'and being dead is hard work and full of retrieval before once can gradually feel a trace of eternity...'
The First Elegy, Rainer Maria Rilke
Vol. 1: The Long Woman, Awen 2004
When does a story start? With a biplane flying over a battlefield at dawn? With a whistling postman on a creaking bicycle delivering a telegram to a house in Eastbourne? A box of personal effects? With an engagement ring, slipped onto a finger on the eve of the new century? Or before that? The moment of conception? The ghost-trails of ancestors? Or even before that? Before history... The meeting of a magician and a priestess? A curse? Or even further back? To the splitting of light, the birth of shadow? To the death of worlds? The beginning of the universe – the first fracturing of harmony and discord? Now I see it all – time compacted, occupying the same space – all contained within me, within this moment. The shining roads … stretching into the past, present and future. Intersecting alignments of lives, of desires and destinies.
The winds of the worlds blow – who can say when they start? Who can disentangle their invisible threads? Who can sing their song?
I am a windsmith.
And this is my song.
Let me choose a point in time, a place, a person dear to me.
Fantasy and history clash in this soaring epic, which follows the adventures of Isambard Kerne, Royal Flying Corps observer and Edwardian antiquarian, as he explores the Realms of the Four Winds and beyond. Only by mastering the Way of the Windsmith will he finally find release from Shadow World – a parallel Earth he becomes trapped in after falling through a mysterious vortex in the First World War. A man alive in the Afterlands of the dead, his quest is to find atonement for the murder of his co-pilot and return home to the land of the living, to the soil of his soul: the British Isles. Along the way he meets the lost of history, including aviators Amelia Earhart and Antoine de St-Exupéry, side-by-side with legends, angels and demons. Only by mastering the Four Winds can this Edwardian Odysseus master his fate and find his way home.
Welcome to the world of Windsmith. Find out about the five books, read sample chapters, discover more about the real remarkable characters who feature in the book, purchase a copy or make a date in your diary for an event...
'Kevan Manwaring writes in the bardic tradition of English prose, one which honours the vision of our landscape as sacred ground and knows that our lives and history are at their most intense when lived in close relation to its claims on the soul. His WINDSMITH ELEGY represents an impressive and substantial body of work.' Lindsay Clarke, Whitbread prize winning novelist, author of The Chymical Wedding & The Water Theatre
'A compulsively readable, & beautifully written tale of love and loss. The interweaving of past and present, the earthly and the supernatural creates a poetic and haunting novel - one that is as uplifting as it is heartbreaking. Maud's determination and endurance is a great testament to the possibilities of the spirit. Her search for something permanent in a transient world is a journey we can all relate to. A great achievement...a beautiful book.' Waterstones Recommends (The Long Woman)
'To me, it seems that Kevan’s richly imaginative story-spinning is in the process of developing a tour de force. We need more such visionary literature today to counter the endemic defeatism of our times, and portray the mythic, the heroic potential of humankind.' Geoff Ward, Mysterious Planet
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