Swords and Shadows

Countdown to HIGH MAGA
Detail from the cover of Sword of Shadows. In this scene, Kel’Barú is Eolyn’s only hope against the forces of darkness. Artwork by Thomas Vandenberg.

I want to express my deepest thanks for everyone’s support during last week’s post. I’m always shy to share personal matters on my blog, but your responses moved me deeply and were a great help in getting me through the week.

I’m back home now, moving forward with new projects and old ambitions. And…we are now less than a week away from the release of Sword of Shadows, Book 2 of The Silver Web! (Where did the summer go?)

Sword of Shadows was previously published by Hadley Rille Books under the title High Maga. Those of you who read High Maga will find some changes in this new edition. Namely, you’ll have the opportunity to see certain events from the point of view of the villainess, Queen Rishona of the Syrnte. I’m really happy with Rishona’s scenes, and I hope you will enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them.

In addition,  Sword of Shadows includes a preview of the third and final book of the series, Daughter of Aithne. 

I’ve had several people ask me why I changed the title, so I want to talk about that a little here. The Sword of Shadows actually refers to Eolyn’s sword, Kel’Barú, which makes its first appearance in Eolyn, Book One of The Silver Web

Friends and fans of Eolyn will know that she is rather averse to swords. This is not due to some stereotypical “feminine” weakness, but stems from a deep conviction that swords represent the worst aspects of feudal power, the exercise of dominance through violence.


In Book One, the appearance of Kel’Barú in Eolyn’s life presents an irony and a dilemma. Kel’Barú is presumably her brother’s sword, and yet it does not “listen” to him. The only person Kel’Barú listens to, and the only person who can understand its song in all of the Kingdom of Moisehén, is Eolyn.

Kel’Barú’s song is not the ordinary dialect of metals, a language all warriors in Eolyn’s world come to understand. Rather, it is a magical language infused with the sorcery of the wizards of Galia.

Herein lies the untold backstory of the trilogy: Why does Kel’Barú connect with Eolyn and no one else?

No spoilers here, because at it turns out, I never quite found the opportunity to explain this in the three books I wrote for the trilogy.

The answer to this question centers on Eolyn’s father, Eoghan, a Galian warrior who came to Moisehén to support the magas in their struggle against the Mage King Kedehen. Eoghan fell in love with the maga warrior Khelia, and shortly after the war ended, they conceived a daughter, Eolyn.

Eolyn, therefore, carries her father’s Galian blood. Since Kel’Barú once belonged to his family, the sword recognizes her as one of its own. (It goes without saying, then, that Eolyn’s brother, Ernan, had a different father; this is the fundamental barrier that keeps him from being able to use the Galian sword effectively.)

In the first book of the trilogy, Eolyn never quite overcomes her aversion for all swords, including Kel’Barú. But in the second book, Sword of Shadowsshe must come terms with the special power she has over this weapon, as the future of her people may depend on it.

So on one level, the new title alludes to a very particular aspect of Eolyn’s journey as a woman in magic. On a deeper level, however, the title also refers to the ominous power swords continue to represent in Eolyn’s world. Sword of Shadows is a book about war and all the terror it brings. In this sense, every sword becomes a sword of shadows. Every sword is doomed to leave death and destruction in its wake.

SWORD OF SHADOWS will be released in Kindle on July 19th and is available now for pre-order from Amazon. 


2 responses to “Swords and Shadows”

  1. Terri-Lynne DeFino Avatar
    Terri-Lynne DeFino

    I never knew this backstory. I love it! And how perfectly representative of the fact that though an author needs to know such details, the reader actually doesn’t…but, as a fan, it’s always fun to have “insider” information.

    Welcome home. Love and peace to you on this part of the journey!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Terri! I tried to find a place where I could work this detail in in book 3, but there weren’t any opportunities that didn’t feel forced.


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