In order of publishing…
Protecting Cheesyfee – the Merlin Chronicles volume 4
Merlin and the Camelot legend has fascinated me since I was a child and my parents played the LP soundtrack of the Broadway musical Camelot. Throughout the years I have read countless books, including Mary Stewart’s excellent Merlin trilogy and Marion Zimmerman Bradley’s ground-breaking (but sadly, ultimately, boring) The Mists of Avalon. The BBC series Merlin sparked my imagination to the point that I wondered, what would Merlin do if he were alive today? The answer was, of course, he would use his magic in the global fight to save our environment. Thus was Protecting Cheesyfee born. I wrote it in 2015, and it takes place then. While writing, I soon realised I would have to go back to the beginning, and the idea of Merlin coming back to life now and then was born. Cheesyfee became Volume 4, to the readers’ confusion. But some enthusiastic readers could live with the confusion and have waited patiently for the prequels. Thank you, readers of Cheesyfee! The prequels are now all in place!
The Nature of Things – the Merlin chronicles volume 1
Merlin, Arthur, Gwen and Morrie as children and friends in 6th century Britain, which is when the legend starts. Following historical documentation as much as possible, this novel rewrites the myth to emphasise the conflict between magic and the new religion Christianity. I kept what I found most powerful from the Camelot myth, the wisdom of Arthur, the kingdom built on justice and equality, and the power of Gwen and Morrie (Guinevere and Morgaine). I left out the parts I didn’t like – the queen’s adultery with Lancelot (a 13th century invention), the knights and the quest for the Holy Grail (ditto), Ex
calibur, trolls and dragons and fairies, and made it Merlin’s story as he struggles to understand his magical powers while dealing with the complicated relationships with Arthur, Gwen, Morrie and nature and society themselves.
The Wrathful Traveller – the Merlin Chronicles volume 2
The decision had already been made to place Volume 2 in the period of what we call the Crusades and The Nature of Things had firmly established the conflict between magic and Christianity. By this period the Christian church had become extremely powerful and it permeated the entire society, even purloining the Merlin-Arthur legend and twisting it into a Christian fable. The Wrathful Traveller counters this and Merlin’s wrath is turned against war and religious fanaticism. One of the Christian fanatics is Arthur.
An Isle Full of Noises – the Merlin chronicles volume 3
In Cheesyfee it was established that Merlin and Shakespeare had been friends and I had been looking forward to writing this one since then, as my alter ego Ruby Jand is a Shakespeare freak. It was a pure pleasure writing the Shakespeare bits. However, they are a relatively small part of the novel, as is Elizabeth herself though it was to protect her that Merlin was brought back to life this time. He doesn’t really understand why. She’s fine as queens go and he like
s her, but why should she be protected? And by him? Merlin wanders through this book, understanding little, caring little but for his friends, new and reincarnated. He dabbles in historical events and continues his quest for knowledge, wondering why in the world he has the powers he has, and what he’s meant to do with them. Poor Merlin.