2153 AD. After a century of global pandemics and bitter civil war, England, divided by fundamentalist religion, has begun to rebuild into a new middle ages. The present uneasy calm and hopeful future are threatened by power, politics and treason.
Benedict Fuller, court painter and sometime agent, is driven by boredom and loneliness to join the medieval politics that dominate this reborn, fractured, England. A new era with old problems.
In the north of England, the Emirate is crumbling; power is draining from the hands of the ailing Emir, the peacemaker, to his venal and murderous eldest son. Resentment is rife and rebellion stirs as the corruption stretches out from the court and across the nation. In the south, the ruling Bishop struggles to retain control and rein in the factions bent on a crusade to destroy the north for faith and profit.
A series of bizarre gangland killings and the betrayal of a government spy propels Benedict from the darkly brutal streets of the Old City to the hypocrisy of a gilded high society speakeasy in the New Town, and far beyond, on the trail of a murderer and traitor, to protect the fragile peace. On the way he must choose new friends and fear old ones. Can he prevent the descent to war? Will his world ever be the same?
Targeted Age Group:: 15+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I love medieval history and I love action adventure thrillers. I also often wonder what life might look like if something seriously upset our world, like a pandemic. Hence the mixture of ideas and the setting of 'Renaissance' in a post-apocalyptic world, gripped by resurgent religion as our faith in science fails.
I believe that it would be a world where energy and resources would be limited but some relatively modern technology would survive because many people understand the basics. Things like modern electronics could not survive because the design and production processes are so complex and need large groups of professionals in many disciplines to provide them. It would be a world full, once more, of talented amateurs.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Some of the characters, particularly the background characters, are loosely based on people I have seen in the street. More major characters borrow some of their characteristics or mannerisms from people I have known but first and foremost were created to be consistent with the actions that the plot demands. As the characters developed in my mind the plot sometimes had to change to accomodate them instead!
I stared into the depths of the fountain for a few moments, deep in thought. Those heavies had been waiting for me. Who had known about the meeting with Lotty? Brian might have read the note. I didn’t know if Brian could read. Had someone put Lotty up to it? Was the whole thing a fabrication, in which case who knew about Lotty? I suddenly felt very alone in this rough and crowded corner of the underworld. I didn’t know who my enemy was. I didn’t know how much he knew about me but I had to assume that they knew where I lived and who my friends were. I needed somewhere to hide, to think, until I could contact the Bishop directly in person. Suddenly two days seemed like a very long time.
Reaction was beginning to set in. The sweat from the pursuit had gone cold. My clothes stuck to my body and I was beginning to shake. I felt sick. I had to get to somewhere safe, where I could get warmth, food and shelter. Any hotel could be easily checked, a false name didn’t beat a good description. Diego might well relish the idea of the game but this could land him with killers on his doorstep and quite possibly trouble with the law as well. My name might already have been connected to the body of the villain outside The Beacon, whoever had arranged this might well tip off the police to help them locate me. Once they found me then whoever was behind this attempt could try again.
A less conventional stopping over place was needed; I had plenty of money on me, I could find a street walker and pay her to let me stay. On the other hand these thugs seemed to have strong connections in the underworld and maybe if the word was put out fear would overcome my money. No good. I could try and get out of the city altogether but if the police were involved then the station would be covered and the gates would be alerted. I needed peace, quiet and seclusion for the next forty eight hours or so.
Peace. Seclusion. Sanctuary, literally, within Arthur McMahon’s little community. I was headed for a monastery.
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