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About C. Dale Brittain
I'm both a fantasy writer and a professor of medieval history, having loved fantasy since I discovered Tolkien in ninth grade. That and a long trip to Europe with my family in high school--including lots of climbing around castles--got me interested in real medieval history. The two different facets work together surprisingly well--including that both are tough ways to make a living! For one thing, real medieval history can come up with much better plots than anything I could create.
Real medieval people were rather grim by our standards: ruthless, violent, always thinking about death, and with no religious tolerance--and those were the good guys! My own fantasy tends to be lighter, though it always ends up being about sacrifice, mortality, redemption, and similarly knee-slapping topics.
The characters and situations for my first published novel, "A Bad Spell in Yurt," came to me literally in a dream. I'd been trying intermittently for over 20 years to get a novel published, but this one worked! And it became a national "top 10" best-seller in the fantasy/science fiction genre. (Ought to have more dreams like that...)
The "Yurt" series is six novels long; they can be enjoyed in any order, but there is still an overall story arc. The books in the series are (in order) "A Bad Spell in Yurt," "The Wood Nymph and the Cranky Saint," "Mage Quest," "The Witch and the Cathedral," "Daughter of Magic," and "Is this Apocalypse Necessary?" The first three are available in an omnibus (both print and ebook) as "My First Kingdom." The next two are available in a print and ebook omnibus, "The Witch and Her Daughter." So for those whose 25-year-old paperbacks are now falling apart, new versions are available!
My first Yurt novella, "The Lost Girls and the Kobold," falls chronologically between "Wood Nymph" and "Mage Quest." The second novella, "Below the Wizards' Tower," happens between "Mage Quest" and "The Witch and the Cathedral." The most recent novella, "A Long Way 'Til November," takes place between "Daughter of Magic" and "Is This Apocalypse Necessary?" (all three novellas are available as an omnibus in one volume, called "Third Time's a Charm"). The overall story of the series is now wrapped up, but I've started a new series, "Yurt, the Next Generation," with a first book called "The Starlight Raven," and the sequel, "An Autumn Haunting." The third volume, "The Sapphire Ring," has just been published.
Of my other novels, "Count Scar" is the closest I've gotten to real medieval history. It's set in a thinly-disguised version of southern France in the thirteenth century. My husband, Robert Bouchard, and I co-wrote it. We have also published the sequel, called "Heretic Wind." Both "Count Scar" and "Heretic Wind" are available together in one big omnibus (both ebook and paperback) called "Galoran and Melchior." "The Sign of the Rose" is a retelling of a story originally written around 1200, in medieval France; it has romance elements but also has real medieval social history, plus sword fights. "Ashes of Heaven" is also a retelling of a medieval story, this one the legend of Tristan and Isolde. My newest book, "The Knight of the Short Nose," is a fairly loose retelling of the Guillaume d'Orange epic cycle, focusing on the humor and strong women of the original. "Voima" was my chance to revel in the Nordic myths I've always loved, while making up new myths of my own (no Odin or Siegfried here). I've recently given it a new cover and a new title, "Shadow of the Wanderers." For some reason "Yurt" fans have never taken to it, but it may be my favorite book. My other recent novel is "How I Survived Junior High," a historical novel set in the 1960s in the US, appropriate for young teens and for anyone who remembers (or hasn't been able to forget) what it was like to be 13. I swear it's not autobiographical. And finally, for anyone who wants to self-publish, I've written a guide to all the things nobody make clear, "Know your Self Publishing: Things you Wished you Knew Before Publishing."
More information about my novels is available on my website, www.Daimbert.com. Recently I've made all my out-of-print books available in print once again as well as in ebook format, and "Bad Spell" is also available in hardcover. I like a physical book in my hands myself, but for everyone who enjoys the convenience of reading onscreen, enjoy!
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But heretics threaten the duchy, and the conflict becomes deadly when they kidnap Arsendis. Galoran and his magic-working spiritual advisor Melchior face treachery and betrayal as they pursue the kidnappers into the high mountains. They must make alliances with their enemies to try to rescue Arsendis, but before they can, even darker plots are revealed.
Set in an alternate version of southern France in the Middle Ages, the story is told from the alternating viewpoints of the two main characters. The outcome turns on mystery and passion, as they are forced to question their very beliefs to determine where true loyalty lies.
- Galoran is a scarred warrior and younger son, cast aside by the emperor when his days of service seem over.
- Melchior is a priest trained in the difficult and highly dangerous magical arts, with dark family secrets to hide.
The two are thrown together when Galoran unexpectedly inherits the castle and county of Peyrefixade, and Melchior is assigned as his spiritual advisor. Galoran soon learns that others covet his castle, the heretics who were supposed to have been defeated in the great war against them but who still hide in their mountain fastnesses. They practice powerful magic that, it seems, can only be countered by another magic worker--but can Galoran trust his chaplain?
Set in an alternate version of southern France in the Middle Ages, the story is told from the alternating viewpoints of the two main characters, who may see the same events very differently. The outcome turns on mystery, betrayal, desperate battles, religious passion, and the fundamental question of who is really the enemy.
"Count Scar" is available in print, along with the sequel, "Heretic Wind," in the omnibus titled "Galoran and Melchior."
Antonia is the daughter of the head of institutionalized wizardry, and she wants nothing more—or so she thinks at fourteen—than to grow up to be a wizard too: the first woman wizard. But then she discovers that her mother has all sorts of unexpected female cousins who intend her to come be a witch with them, at the same time as she realizes that a lot of the male wizards are highly opposed to letting a mere girl learn their arcane secrets…
As she tries to find her own way, she hears the legend of the Starlight Raven, a bird rejected by its own kind because it does not fit in anywhere, whose appearance is a marker either of doom or of unexpected triumph.
The tiny kingdom of Yurt is the perfect place--or so it seems--for someone who barely managed to graduate from the wizards' school, especially after all that embarrassment with the frogs. But Daimbert, newly hired Royal Wizard of Yurt, senses an evil spell at work. But who could be responsible? The beautiful young queen? Her flighty aunt? The dour chaplain? The old, retired Royal Wizard, who seems to know more than he's saying? Or someone from out of the castle's past? Daimbert quickly realizes that finding out and saving his kingdom may take all the magic he never learned properly in the first place, with his life the price of failure--good thing he knows how to improvise!
But a pleasant autumn excursion for Daimbert the wizard quickly turns dark when accusations of ritual murder begin to fly and a schoolgirl turns up missing….
This novella (short novel) is intended both to introduce new readers to the Royal Wizard of Yurt series and (I hope!) to give reading enjoyment to old friends.
There's a lot for the new self-publishing author to keep track of. Here an experienced self-publisher answers many of the questions that keep coming up, even questions someone may not even have known to ask, in a light-hearted Q&A format.
Daimbert the wizard is on the road to adventure with five guys from Yurt. Their search for a missing lord soon becomes a quest for a fabled blue rose and for an unthinkably powerful magical artifact from the time of Solomon. Along the way they face intrigue, treachery, black magic, and a big green djinn. Only Daimbert may be able to save their lives--and their souls--as the line grows thin between a fatal curse and finding one's heart's desire.
Now the old Master of the school is dying, and Elerius is ready to succeed. If his plans go well, he'll not just be in charge of institutionalized wizardry, but of all western castles, cities, farms, even churches. Once messy individual initiative is eliminated, everything will be run perfectly.
Only Daimbert can make the world safe for mediocrity--but how can he oppose the best wizard of his, or any, generation? He will have to find a solution somewhere, even it takes him through Hell...
This is the final volume of the Royal Wizard of Yurt series, by far the longest, now available as an ebook for the first time. You can buy the print edition and the ebook from Amazon together for a special discount price.
Daimbert the wizard just wants to spend some quality time with his daughter Antonia. He loves his peaceful kingdom of Yurt, but he and those around him are increasingly finding themselves hampered by their society's strictures and silent rules: the king doesn't want to marry any of the princesses offered to him, the duchess's twin daughters want to be respectively a knight and a priest, options closed to women, and Daimbert himself is forbidden by the norms of wizardry from a liaison with a witch--much less having a daughter.
And then the peaceful kingdom is suddenly not so peaceful, between the arrival of an exotic Eastern princess and her elephant, a ravening wolf, an army of undead warriors, a bogus miracle worker, and an old enemy seeking vengeance.
Can Antonia save the day? She already knows how to turn someone into a frog. But she is after all only five years old. And the bogus miracle worker has a strange power over children....