel, DARK NORTH, I thought “Hell, why not drop a few hints myself?”

It’s part of the KNIGHTS OF ALBION series, which chart the adventures of those lesser known knights of the Round Table as they pursue personal quests in the mysteriously anachronistic but incredibly brutal and dangerous Dark Ages that the medieval poet and warrior Thomas Malory described in his vivid writings.

DARK NORTH focuses on Sir Lucan, the ‘Black Wolf of the North’, one of the more enigmatic and vengeful figures associated with Arthurian legend. Essentially he was a good guy, but he was only human too, and we humans are not always known for turning the other cheek when our plans and dreams are thwarted.

Here’s the official blurb as it currently appears on Amazon:

When King Arthur faces a challenge for his crown from the reinvigorated Roman Empire, he must call his supporters from every corner of the British Isles. One of these, Sir Lucan, the ‘Black Wolf of the North’, has more reason than most to join the coming campaign. Lucan's beautiful wife, Trelawna, hoping to lead a new, better life in Italy, absconded with a young Roman officer. Lucan, already a fierce warrior but now with tainted blood due to his battle with the Penharrow Worm, thus turns the mission into a bitter personal vendetta. His former squire, Alaric, soon comes to fear for his overlord's soul, but is more afraid still for the safety of Lady Trelawna, whom he always loved from a distance. Meanwhile, the Roman family Trelawna has fallen in with are the influential Malconi clan, and their matriarchal head is the sorceress Zenobia. She sees it as her motherly duty to stop Lucan with any demonic force she can summon ...

The above image is currently being used to promote the book, which will be launched next March, though this may not be the final cover art (even though I think it pretty well captures the mood). Put it this way, like most Arthurian texts, DARK NORTH, contains plenty of pageantry and romance, but it also takes a long, unstinting look at the grim reality of medieval warfare and the savagery of an unconquered land still riddled with nefarious pagan forces (not to mention the savagery required to finally bring it to heel).

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