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Are you ready? The Winter of Discontent, Book 6 of The Ravenstones series, is coming out on August 15th, as usual on Amazon.
"And after summer evermore succeeds Barren winter, with its wrathful nipping cold"
- William Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part II, Act 2
Winter of Discontent follows upon Death and Life, which was published in May 2022:
Having arrived at the penultimate volume in the series, my mind turns back to the beginning, and how I originally described the series. Here are a few of the initial taglines, which seem woefully inadequate now:
Here’s how I described the first book, Eirwen and Fridis:
and then the whole series:
Although The Ravenstones started out as a simple story, with a location in Canada’s far north and focused on one, then two and finally three lead characters, it grew to become a classic heroic quest, involving a complex story of friendship, courage and sacrifice, good and evil, prejudice and ambition and overcoming adversity. Ultimately, it included a portal to a parallel world, an entire cast of 131 (named) characters of bears, wolves, donkeys, dogs, eagles, falcons, apes, elephants and rhinos, various species of big cats and several other individual ones, interwoven with mystery, conflict and adventure.
Of course, the cruel winter season just sets the characters up for one grand finish, which will come in Volume 7, Prophecy Fulfilled, coming very soon.
Once more, the front and back covers for the sixth volume in the series are drawn by Vancouver illustrator, Kari Rust, and, as usual, she has carried on a similar look and feel to the previous five. The front cover (above) depicts the red fox, Vulpé, in conversation with his agent, Motya, one of the key scenes in the story. The back cover (not shown here) depicts a more dramatic scene: Fridis and Lorcan (the northern harrier) caught in a winter storm as they navigate the dangerous mountain passes along the northern border of Heimborn.
I can’t praise Kari’s talents enough. To my mind, they not only capture perfectly what I had hoped to portray, they added dimensions I did not expect. (See theravenstones.com and karirust.com for more information and examples.)
Once again, I thank everyone who’s taken the time to read these posts and/or the book series. It means a great deal to me, and, as always, I appreciate your generous feedback. This post is taking a summer holiday (I’d encourage readers to do the same!) for the rest of August. See you in September.