A dramatic story of tumultuous 6th century
Scotland blending Celtic myth and Arthurian lore
Read the novels of
the Dragon Skies, Beneath A Dragon Sky, The Last Dragon
Harper, Dragon Harper Curse, & Red
Knight and Dragon Skies, the history of Myrddin, the last Dragon
Harper. Dragon Skies is a thrilling, dark and sensual story of war
and revenge set in 6th Century Scotland. Driven mad at the Battle of
Arderydd when his lord died and his dreams were destroyed, Lailoken,
the last of the great dragon harpers, arises from pain and madness
to seek redemption and revenge. A culmination of myth and legend,
blending history and fantasy of the war plagued years that led to
the rise of Northumbria with the life of a simple man of poetic
heart and warrior soul.
One lonely man, fated
by the gods to walk the battlefields and witness the events, will
become legend. This is the history of Lailoken, known as Myrddin,
the last dragon harper.
Dragon Skies is the dark and magical history of northern Britain in
the late sixth century. The series is a historical fantasy of
the life of Lailoken, whom I believe to be the same individual as
Myrddin ab Morvryn, the Scottish Merlin, one of the three great
harpers of Britain. The series explores the dying struggles of the
last alliances of the Romano-British North. Just as the southern
British strength died with Arthur, the Northern kingdoms were to
meet their challenge in the final decades of the sixth century. I
have taken this story from the fragments of Dark Age poetry and
legend, blending history and Celtic myth with my beliefs of the
possible. There are aspects, motifs and legendary fragments of the
Arthurian period woven into the history.
Beneath a Dragon Sky
Beneath a Dragon
Sky begins the journey through this troubled land. Bran the
Blessed seeks to fulfill his dreams of restoring his people; but the
fates have another design. In the midst of the North, Ceidioís
kingdom along the old Roman wall is locked between powerful enemies
and will find its greatest enemy in its own shadow when Peredur
Steel Arm comes to claim his legacy.
Extraordinary men are born in the dark moments of our greatest
struggles, their destinies entwined in the fate of our world.
Ill-fated and divinely gifted at birth, Lailoken was destined to be
the voice of the new Grail king. But Peredurís betrayal of Bran and
the battles to reclaim his fatherís lands in the Pennines have
scattered the Grail family. The treasures have been stolen and
hidden from Peredurís pillage of the old lands. And fate has deemed
that Lailoken will merge his destiny with Gwenddolau, son of Ceidio.
The tragic death of his mentor, the great harper Lofernios, and the
political marriage of his first love to Rhydderch of Alclut, forces
Lailoken to face his pain and start down the path to become the
greatest harper of the North. The dreams of a young man with a soul
for music will be tested.
Ö This is, without question, a superior book of type and can
hold its own against any book in any category. Here there is
intrigue, romance, love, hatred, life and death - all blending
into characters with a realism that is rare and always
welcome... Scott Semler, author of ĎDragonís Headí.
The Last Dragon Harper
The Last Dragon Harper
completes the story of Lailokenís early years. The old enmities
between the clans have seeped through the fabric of the land and
Lailoken gets caught in the midst of a storm of war even as he
fights to find love and happiness. The legendary march of Rhun from
the land of Gwynedd to the highlands of Fortrenn leave a changed
land. With the death of Ceidio, Gwenddolau assumes his fatherís
crown and with Lailoken, now master of Lochmaben, they struggle to
rebuild the lands behind Hadrianís wall.
Lailoken will fight with all his strength to hold onto his bright
dream, to stand at Gwenddolauís side, and to seek to love again. In
the struggles to regain Ceidio's lands, Lailoken has a vision of a
lost land held in subjugation by the growing might of the Angle
kings of Bernicia, a vision of war and blood and the leering face of
Gwrgi, Peredur's cousin and adviser. Working to rebuild Lochmaben,
his personal struggles with his marriage to Gwenddoloena, and the
birth of Nimue, his daughter by Mebd, he is haunted by the vision.
Journeying into the heart of the Angle lands and the Border
kingdoms, he works to find common ground for peace even as prophecy
leads him toward his fate.
Realizing that he must face his vision and confront Gwrgi and
Peredur, he travels to Eboracum (York) and sues for peace between
Peredur and Gwenddolau. But in the very act of seeking peace,
Lailoken gives Gwrgi the means to split the British kingdoms further
apart, ending in the great battle at Arderydd in 573CE where Peredur
and his forces destroy Gwenddolau.
Dragon Harper Curse
Arderydd was a place of magic
and legend even as Camelot. The destiny of the North was decided on
the plain before its gates, the destruction of its fortress will set
into motion a chain of events that will lead to the rise of
Northumbria. Unable to bear the pain of his lordís death, Lailoken
is driven mad. But madness and a thirst for revenge will lead
Lailoken on the road to seek the death of Peredur.
Madness has a way of making a man lose himself. In Curse,
Lailoken struggles with the dual spirit of his life as Myrddin, one
aspect seeking revenge and the other a chance at life and love. Each
step that Myrddin takes toward the light of a healed soul, Lailoken
leaps in frenzy to destroy his enemies.
As Lailoken begins his journey back from madness, he finds a
changed world. Peredur has extended his control into the Pennines
and to the edge of Galloway, setting up a subject king Cunomarus in
Gwenddolau's old lands. Lailoken is captured and brought to live in
the shadows of Rhyderrch's Alclut, his only consolation the
closeness of Gwendydd, his first love and Rhydderch's queen.
The beautiful tragic legend of Tristan and Iseult is blended into
the storyline, when Cunomarus, the Mark of legend, falls in love
with the haunting return of his lost Isolde, Lailoken's first wife,
Gwenddoloena. But Drustan, Cunomarus' nephew, is also in love with
the beautiful Gwenddoloena and the triangle of love begins to
unravel the tenuous peace of the land. Kentigern, bishop of Alclut,
must seek out Branwen to uncover the past and find a way to keep the
land from war.
Lailoken's cattle stampede at the wedding and his destruction of
Cunomarus becomes a catharsis that focuses his mind toward the dual
goal of revenge against Gwrgi and a land of peace where his people
and the Angles of Bernicia can coexist.
Red Knight and Dragon
Red Knight and Dragon Skies
finishes the story begun in Dragon Harper Curse.
In Red Knight and Dragon Skies, Lailoken fulfills his dream
to destroy Peredur and Gwrgi in retribution. History tells us that
Peredur Steel Arm and Gwrgi were killed at the Battle of Caer Grau
around 580CE. The location of Caer Grau is not known and speculation
covers locations from the Pennines into the Lothians. My own
speculation and decision was to equate the location with Dun Guaroi,
the fort that would later become Bamburgh, across from Medcaut/
Lailoken will join the delegation from Columcille, the historical
St Columba of Iona, as he seeks to bring Christianity and peace to
the Angles. But fate has a way of rearing its ugly head. Even as
Columcille steps onto the path of peace, intrigues and schemes
slither in the background. Using the Ionan delegation as subterfuge,
Peredur sets into motion plans to crush the Angles and seek revenge
against past allies and kinsmen. As the road winds uneasily toward
war, new powers begin to rise in the land. Urien Rheged moves to
solidify his control of the West. Rhyderrch seizes the lands to the
old wall even as his dal Riadan ally, Aedan mac Gabran, tests his
kingship of the isles. But none of the Western kings grasp the
strength of the Angle kings and their belief in the prophecy that
they will rule the land from sea to sea.
Peredur has also been associated closely with the Grail knight
Parsifal and in the background of my storyline the legend floats, a
deeper current of mystery behind Peredurís foolish actions. For
Lailoken is the cupbearer, the keeper of the blessed cup and graal
hidden even from his sight by his mentor and teacher Lofernios. In
his mind, the cup would not hold the same significance placed upon
it by Peredur. Lailokenís efforts are to preserve and protect the
bloodline and heir of Bran, Galaad, the son of Anguselus and Elayne.
His daughter, Nimue, shall grow to become the legendary Lady of the
Continuation of the
Following the death of Peredur,
the storyline will split into two segments. The first will tell the
legends of Urien Rheged and his battles with the Angles. The second
will tell the legend of the final days of Artwyr and the search for
the lost treasures. As the two segments draw to a close, we begin
the final chapters that retell the poetic battle of the Gododdin,
the last ditch effort by the British forces to halt the Angle kings,
and the last days of Lailoken.
Other stories that are part of the series but not in the main
storyline will include Tapestry - the legend of Drustan and
Isolde, Red Knight - the story of Peredur Steel Arm, and
Loathly - the romance of Gawain and Cundrie.
If you would like to book Jim
for an in-store event or booksigning, call 770-335-5806 for
Purchase Dragon Skies novels at many online sites such as Amazon,
Barnes & Noble, and more. Both paperback and hardcopy versions are
available. Kindle versions now available at a great price. Get your
copy of the Kindle software on your PC, your iPhone/iTouch, or with
a great Kindle device. Click on the image icon of each book for the
Beneath A Dragon Sky: Dragon Skies Book I Incipit
The Last Dragon Harper: Dragon Skies Book 1 Finis
Dragon Harper Curse: Incipit
Red Knight and Dragon Skies: Dragon Skies Book 2 Finis