Tour Stop & Interview: Shadowland by C. M. Gray

Name of book: Shadowland
Author: C. M. Gray
Publication: February 7th 2012
Genre: Fantasy
Source: Provided by the author...
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‘I have lived more years than I can remember, probably more than the sum of all your years combined. Kings have called me friend and brigands have sworn to burn the flesh from my bones even if they have to search all seven halls of the shadowland to find me.’

On the night of midwinter’s eve, a storyteller takes his listeners back to the Dark ages and a tale from his youth.

Deserted by its Roman masters, Britain has been invaded by the Saxons at the invitation of Vortigern, traitorous leader of the Britons. Now, as the tribes unite to reclaim their land, one man must rise to lead them and become their true and only king.

-- My Rating --

-- My Thoughts --

     While reading all of these series, you come to forget the pleasure of reading a standalone. The pleasure of knowing the end soon enough, so you won't have to predict it a hundred times. This book is a great pleasure to read!
     An old storyteller tells a story that goes back far through time. He tells a story that is so old that none had lived to tell it. But the storyteller narrates the story as he have been there, and he really was there. At least, that's what he thinks.
      The book is the story of Usher, his best friend, Calvador, and many others. It is the story of a king rising in the land when he was needed by the people. It is the story of the powerful and wise king of the Britons. The story of rage, betrayal, and vengeance.
      I loved this book! There were numerous aspects that I loved. First, the storyline is original, there are parts that no other books have these days, the author created and manipulated the world like a professional magician. That's what this book was, it was magical!
     Second, the voice of the author is breath-taking. It is as if my grandpa is sitting and telling me a tale of his old times. The writing style is wonderful, just look:

They continued listening to the men's conversation until their dreams placed a blanket on their minds.

     The only complain I had  was the pace was too slow, you would read a dozen pages, just for something new to happen. But toward the end, the pace quickened. This book strays away from the books  I usually read, it was different! And that's exactly what you will feel too, you will feel that this book is different,special, and electrifying.  This book is wonderfully written indeed, it should be given the praise it rightfully earned.

-- Interview with C. M. Gray --

Me: Hello, and welcome to my blog. I am very happy to have you here. I would love to know, how long have you been writing?
C. M. Gray: Hi, thanks for inviting me here it's a great pleasure to be speaking with you today. I've been writing since I first discovered that I'm not a great fan of modern reality shows on tv, which was about seven years ago! I live in Spain, but being English we get UK tv, which was great until my wife found programmes like Big Brother and all the different Simon Cowell shows where they look for enough people to turn up and embarrass themselves by singing badly ... Anyhow, I decided back then to listen to the little voice I had been hearing, telling me to try and write a book, after all, we all have a book or two inside us, don't we?

Me: We sure do! Where did you get the idea for "Shadowland"? Did anyone come to inspire it?
C. M. Gray:  It wasn't inspired by anything or anyone really. I'm not keen on romance and there are too many vampire and zombie novels out there, so I had the notion of an old storyteller sitting down by the fire at the end of a villages mid-winter's eve feast, the villagers gathering around him to listen to a fanciful tale. 
At this point I had no idea where the books was going and hadn't thought of anything Arthurian, but it just crept up on me as I hope it creeps up on you!

The storyteller ends up telling a story taken from his youth. It is set in the period of history known as the dark ages, so the name Shadowland comes from that, a shadowy time that we know so little about as the Romans are leaving Britain and Saxon aggressors are arriving in boats to lay claim to the undefended land. Uther Pendragon rises when he is needed by his land and the scattered tribes.
The other reason the book is called Shadowland is the name describes the space between life and death, between light and darkness, the Shadowland. One of the protagonists walks the Shadowland, that's Cal and he is a strange character.

Me: Which character is your personal favorite? Which character did you put more "you" in? 
C. M. Gray:  Ooh, good question. Well Merlyn is one of the main protagonists and I like the idea of wise Druids and magic users...but then Uther is the central figure and is a pretty mean swordsman, which is cool. However I think I mostly enjoyed writing the scenes with Cal, so maybe he is more in tune with me. I especially like that When writing for Cal it takes three different forms; when he is young, when he is old and when...well his character has a third very different side as well!

Me: What is your favorite scene in "Shadowland"?
C. M. Gray:  I liked the scenes with the wolves. To be in the head of a wolf makes for an interesting chapter.

Me: Do you have any other works on the way? Spare us some hints?
C. M. Gray:  I recently released my second novel, it's a YA fantasy questing adventure, called The Flight of the Griffin. There is no historical reference with this one, it's pure fantasy but it rips along at a fast pace as the four orphans living on a boat named 'The Griffin' try to finish a 'last great spell' while demons and an evil hunter are pursuing them.

Me: And now for some quick Q & A
    Favorite drink?
C. M. Gray:  I have several. I'm English so I love tea. I also enjoy a glass of wine, preferably Spanish red from the Ribero del Duero region. But on a hot day I just love lime juice over crushed ice!

    Favorite book?
C. M. Gray:  Anything by John Steinbeck, he was an incredible writer. I love the books by M.C.Rice (Manda Rice) with her books about Boudicca and Rome...I love books basically!

    Favorite singer / musician?
C. M. Gray:  John Martyn, but maybe you haven't heard of him? I also like Ray Le Montaigne who I hope you know. I also listen to a lot of Jazz and Blues.

    Of course I have! Favorite blog on the web?
C. M. Gray:  Why this one of course!

Me:Thank you very much for being here with us today, it's a great pleasure. Any last words?
C. M. Gray:  If you have ever thought you could write a day... Make that day today and give it a go. You never know what you'll come out with!

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