That’s the question that faces Michael – an orphan who had been abandoned with a young couple while a baby, and largely ignored after his “adoptive mother” died. When a powerful dream sets off a series of events that inexplicably draws him into the land of Aylosia, Michael finally believes he is arriving in a place where he will feel his mother’s love, but magical and political forces quickly seek his destruction.
Caught between truth and lie, Michael now faces a fight for survival in a beautiful land; and must struggle to learn of his own destiny if he is to save those he has grown to love.
Dreams and Shadows is a story of magical powers and strange creatures; of love, betrayal, despair, and ultimately hope. It is the first book in the new series, the Aylosian Chronicles.
The Aylosian Chronicles is a new Fantasy series that follows Michael on his journey of self-discovery in a land of powerful magics. Book 1 in the series, Dreams and Shadows, is now available for pre-order on Kindle from Amazon, and has a release date of 5th June. US readers can order a copy here, while UK readers can do so here. It’s also available in many other Amazon markets. A paperback version is also planned.
The full first chapter is now available free here.
CHAPTER ONE: THE DREAM
What are dreams? Are they visions, messages, prophecies, or warnings? Are they the imparting of our unconscious wisdom, or tales of mere foolishness? Do dreams tell us of truths otherwise hidden, or are they lies sent to mislead us towards dangerous paths? Are they all of these things, or none of these things?
The answer to these questions lies in the wise heart of the woman who seeks to comprehend; who seeks to sift the meaningful from the distracting or harmful. Though she may not have certainty in the origins or purpose of her dreams, by seeking understanding she will nevertheless find they aid her in life’s journey.
From the Wisdom of Ashael
The pull in his chest was intense, drawing him towards his destiny. He had left his flat five minutes or so beforehand, knowing precisely what he needed to do – where he needed to go. Despite the torrential rain that almost blinded him, it didn’t even occur to him that he should go back to his flat for an umbrella, or even a raincoat. Only one thing was on his mind: one place, and he was determined to get there…. continue reading…
The second chapter can be found free here.
CHAPTER TWO: SEEKING
Shadows are curious things. If you ask a man of them, he will say that they are vague and lack definition. He will say that they are less than the thing from which they derive their existence. But is such a man correct in his thoughts? Though the sun be hidden, yet from its shadow the observant eye may still determine its place in the heavens. It is not from men that times and seasons are discovered, but from shadows. While it is true that a man may seek to use his shadow to deceive, often it is the shadow that reveals his sleight of hand. Even more, this dark reflection of his being imprints itself upon that which it touches, leaving traces for those who know how to see. Men may lie, but their shadows do not. We therefore must ask, which bears the greater truth: the man or his shadow? If we wish to know him, we must take care to gain knowledge of both. Then we may come to know him better than he knows himself, for a man rarely seeks to understand the truths found in his own shadow.
From the Wisdom of Ashael
Michael opened his eyes with a start, his heart pounding in his chest. The bell on his alarm clock was ringing. It took him a few seconds to realise that he was lying in his bed, and that it had all been a dream. The clock. The sword. The fog. The lightning… It had all been a dream. His pillow was wet with the tears he had shed, and his nightclothes damp with sweat. It had all been a dream…. continue reading…
Excerpt, added 4th March, 2015
“As a man takes his first steps on a path never before walked he may be filled with excitement to learn of the trail’s destination, or with fear of what lies hidden along his journey’s route. These feelings may dictate whether he runs or crawls on his way, fear or excitement bidding his pace. Either choice, however, will leave the man missing the most valuable lesson his travels have to offer – that of the wonder of new understanding; for each new journey will offer such in abundance if only the time is taken to contemplate the path’s experience. In truth all new trails will be strewn with both horrors and joys in different degrees. The content of each journey is less important than the manner in which we make our way. For paths newly travelled, when sufficiently pondered, will lead ultimately to a greater peace, as the heightened understanding of our place in the universe gives anchor to the soul.”
Excerpt, added 24th February, 2015
Excerpt, added 19th February, 2015
Excerpt, added 13th February, 2015
A man will believe that to be strong he must be independent of all around him; that he must rise above all who would challenge his freedom. In believing thus, he surely will fail in his life’s purpose. For mortality’s walk is not to rise above, but to rise with. It is not to be sovereign of our soul, but to willingly give our hearts to another, to be chained in love. It is the paradox of life that a man’s strength only truly comes when his soul is freely bound to another. He must come to desire to abase himself for her glory, and she likewise to willingly diminish herself for his grandeur. Then both souls will be exalted together in eternal splendour.
From the Wisdom of Ashael