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DARKER AGES Paul Finch 1st HC SIGNED/LIMITED OP

Wales, UK; Sarob Press; 2004. 1st edition hardcover. Contains the novellas:

THE BLOOD MONTH & TWILIGHT IN THE ORM-GARTH.

Introduced by Mike Ashley. Jacket Art by Richard Gray.

THE BLOOD MONTH In 1030 AD, King Olaf of Norway, a Christian Viking, driven from his homeland two years previously, returns with a small band of warriors, and attempts to overthrow the pagan administration set up in his absence by the ruthless King Sveyn of Denmark. At the battle of Stiklestad, Olaf is slain, and his gallant force defeated. Once the struggle is over, two Christian brothers who followed Olaf, Radnar and Ljot, flee the carnage of the battlefield, and fearful of their fate in the hands of the pagan Danes, take ship across the Atlantic, hoping to find the protection of their cousin, Sigfurth, a hoary old sea-dog now settled in his own long-hall at the end of a remote fjord on Greenland’s western coast. It is November, the Blood-Month, and the beginning of Morketiden, the long Arctic winter, when even at noon only the vaguest seam of daylight is visible on the distant southern horizon. This, in itself, is bad enough, ordinarily a time of dread and superstition, but on this particular occasion it is a hundred-fold worse, for rumour now holds that something hideous and evil is stalking the encircling fells ...

TWILIGHT IN THE ORM-GARTH It is the spring of 1070, and the Norman baron, Dagobert of Caux, is celebrating his fiftieth birthday at his stronghold, Wulfbury Castle, on England’s eastern coast. But this will not be a happy occasion. To begin with, Dagobert's family are not comfortable together, they argue incessantly, each seeking always to best the other. In addition to this, they feel besieged at Wulfbury. England is not yet subdued; the Saxon peasantry despise their new masters, outlaws and rebels haunt the forests, and much of the once rolling farmland is a devastated wilderness thanks to William the Conqueror’s harsh policies of repression. To make matters worse, a huge Viking fleet has been plundering the coastal settlements, and draws nearer with each passing day though even this will not be the worst dangeer the family face. For a fearsome being is also headed for Wulfbury, a being whose hellish appearance and brutish nature encapsulate all that once was savage and barbarous about ancient, pagan Britain ...

LIMITED EDITION: 40 numbered copies, signed by the author, cover artist Richard Gray, and slipcased. Fine copy in a fine dustjacket and slipcase. OUT OF PRINT FROM THE PUBLISHER PRIOR TO PUBLICATION.


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