A Celtic warrior girl is held captive and enslaved by a rival tribe. When fever takes her only friend she knows she must escape, but she runs straight into the path of two Roman foot soldiers. Thinking they will kill a warrior instantly, the girl disguises herself as a beggar and asks to share their fire. Using her gift as a seer she discovers that one of the soldiers is not what he seems. Celtic blood courses through his veins too, but there is something else. He is a shapeshifter - a Versipellum. He shares his soul with that of the wolf.
The girl needs to reach the leader of her dead friend's tribe, and the boy must escape the Romans before they discover his true nature. Their only chance of survival is to help each other. But what will happen when their powers are combined?
N.M. Browneives in London and is the author of Warriors of Camlann, Hunted, Warriors of Alavna, Basilisk, and The Story of Stone and Wolf Blood. She was born in the North of England to Welsh parents. This background inspired a fascination with all things Celtic and an interest in how earlier societies survived the bleakness of a northern winter.
In spite of strenuous practice she is quite unable to shape shift, perform magic or indeed communicate telepathically. She is however very good at shouting and bossing people about, which is as well as she has four children, a husband, a bearded dragon and a house full of escaped crickets.
She studied philosophy and theology at Oxford, teaching at Cambridge and business at Manchester - the bossing and the shouting just comes naturally. There is no obvious place to go with such odd qualifications so now she doesn't go anywhere anymore - just stays at home in front of the computer eating chocolate, drinking coffee and making things up.
She has always enjoyed reading Science Fiction, fantasy and historical fiction - in fact anything which is weird and mysterious and that's the kind of thing she likes to write - oh, and she quite likes writing the occasional battle too - usually when all that shouting and bossing has had no effect and it's time to find a sword...
Author: N.M. Browne
Interview with Nicky M. Browne
Question: What do you like most about writing fantasy novels?
Nicky M. Browne: I love the fact that nothing is off limits. You can write about anything however weird and unlikely. I have always loved reading about strange events, the supernatural, other planets, other times and as a fantasy writer I now get to write about such things.
Question: What inspired a book based on the werewolf myth?
Nicky M. Browne: I am interested in transformations of all kinds, but I didn't intend to write about a werewolf. As I was writing a scene in a wood the Roman soldier who was gathering firewood turned to meet my heroine. There are moments in writing where you get these insights, when the whole plot turns upside. I'm not sure where it came from, but once I saw his yellow eyes in my mind's eye I knew that he was a werewolf and I had to find out more about them and him.
Question: How important, to you, is it to develop a story with historical details?
Nicky M. Browne: I like history and always have. I am drawn to stories which don't rely on technology or on the way we do things now. My characters have very different challenges, if they get lost they can't phone home and I find that inspiring. I want to get the details of other times right because I am intrigued by the many different ways we have organised ourselves, the different things we have believed.
Question: What inspired the creation of Trista, the character?
Nicky M. Browne: I wanted to write about a competent woman who could handle herself in a fight and yet was searching for her identity. I like writing about outsiders people who don't fit and she is a woman in man's world, a Celt without a tribe and with no natural allies. As with so many of my characters I didn't think about her before I started writing she just arrived on the page with her bright hair, her determination and obstinate courage.
Question: Finish this sentence, The best thing about books is
Nicky M. Browne: that they can take me inside someone else's mind, transport me to another time and place and I don't even have to get off the sofa!
Interview by Brooke Hunter