Monday, 9 December 2013

Blood, violence, love and mayhem - for 98p

 Here’s something that may be of interest to fans of medieval action/fantasy. My 2012 novel, DARK NORTH, published by Abaddon Books, will be available (in its ebook incarnation) at the one-day-only price of 98p on Wednesday December 11.

DARK NORTH was originally commissioned as part of the MALORY'S KNIGHTS OF ALBION series, the aim of which was to tell grand tales about the adventures of King Arthur’s lesser known knights. In my case, I focussed on Sir Lucan, the Black Wolf of the North, a fearsome, at times pitiless warrior, who held Arthur’s northern frontier, where all kinds of battles were required to be fought against Picts, bandits and of course those countless cthonic monsters, who, driven out of the heart of the kingdom, had now found a home in the forests and mountains of its wild fringes. Indeed, the book opens with Lucan’s hunt for the infamous Penharrow Worm – a colossal serpent that has been eating sheep, cattle, villagers, you name it – which gruesome scene hopefully sets the tone for what is to come.

Of course, it isn’t just monsters that Lucan has to deal with. Thanks to his upbringing at the knee of his father, Duke Corneus, a terrifying, facially-scarred figure, who ruled these lands as cruel tyrant in the days of Uther Pendragon, the young Warden of the March is now in a constant struggle with his own inner demons. He is a fearless soldier in the cause of Camelot, but a dark inner-personality always lurks close at hand. For much of the time this is kept in check by the fine example and wise counsel of his king, his squire, Alaric, his brother, Sir Bedivere, and his beautiful wife, Trelawna. The ordinary folk living in his thrall thus trust him, and his own knights are resolutely loyal. But when the newly reinvigorated Roman Empire, under the control of the outwardly charismatic but secretly insane Emperor Lucius, looks to win back the lands of the British, an epic war commences.

Lucan is called up to fight, as are all the Knights of the Round Table, but for him the conflict soon becomes very personal – when his beloved Trelawna, tired of her husband’s dark and dangerous moods, flees to the arms of her lover, a Roman officer in Lucius’s gigantic army. Lucan, deeply humiliated, gives full vent to his wrath. Not only will he slay his way to his treacherous former love, and punish all those responsible for her seduction, he will punish her as well – possibly to the ultimate extent. And yet this won’t be easy, because the aristocratic family Trelawna has now attached herself to are the dreaded Malconi clan – renowned for their powers of sorcery. At the same time, Lucan's best friend, Alaric, who has always loved Trelawna from a distance, has determined that, whatever happens, however deceitful she has been, she will never die by her own husband's sword ...

As I say, DARK NORTH can be yours (the e-version, and for one day only) for just 98p, on December 11.

(The book was originally available under both the images shown here, but only for a brief time. The one at the top was finally settled on as the preferred cover).

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