An Artist's Eye
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First Published on Jan 18 2014
An epic mystery set within the exquisitely realised ‘created-world’ realm of Dica. At its heart is a story spanning the millennia – from ancient myth and legend to the realm’s turbulent present – all seen through the intimate vision of its idiosyncratic characters. These are folk who’ll become as real to you as friends or family, and whose revealing and somehow contemporary story will stay with you for ever more.
This is the kind of fantasy you might have expected to have come from the pen of Mervyn Peake, peopled with fully fleshed out characters reminiscent of those so joyously created by Terry Pratchett. The story at times, though, may seem to owe more to CS Lewis as it weaves its way through a rich, deep and multi-threaded tapestry of a plot that would have pleased the science fiction master Olaf Stapledon. And of course, there’s one character who mustn’t be overlooked, and that’s Dica itself – so real, immediate and all-embracing that you could be forgiven for thinking it had sprung from JRR Tolkien’s own hand.
Don’t be misled, though, for this series is entirely Clive S. Johnson – the author, the poet, the artist. Unique, inventive, idiosyncratic and thought provoking, this series will push you away from the shores of the everyday and into a delightful voyage of discovery. You will find wonder, surprise, dry humour and some gritty truths as you’re inexorably drawn into the pure joy of such a rich, poetic and deep tale, so well and beautifully told.
On the day Prescinda leaves the fishing village of Grayden, and her marriage to a man she’s never loved, her return to the old family home of Blisteraising Farm is interrupted. A surprise visit by Nephril brings with it a strange request that he seems reluctant to explain.
“I know thou hath heard talk of a distant city,” was how he broached it, which seemed more benign than his last request that she "scare someone almost to death". This time she was asked to help Falmeard spy out a rare sight, but one which could very well foretell the end of the realm of Dica, and thereby of existence itself.
There begins a most strange journey that turns into a race to a discovery that should never have been possible. What finally comes to light places Dica and its people in their true perspective, and reveals an enemy within, an enemy they must defeat.
But even if Prescinda and her friends succeed, has Dica already been taken too far awry for the damage to be undone? Can they find a way to bring the realm back onto the path to a safe new future, and so keep true to the artist’s eye?
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