Wednesday, 17 November 2021

WILDLORD book trailer


Gareth Jones has made this spooky trailer for Wildlord.

Tuesday, 16 November 2021

Treacle Walker by Alan Garner: review

Treacle Walker by Alan Garner

Joe, a boy living on his own in a dilapidated house, goes for an eye test. The letters don’t behave as they should, and morph into Latin (from an old alchemical text, incidentally, though Joe doesn’t know it). In Alan Garner’s numinous new book, Treacle Walker (4th Estate), time and reality shimmer with strangeness. The title refers to the name of a  rag and bone man with “green violet” eyes, who appears at Joe’s house one morning, initiating mysterious incidents. He speaks philosophically: “For at the very moment you have Now, it flees. It is gone. It is, on the instant, Then.” He also spouts strange words: “hurlothrumbo” and “lumperhomock” - characters in a play by an 18th century dancing master called Samuel Johnson, which refer directly to the supernatural. We are not in Kansas any more.

Garner’s body of work stands apart. His children’s books are like poems, spare, tense and achingly vivid, starred with poignancy, beauty and passion. Treacle Walker is set some time in the 1950s, evoked with loving, choice detail, including a comic called Knockout that becomes eerily significant. Despite this, the novel seems ageless and fable-like.

Joe must be put to the test, and when his eye gains magical powers, a dangerous force is set loose which he has to thwart. The book hauntingly employs doppelgangers, mirrors and cuckoos, whilst also creating a new kind of nature myth.
Treacle Walker shows us renewal, resurrection, and the cycles of the seasons; and it does so with an artistry and attention rarely seen in children’s literature. Those who know Garner’s work will sense another golden thread, woven into the tapestry; those who don’t will be entranced, and, with luck, led into a world of treasures.

Buy it here

Friday, 29 October 2021

Podcast with Nikki Gamble: In the Reading Corner


I very much enjoyed doing this podcast with Nikki Gamble. We talked about Wildlord, folklore, fantasy and more. You can listen here.

Friday, 22 October 2021

Monday, 18 October 2021

Wildlord: Book of the Week in Books for Keeps


Good morning all. I am thrilled to announce that Wildlord is Book of the Week in Books for Keeps, the children's books periodical. You can read their review here, and an interview, too.

Monday, 11 October 2021

Interview with Eve McDonnell in

 A few weeks ago, I had a lovely chat via Zoom with Eve McDonnell (the author of Elsetime, a wonderful historical novel) about Wildlord. The interview is up here on It was such a pleasure to talk to Eve.