The following is a sample recording of The Sons of Thestian by M.E. Vaughan
Book #1 of The Harmatia Cycle
Published by the Zharmae Publishing Press
All rights reserved.
Art by the amazing Peter Brockhammer.
BACK COPY – Prince Jionathan is plagued by visions of death. With the king on his deathbed, and the tyrannical queen in power, the Kingdom of Harmatia lies in peril. Fleeing the city in fear of his life, Jionathan is shadowed by Rufus Merle, a young, secretive magi tasked with bringing him home.
Now, with the help of a fearsome sidhe warrior named Fae, they traverse a dangerous faerie-wood together. Against bandits, faeries and cursed priestesses, these unlikely friends travel a path fraught with danger and a dark conspiracy that shrouds them.
In my upcoming book ‘The Sons of Thestian’ the Night Patrol present as one of three offensive enemies the main characters must face. The Night Patrol is a sector of the Magi with the unique ability to transform into creatures of nightmare, and is lead by Arlen Zachary, Rufus’ brothering apprentice.
At Zachary’s side, his closest friend Marcel Hathely, acts as his second in command. Marcel brings with him too an apprentice, Emeric Fold. Together, these three are the most skilled and ferocious in the Night Patrol. Despite this reputation however, they do not always present as the powerful warriors they are. Emeric and Marcel tend to shadow Zachary in his day-to-day business.
Above: (Left) Marcel Hathely, (Bottom, lounged) Arlen Zachary, (Back, Right) Emeric Fold.
An, A Capella original arrangement of the traditional Celtic song.
A reinterpretation of ‘Scarborough Fair’, recounting the story of Fionn Mac Cumhail and his battle with the Norseman. Whilst the origin of this particular legend is initially attributed to Scotland, I decided to set it in Ireland where most of the stories of Fionn are based.
To reinforce the setting I used the term ‘Lochlannach’ (Loch-lan-ack) which is the old Irish word for Norsemen and Viking. In accord with the legends, I refer to Fionn as a ‘giant’ and reinforce the myth that his ‘dun’ (a dark age fortress) is in Kildare, on the hill of Allen.
Based on their meaning according to the Ogham symbols, the trees in the song each represent the moralistic element of the story –
Elder – Transition
Oak – Strength
Ash – Wisdom
Apple – Love
Thorn – Consequence & Perspective
The moral of the tale is that arrogance and anger can cause lack of judgement and lead to great loss. In the penultimate and last verse, following the horror of battle, Fionn chooses to learn from his mistake and be wiser in the future.
Find out more about Bethean, a country in The Harmatia Cycle. Updates include information about the Kingdom, the Religion, Customs and Laws, and even a Dictionary of slang! (Viewer discretion advised)
Soon to come – Information on other countries including Kathra, Avalon and Réne, a quiz, and several more illustrations!
There is a thorn tree
That we do not touch.
We farm about it,
Tip-toe the machinery
In awkward circles
Around its territory.
It is an invader
In our field, but
It has far out-lived
Each one of us.
It stated its claim
On the fertile land
Long before Grandpa
Was even born.
And so we leave it,
Just in case,
Its death-curse is true.
At night, figures dance
Around it, in my dreams.