The Book of Mandragore is out now in paperback and Kindle editions - this children's fantasy adventure book tells the tale of three friends (Alice, Caleb, and Lance), who must travel across unfriendly lands and battle with strange beasts and stranger people in order to find the three pieces of The Book of Mandragore. This magic book contains the spell of immortality, and there are many people who would love to get their hands on it...
There is a place, in another world, another time, another planet, another dimension, that we can never know. We can’t see it. We cannot go there. It is impossible for us. But sometimes, in the dead of a winter’s night, a story floats down to us from the frosty stars. Stories of gods and battles, of quests and adventures. Of life and death. These stories are gathered up by the people who understand such things, and they are kept safe, waiting to be told.
This is just such a story.
And the time to tell it is now.
Once upon a time – which time isn’t important, and it may indeed have happened more than once – there were gods, ancient, wise, all knowing, and deadly, dully bored. They had a life that mortals would envy; no death, no pain, no fear of anything or anyone, and yet still they grew restless with their lot.
When they had finished creating new things and new creatures and new worlds, they did not know what to do. Until they created people. Their very own play things, smaller versions of themselves that they could twist and mould and bend to their will. It was all a game to them. Everything was just for sport. Kill a human here, reward one with gold there, ask too much of another, and allow more to have an easy life like the gods…
Now these immortal and immense beings had toys to play with. Real, living, breathing toys that would do anything to live in the world the gods had created for them, and therefore would do almost anything that was asked of them.
For millennia this was good, and boredom was broken.
Until one day…
The throne room of Eland, the great city of the gods, was quiet. Rouf, lord of the gods, creator of all, peered down from his throne of gold woven clouds and sighed. Another war was taking place, another shrine was being built. People were travelling across the country, others were farming, more still were creating their own cities and towns.
The game had become dull once more.
Rouf shifted in his seat and flicked at a speck of dust that had landed on his arm. He couldn’t feel it – he, and all the gods, could feel nothing – yet he knew that it looked out of place; and it was something to do. The half a second that it took to remove the mote was a pleasant relief.
“Arken!” he yelled into the mists that hovered around Eland, the place in which the gods lived. “Arken!”
Rouf’s right hand god, Arken, appeared in an instant, grinning. “Yes, my lord? Is there something I can do for you?” Please say yes, please say yes… Anything!
Rouf nodded slowly, dragging every movement out. He slipped from his throne and wandered over to the viewing platform, the one place in all of Eland that any god could see what was happening down in the world below. “I’m going to visit the world,” he said, glancing at Arken for a reaction. “I’m going to allow myself to be seen.”
Arken gasped. “But my lord! You can’t! It’s against the rules!”
Rouf laughed, and the sound bounced around the throne room, jumping into the sparkling corners and out again. “Rules? I made the rules, Arken! I will break them when I want to.”