Another excerpt from The Wizard’s Son

A traveling troupe of actors performs their own interpretation of a very old and highly symbolic play
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After dinner, Redmantyl brought Orlan downstairs. “You’re going to see a play tonight, Little One,” he said.

A stage had been set on the courtyard above the Plaza. Torches blazed on the walls and huge squares of black canvas hung across the southern side. There were few props—painted chairs, a baptismal font, an odd pile of lumber and canvas with a platform at the top, and a large, sheet-draped object at one corner—but Orlan looked around, wondering, as his father took him across. They sat on the Plaza just below the steps. All the servants, the off-duty guards, and the more prominent citizens of Lyges sat behind them, on benches and cushions. Orlan saw none of the thespians who had been rushing about all day.

“It’ll be starting soon?” He looked up at his father.

“At any moment,” Redmantyl answered softly. “Hush.” And as Orlan began to squirm with impatience, a young maid in plain dress—Anyse—walked out from the Bottom Hall and curtsied pertly.

“Our noble patron, Lord Redmantyl, his household, and welcome guests from Lyges,” her voice rang out clearly. “We the members of Redmantyl’s most kindly sustained thespian troupe thank you all for your favor and bid you attend the tale we perform tonight. `Tis a sad but worthy story of a man of pride and temper and of his grievous sins. With no more apology nor delay, we humbly present our tale of times long passed and people long dead, of Oedipus, the tragic King.” She bobbed again and exited.
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Excerpt from “Maiden In Light”

Laurel attempts to bring out her timid cousin Igren’s latent magical abilities.
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“Igren, will you have another lesson?”

“If you wish.” The girl rose from the coucherie by her dressing-room windows, where she’d been watching the rain, and came to Laurel. “What shall we do?”

“We must test the nature of your ability. You may command best within the mental medium.”

“The- What-?”

“Some magic has no influence in the material world,” Laurel explained, simplifying the lengthy and tortuous passages she’d gathered from a dozen sources on the subject in her quest to discover an answer for Igren’s talents. “A mental magician exerts her will only in the mental energies of other people and living creatures. She senses them—she reads the thoughts which pass through another mind and she can disrupt them and command their actions.”

“Another of your books,” said Igren, with a smile. “What does it mean?”

“Such magicians cannot cast spells and so are not counted as true wizards, but they are no less magical.”
Continue reading “Excerpt from “Maiden In Light””

Ed Pendragon review of The Wizard’s Son

“On the face of it, this narrative strand of applied magics is almost incidental to the human tale of a troubled young man who wants to know the truth about his origins, wants to experience and experiment with life while resisting parental constraints, and acts at times as willfully as any spoilt brat. Knowing that this novel is part of a series and that there is more to be revealed makes it easier to complete this heavy-on-details story of what can be an unsympathetic protagonist.”
The Wizard’s Son, review by Ed Pendragon, LibraryThing, May 15, 2011

Jubercat review of Maiden in Light

“The story begins with Laurel, who has never felt comfortable or accepted in her home town of New York, being called for by her Uncle Redmantyl to join him at Wizardes Cliff and become a magical apprentice. Laurel is happy to leave New York, and her adventures at her uncle’s home as she learns the ways of magic and makes friends with the other apprentices make for a delightful and charming read. Things change when she is sent back to New York on a mission for her uncle.”
Maiden in Light, review by Jubercat, LibraryThing, May 8, 2011

Maiden in Light in a bookstore

For a limited time only in Pittsburgh, you can find Maiden in Light and other Wapshott titles at Fleeting Pages bookstore.

Fleeting Pages Bookstore will be open from May 7 until June 7, 2011 at the former Borders in the East Liberty neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Location: 5986 Penn Circle South, Pittsburgh, PA.
Fleeting Pages Bookstore, FleetingPages, April 22, 2011

If you’ve ever wanted to find Wapshott titles in a bookstore and you’re in or near Pittsburgh, well, this is your chance from May 7 to June 7.

Please cross-post and spread the word. It’s one thing to have a bookstore; it’s another to have customers.

Maiden in Light is now on sale

Where to buy: 10% off with this code: EMZTQAQB at this online store; Amazon, eligible for free shipping; eReaders: ePub; Kindle; And More!


Click on image for larger version

Back cover verbiage:

“From the top of the gate, Alys smiled down. There was no evidence of evil, yet Laurel felt it. That absence of living energy concealed something grotesque. She shuddered when she met those night eyes, repulsed as she might be by a dead mouse accidentally trod underfoot or a cold, scaly water-thing brushing against her body in a stream. Her nerves thrilled with danger. She’d seen this girl before, watching and smiling secretly. She’d sensed this presence months ago, though she hadn’t understood until now what it was. This was why she had come to New York…”

When Laurel Windswift enters an apprenticeship under her uncle, the great wizard Lord Redmantyl, she sees only the delights that her magic can bring. But her desire for more knowledge brings her too soon into the dark secrets that all magicians of power share, and forces her to take up a wizard’s duties of night vigils against monstrous and inhuman forces before she is ready. When Laurel returns to her home city to investigate a small magical anomaly for her uncle, this maiden of light meets a child of darkness, and must undertake a task too terrible to perform.

On an alternate earth filled with wonder and danger, the wizard’s niece must make a decision that will affect the rest of her life. As she struggles with the unbearable obligations of a magician, she also faces the ostracism of the merchant families who cast her out as a child, her aunt’s matchmaking efforts, and finding an unexpected love.

The Wizard’s Son in retail

For a limited time people in the Pittsburgh area can find The Wizard’s Son and other Wapshott titles at Fleeting Pages bookstore.

Fleeting Pages Bookstore will be open from May 7 until June 7, 2011 at the former Borders in the East Liberty neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Loscation: 5986 Penn Circle South, Pittsburgh, PA.
Fleeting Pages Bookstore, FleetingPages, April 22, 2011

If you’ve ever wanted to find Wapshott titles in a bookstore and you’re in or near Pittsburgh, well, this is your chance from May 7 to June 7.

Please cross-post and spread the word. It’s one thing to have a bookstore; it’s another to have customers.

Film Review: The Ghost Train

This DVD came up as recommended on Netflix after I rented The Cat and the Canary, but it’s really not an Old Dark House movie as such. Old Dark Railway Station would be a more accurate description, although the story occurs during the usual dark and stormy night.

The Ghost Train was filmed during World War II, and it is a movie about the hardships and privations faced by ordinary British people during the Blitz. When a group of railway passengers on their way to Cornwall miss their connection and are forced to spend the night in a little rail station in the middle of nowhere during a storm, that’s only the beginning of their problems. One of their number is a painfully unfunny music hall comedian named Tommy Gander, who makes every effort to cheer up his fellow passengers; his fellow passengers make every effort not to toss him onto the railway, although one of them does throw out Tommy’s phonograph to put an end to his singing. Before he leaves for the night, the dour station master also warns this hapless group that the station is haunted by a ghostly train that runs past on an abandoned rail line and brings death to anyone unfortunate enough to hear or see it. Trapped between these horrible two fates–deadly ghost train versus sitting up all night with Tommy Gander–the plucky Brits make some tea and settle down to face the worst.

There are two or three nicely atmospheric moments in this movie: the station master tells the tale of the horrible crash that brought the ghost train into being; the sound of echoing footsteps on the train platform, which on investigation turn out to be this same station master, who then falls down dead; a young woman, not one of the passengers, shows up specifically to see the train and, as she tells the group about it in tones of rising hysteria, lights appear far down the tracks and the group hears the distant rumble of a train approaching…

Unfortunately, between these spooky little bits, one has to put up with a lot of tedious comedy.