It’s tough being a thirteen-year old schoolboy, especially when you’re a coward and the big brother who stuck up for you is dead. Oh, and you’ve been thrust into a magical realm you’re expected to save single-handedly. Sebastian Duffy has to learn an awful lot of skills in a hurry if he is to defeat Phobitor by stealing the Spear of Lugh from the peace-loving Tuath. He’s been given some help of course–a mercurial sorceress, an orphaned druidess, a taciturn warrior, a snuff-sniffing leprechaun and a lovelorn poet– an outfit known as the Hibernauts, but can he really overcome a psychopathic, warmongering god when half the realm is bent on his destruction? If he is to have the remotest chance he will have to do deal with aiia, cluricaun, brigands, woodwose, undead warriors, speckled bats, spies, hunkypunks, traitors, skeletons and battle-swine first. And are those Tuath really so peaceable? If only he could find his courage.
An imaginative epic…an intricate and fully realised fantasy world with a big cast of likeable characters that are charming, well drawn and endearing, with wonderfully apt names. The depth and breadth of the author’s high-voltage imagination, and the richness of the world created is very impressive.
~Sam Mills, author of Blackout, The Boys Who Saved the World, and The Quiddity of Will Self
I cannot say just how much I have enjoyed this book … a very accomplished writer with a wonderfully rich imagination and an incredibly inventive mind. Readers will come to love the many wonderful creations in this novel, it is jam-packed with the most wonderful and inventive characters; new, exciting and beautifully realized. ~Cherry Mosteshar, author of Unveiled: One Woman’s Nightmare in Iran
“Dilly! Finnog!” he shouted, overjoyed as he rushed to greet them.
“Thought as we should say good-bye,” said Addedilli, tears leaping to her eyes.
“Let’s have no nonsense,” urged Finnog, flicking the lid of his snuffbox. “You’ve got to stay strong for him. Not that he needs it. He’s more pluck than any boy I’ve ever met.”
“What’s it to you if I shed a few tears,” she replied, blowing into her handkerchief discreetly. “You should never have married me if you weren’t prepared to comfort me.”
“I’ve never failed to comfort you since the day we were riveted,” rejoined Finnog, taking his snuff with an insouciant air. “Come, mavourneen, time passes.”
“He’s right,” she conceded, fishing something from her reticule. “The King granted us the briefest of audiences. “Here, this is for you. There are cloaks for you all as well.”
Sebastian picked at the small package he was handed. Inside, carefully wrapped, was what he took to be a magnifying glass, a flat piece of glass encased in gold. It had a swivel handle finished in knotwork, which ended in a loop through which a black ribbon ran.
“It’s a quizzing glass,” said Addedilli, as he peered into the plain glass. “It shows people’s true colors. If you ever want to quiz someone’s motive, take a squint through that. You just pop your finger in the loop, swivel it, and raise it to your eye.”
Brendan Murphy was raised in Sheffield, England, with dreams of becoming a writer, and has written every day since he was nine years old. After reading medicine in London and psychiatry in Manchester, he moved to Australia in 1999. He is an Associate Professor at Monash University and has written widely on youth mental health. His nonfiction work on the development of football in Victorian society, From Sheffield with Love, was published in 2007. He is contracted to Assent Publishing for his six-book fantasy series, Sebastian and the Hibernauts. The first adventure, Beyond the Gloaming was published in 2014 and the sequel, The Traitor’s Trap, in 2015. He is a columnist for Aontacht magazine. He lives with his wife, Katrina, and their children, Sebastian and Violette, in a sprawling property built for the composer, Dorian Le Gallienne. They share their garden with a mob of kangaroos, a wombat, two possums, any number of creepy crawlies, and some very feisty kookaburras.
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