Since I've been posting links to this site on some of my yahoo lists, I thought I'd also post the back cover descriptions for the two books here.
“Blood and fire, gold and steel and poetry, a river’s voice in the silence of the night, and the shining strings of a harp – all these and more I have known in my time. Steep mountains, dark forests, and the endless song of the rain; music and laughter and feasting in the fire-bright halls of kings; a dusty road, and a fast horse, and a good friend beside me; and the sweet taste of the mead of Dun Eidyn, with its bitter aftermath: a dragon’s hoard of memories I have gathered, bright-colored as a long summer’s day. Now they are all gone, the men and women I knew when I was young, gone like words on the wind, and I am left here in the twilight to tell you their tale. Sit, then, and listen if you will to the words of Gwernin Kyuarwyd, called Storyteller…”
So begins the tale of the young Gwernin’s adventures as a wandering storyteller and would-be bard in the chaos and contradictions of 6th century Britain. Along the way he encounters allies and enemies both human and supernatural, finds love and friendship, and learns the lore – and the true meaning – of a bard’s profession:
“Na, there will always be need for Bards,” said Kyan. “If not to sing the warriors’ deeds now, then to remember those who fought before, and teach those who will fight afterwards the way of it… We are like the pin in the cloak-clasp, the smallest, plainest part, and yet without it the brooch falls away and is lost, and the cloak with it, and the man perishes from the cold. So it is with us. If the Bards should ever take the Druids’ road west, it would be a black day for the Cymry, for what is there to hold a people together who do not remember their past?”
Flight of the Hawk:
Britain in the summer of 551 AD: The North is a tinderbox about to burst into flame, the Saxons are stirring again in the east, and Cynan Garwyn, Prince of Powys, is doing his best to foment war in the South. In the midst of this simmering chaos, two young bards — Gwernin the Storyteller and his friend Neirin mab Dwywei, the Poet-Prince who some call “Taliesin’s Hawk” — are sent by their master to investigate the rumors and do what they can to prevent a war in the North. At least, that was their mission — but the two young men find plenty of other adventures along the way. Girls and beer, bloodshed and magic: will they survive the summer and make it home alive?