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Haunting magic, perilous beauty, a second chance--here is the tale of An Ogham Wood|
An Ogham Wood
Author: Cliff Seruntine
Publisher: Avalonia Books
Category: Contemporary Fantasy Level: All
Where does one begin the tale of An Ogham Wood? Perhaps with the Lady Elidurydd who was born three thousand years ago in wooded Wales and fell in love with a stag of the forest. Or perhaps the tale should begin fifteen hundred years later with Dylan O’Shee, exiled prince of a lost Irish kingdom who had the gift of finding souls. Maybe it truly begins with the vanishing of the Hundred Horsemen, for it was then a band of wandering Celtic tinkers appeared with a vision to save the fading faerie folk of the West.
Aye, in any and all these places the tale could begin, and others too, for the lives of many, mortals and not, have been woven into the myth of the Ogham Wood. But let us begin it in the moment, in the last days of the Island of Manannan, with Sweyn deSauld, a man bereft of family, of hope, and even his right mind.
>> Once upon a time, there was a sailor who had lost all he loved and fell to doing terrible things. And then he found he was empty, and all that was left for him was the lonely sea. So there he passed the wandering days, trying to forget. But he was not forgotten. For his lost wife was from the Island, a hidden place where enchanted things still dwell in the green world. And the old witch of the Island made plots for the sailor. She called up a magic wind, and forgetfulness, and drew him into something terrible and wonderful, and far too big for a shattered man who walks the brink of madness. But ghosts and a pinch of faerie luck may yet shape the fate of Sweyn, heir to a legacy he does not want and quite beyond his imagination. For on the Island he shall encounter Coppin, a cantankerous old codger who keeps the secrets of Dundubh Cottage. And Oak Peg, a recluse who dwells in the wood, brewing potions and making cheese. And Donald, the woodsman who broods on a terrible loss. But, most wondrously, he shall encounter Caitlin, a strange raven-haired girl who sings by night in the lonely wood, and who is said to have no soul. And over them all is the Pact, and the fate of the Island depends upon whether Sweyn can keep it. But how much hope can one hang upon a madman? <<
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Cliff Seruntine’s haunting novel is due to be published by Avalonia Books, based in Britain, in March 2011. Avalonia is well known for their numerous works on pagan mysteries and occult scholarship and this will be their first work of fiction. Sorita d’Este, the editor of the publishing house, stated, “We don’t normally publish fiction, but this is a story that had to be told.”
Avalonia Books maintains a lively online presence and between their many blogs, websites and Facebook presences there has been a lot of excitement building about this novel. It is different. Building carefully on the legends and lore of the ancient Celts, it crosses the genres of contemporary fantasy and historical fiction. It is set against an epic history tracing back thousands of years to the present and chronicles the survival of a people who held to the faerie faith in a world with no more time or place for magic. And yet the story does not read like an epic. It is close and personal, at times raw and gritty, at times bittersweet and romantic, always written in a style of prose that is vivid, powerful and unforgettable, like a bard’s song.
Set amid the mists of a vast primeval forest on one of the thousands of tiny wild islands off the west coast of Canada, the tale has the lush feel of Arthurian legend even though it takes place in the present. Against a resplendent tapestry of mythic history, laced with characters who seem to reach right down into the deepest archetypes, Mr. Seruntine’s tale is full of the subtle magic of the earth. One can almost smell the fragrance of the ancient wood, feel the cool green shadows, hear the whispering of small, fey voices at the verge where reality and imagination meet. This is a tale for all those who believe in redemption and timeless love, and those who yearn for the magic of an older, greener time . . .
Cliff Seruntine spent nearly half his life in the wild lands of North America's Pacific northwest and years sailing the treacherous, beautiful waters off its coast. A folklorist, Mr. Seruntine has studied the faerie faith of various European and North American indigenous cultures. A deep ecologist and homesteader, Mr. Seruntine has first-hand knowledge of the simple skills and lifeways of honest, rural living that the characters of An Ogham Wood possess.
Author's Notes: An Ogham Wood is the product of a lifetime's love for fairy tales and the enchanted. I can't say how pleased I am to see the interest blossoming around this book. If you would like updates on the tale and its publication, please join the Facebook group, An Ogham Wood. If you would like to contact me or find out about upcoming books on The Voyage of the Trees trilogy, please feel free to add me on Facebook.
Where To Buy: Avalonia Books, Amazon.com or any bookstore.
There is now a Kindle version, $6.99 in the US and Canada.
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