A Mirror of Stones: Book One (Paperback)
For the characters inhabiting the world of A Mirror of Stones, the mythic, dreamtime realm is as real as the world they perceive with their senses. The story explores the surreal, mythic landscape of people's inner lives.Borrowing heavily from the Sagas, Eddas, European folklore, and mythology, the novel explores the suffering and emotional effects of war upon both the men who fought and their families. It begins when Aiken, an unfairly outlawed, former warrior, turned stone carver, goes to the quarry to acquire the stone he will carve for a shipmaster who travels the Merchant Sea. When Aiken is finished, he and his daughter, Sunniva, travel northwest to deliver it. After their arrival, the shipmaster asks Aiken to join the crew on the longships. Sunniva is drawn into the conflicts between the landholders and the servants and becomes increasingly worried by her prescient, ghostly visions of the ships' disastrous future attack by pirates. Father and daughter each face destinies at odds with the other's. Years before, Aiken made a promise after he was wounded in an ambush. That oath, along with his pursuit of justice come to haunt both his and his descendants' future lives. Complicating the tale is the promise Sunniva's mother made to Lady Blessed, one of the immortal ruling powers who has chosen their daughter to become one of the wisewomen who perform divination and healing ceremonies in the chieftains' meadhalls. Told from an outsider's perspective, the narrator, Dvalinn, is one of an immortal tribe who tunnels through the earth lest the sun fall upon them and turn them to stone. Imagining pictures he can see in figured stones such as jasper and agate, each becomes a tiny window into which he can peer at the worlds he is otherwise prohibited from visiting. Old myths are refreshed to give them new meaning. Dvalinn reflects upon memory and dreams, the origins of luck, men and women's penchant for war and celebration, the need for justice, the primacy of the imagination, and how beauty and storytelling offer instruction to those who live in the juncture between worlds. This is Book One in a series.