The first volume of my newest quartet of books is due to hit the shops on the 27th of January 2009.

The Series is set in the British Isles in the period known as the Dark Ages, a grim and dangerous time when the native peoples of the islands were under attack from invading waves of Saxon conquerors. Only in the west of the mainland do the Britons still hold out against the foreign armies - and at the very forefront of this last defensive stronghold stands the fortress of Garth Milain where Princess Branwen ap Griffith lives with her Warrior parents and her gallant older brother.

This is a time when the old superstitions and beliefs are no longer a part of people’s lives - but Branwen learns that the Old Gods - The Shining Ones - are still very much alive - and that they have a Destiny for her, if she is willing to follow their path.

It takes just a moment for fifteen year old Branwen’s life to change forever. In the blink of an eye the Saxons attack and her brother, Prince Geraint, is killed. Almost as quickly, she is sent against her wishes away from her fortress home to a stronghold beyond the mountains where she’ll be safe from harm in the coming war with the Saxons. Now Branwen lives as a true Princess should - in lavish quarters, surrounded by exquisite things. But she is more used to life on the borderlands, where danger lurks over every hill - and even in this life of luxury, her heart and soul remain those of a born warrior!

Just when Branwen despairs of ever being able to join in the fight against the Saxons, a seemingly chance encounter with a mystical woman in white changes her life forever. With no time to lose, Branwen must make a choice: either to continue on the path her parents have set for her, or to do as the woman in white bids and step into the role of a true Warrior Princess.

“You are one of The Shining Ones?”

“I am.”

Branwen stepped forwards, her eyes grown used to the brilliance thrown off by the woman in white, but her mind still dazzled. “What do you want of me?”

“I have waited long for you, warrior child. All of Brython will be your home, and you will gather to you a band of warriors who shall keep the enemy at bay for many long years.”

“No! You’re wrong. I’m not a warrior.”

“You can be a warrior, if you choose to be,” Rhiannon said, her eyes shining.

“Not me!”

“There is no one else,” Rhiannon said. “You are the one who will save this land. You are the Sword of Destiny. The Bright Blade! The Emerald Flame of your people!”

[cross-posted from MySpace]