The Witches of Crannock Dale by Thomas M. Kane (Fantasy) #83

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The story begins with The Witches of Crannock Dale. When an enemy army threatens eleven-year old Mara’s home, she makes up her mind to save her family, one way or another. But when the knights protecting her village arrest her favorite aunt for witchcraft, she discovers that the difference between friend and foe may not be as obvious as she once thought. This is a story of war and espionage, set in a low fantasy world. It is also about a child getting to know her mother and father in a new way.

The intrigue deepens in The Rebels of Caer City. Mara is now seventeen, and attending a strict boarding school. Throughout her time there, she has turned to her friend Annie-Rose for comfort. Now Annie has disappeared. Mara teams up with two other students – bold Gretchen and soft-spoken Ginny — to find her missing friend. Together, Mara, Gretchen and Ginny take on a conspiracy involving some of the most dangerous people in their world.

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Mara’s story continues in autumn 2020 with The Hideous Garden. After spending her early years immersed in plotting, Mara has developed insights into the politics of her world. She must convince her country’s leader to follow her shocking advice, before it is too late. Meanwhile, she asks herself if she likes the person she has become. Military strategy comes to the fore in this book, along with reflections on what it means to be free.

The series concludes with a fourth book in summer of 2021, The Rending of the World. All Mara’s life, she has feared a full-scale war between her country and the powerful kingdom of Waan. Now, that war seems close to breaking out. Mara, however, is stranded in a remote northern town and accused of plotting a murder. Before she can try to save her homeland, she must save herself.

For updates on the series, please subscribe to Metis, my free monthly newsletter. Metis also features short fiction, thoughts on writing, essays on things which seem important and my tell-all memoir of life as a coffee drinker. You can get Metis here.

I’d also enjoy meeting you online!

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And if you’re interested in who I am, my own story goes like this. I taught international relations at a British university for close to twenty years and bring my insights concerning real-life war and politics into my fiction. These days, I live high on a wooded hilltop in Maine. I have  published eight non-fiction academic books, nineteen gaming-related books and over 100 shorter pieces. Selected gaming titles include GURPS Egypt, GURPS China, GURPS Espionage, the Ars Magica sourcebook South of the Sun, the Cyberpunk adventure The Osiris Chip and the Shadowrun adventure Ivy and Chrome. Selected non-fiction titles include: Strategy: Key Thinkers, Ancient China on Postmodern War, Chinese Grand Strategy and Maritime Power, Military Logistics and Strategic Performance and (co-authored with Dr. David Lonsdale) Understanding Contemporary Strategy.


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