The fifteen stories that comprise this new collection have diverse settings and speak with many voices. Theirs is a magical world that often impinges on our own.
In Aiden of the Taexili and the Giant a pair of unlikely heroes encounter a deadly foe, while Mouse follows an artist caught on the boundary between two realities. In Leshi a young cadet returns to his ancestral home to solve an ancient riddle, and Come Not Nigh takes place on a distant planet far into the future. A run-down apartment building with an unusual caretaker is the setting for Mr Saria, while the beautiful young woman in The Wife finds that marrying into a noble family is not quite as she imagined it would be. Brown Jenkins, The Gardinel, and The Black Man are linked tales which tell of the life of an Appalachian witch as seen through the eyes of her familiar. We follow a young Sami woman on a perilous sea journey to save her people from starvation in The Selchie, and a novice priest penetrates the rainforests of the Amazon to learn the fate of a vanished missionary in The Nuns Tale.
Michael Eisele was born in 1943 in America, in a small town in the rolling farm country of Western New York State. Always an inveterate bookworm as a child, it was hoped that he would grow up to become a man of letters; to which end he was enrolled in an ivy-clad university with a major in English Literature. Dissatisfied with this he switched to Art in his second year, eventually leaving higher education entirely to pursue a peripatetic life as a visual artist, supporting himself by a variety of temporary jobs, from apprentice goldsmith, librarian and stone carver, to gardener, teacher, truck driver and short-order cook. During this period he crossed the American continent several times; by train, bus and once by car. He has lived in many parts of the US and for brief periods in Germany and Hungary. In 1987, newly married, he and his wife Gabrielle moved to Britain, eventually settling near the Brecon Beacons in Mid Wales with their two sons and a growing population of animals. It was there in the Land of Song, in a small town in the Welsh hills that he first found his voice as a writer and began to write stories of his own, which shows, he says ruefully, that no man may outrun his fate.