While I wander the moors on which Sword of Destiny is set this weekend, the book celebrates its first year; a Kindle offer will be running for three days from 12th to 14th September. Sword of Destiny will be available for download for 0.99 during the whole of the promotion.
When I was a child I tramped the moors of Yorkshire with my mother, my grandfather and my great-grandfather. I listened to them weave the tales that brought the landscape to life. Tales of boggarts and barguests,sleeping giants and the Old Ones who walk between the worlds.
They spoke, especially my great-grandparents, with the rich dialect that is being lost, as are many of the old tales. I started writing a story, weaving the legends and the landscape I love into an adventure, preserving them for other eyes to discover in imagination. I called it Sword of Destiny.
I had only the vaguest idea of the plot when I began, but the characters took on a life of their own and it seemed all I had to do was listen as the story unfolded…..
” “Where’s that dratted brother of mine when you need him? We could use a nudge from Heilyn right now!” The old man stomped off and sat down on a large stone, muttering under his breath.
Alec turned away from the lake to scan the horizon, searching for clues. The tarn nestled between the Raydale hills. There were a few ruined buildings, small clumps of trees, but nothing stood out as a landmark. A flash of white caught his eye, the only movement in the silent landscape. He watched in a desultory manner as a pretty white mare pawed the ground and shook her mane, while his mind searched for answers. Timidly the young mare came closer. Slowly, but surely she approached the party. Sabrina was at his elbow, watching entranced.
“She’s the symbol of Epona, isn’t she? The Horse Goddess in the Celtic myths.”
“Of course. I never thought of that, I was miles away.” Alec glanced at the blade in his hand. Sabrina laughed quietly.
“See, I told you I’d come in handy!” The young woman motioned to Jamie who came to stand beside her. The white mare was very close now. “Alec look… she’s not all there!” Jamie uncharacteristically bit back the retort that sprang to his lips, it seemed not the time for teasing. He followed her gaze and saw what she meant. “Look, you can see the hills through her flanks.”
“Good Lord!” The exclamation drew all eyes to watch the final approach of the translucent, transcendent creature. Solid she seemed, white as carved ice reflecting rainbows of light. Gently she nuzzled Jamie and bent her foreleg before him, inviting the young man to mount. Jamie met the peat brown eyes of his mentor.
“Go on, lad. She’s waiting for you.”
Jamie took one deep breath and mounted, burying his hands in the snowy mane. The mare threw back her head, meeting the gaze of the companions, and then walked towards the lake. Stepping into the shallows her hooves seemed to melt away as the water lapped around them. Jamie took one last look behind him then set his face towards the centre of the lake as the deep water took them and he disappeared from sight.
Many things touched the calm acceptance that had suffused Jamie as he rode towards his destiny, but none broke through the barrier of conscious thought. He existed only in the moment, pure emotion incarnate. He felt detached, outside of reality and at peace with the rightness of his fate. As the waters closed over his head he did not fight.
On the bank, Alec held his sister as she watched, shocked to the heart, as Jamie sank into the depths. Merlin looked out across the water, searching with inner sight to see what was to come, but he could not pass the barrier of the shifting waters. All he could see was blood. From the deep, cold centre of the lake, a great bell tolled.”
Sword of Destiny
Rhea Marchant heads north to the wild and beautiful landscapes of the Yorkshire Dales where she is plunged into an adventure that will span the worlds. The earth beneath her feet reveals its hidden life as she and her companions are guided by the ancient Keeper of Light in search of artefacts of arcane power. With the aid of the Old Ones and the merry immortal Heilyn, the company seek the elemental weapons that will help restore hope to an unbalanced world at the dawn of a new era.
Set in the ancient beauty of the Yorkshire Dales, Sword of Destiny weaves the tale of a small band of friends brought together as a new age of Man unfolds. Through their personal quests, through friendship, love and laughter, they learn to see the world with a clearer vision as they battle creatures of ancient myth and legend, under the aegis of the Keeper.
“a beautifully magical story”
“a beautiful and evocative tale”
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Also available in paperback.