The novella follows Ivor of Bracken, who at 16 would rather be a housecarl in the hird like his other nine brothers. Instead, he pounds across Alba as Thane Carrak of Glenbroch’s messenger. And this time he’s ridden into the mountains, racing a storm, to find the hermit (or possibly wizard), Rorie of Ytter and return with him to Glenbroch.
Once home, however, Ivor finds himself gifted with the boon he craved, now appointed shield-carrier to the enigmatic character, Rorie. In accepting the position, he is entwined in the curse on Rorie, the political upheaval of his own country, and the loves of the unwitting people used as pawns in a larger game.
Dave Duncan is originally from Scotland, and has lived all his adult life in Western Canada, having enjoyed a long career as a petroleum geologist before taking up writing. Since discovering that imaginary worlds are more satisfying than the real one, he has published more than forty-five novels, mostly in the fantasy genre, but also young adult, science fiction, and historical. He has at times been Sarah B. Franklin (but only for literary purposes) and Ken Hood (which is short for “D’ye Ken Whodunit?”)
His most successful works have been fantasy series: The Seventh Sword, A Man of His Word and its sequel, A Handful of Men, and six books about The King’s Blades.
He and Janet were married in 1959. They have one son and two daughters, who in turn are responsible for a spinoff series of four grandchildren. Dave now lives in Victoria, BC.
A detailed discussion of his work from Gale’s “Dictionary of Literary Biography” is available for download from Amazon.com.