It’s tough being a thirteen-year old schoolboy, especially when you’re a coward and the big brother who stuck up for you is dead. Oh, and you’ve been thrust into a magical realm you’re expected to save single-handedly. Sebastian Duffy has to learn an awful lot of skills in a hurry if he is to defeat Phobitor by stealing the Spear of Lugh from the peace-loving Tuath. He’s been given some help of course–a mercurial sorceress, an orphaned druidess, a taciturn warrior, a snuff-sniffing leprechaun and a lovelorn poet– an outfit known as the Hibernauts, but can he really overcome a psychopathic, warmongering god when half the realm is bent on his destruction? If he is to have the remotest chance he will have to do deal with aiia, cluricaun, brigands, woodwose, undead warriors, speckled bats, spies, hunkypunks, traitors, skeletons and battle-swine first. And are those Tuath really so peaceable? If only he could find his courage.
Praise for The Traitor’s Trap
An imaginative epic…an intricate and fully realised fantasy world with a big cast of likeable characters that are charming, well drawn and endearing, with wonderfully apt names. The depth and breadth of the author’s high-voltage imagination, and the richness of the world created is very impressive.
~Sam Mills, author of Blackout, The Boys Who Saved the World, and The Quiddity of Will Self
I cannot say just how much I have enjoyed this book … a very accomplished writer with a wonderfully rich imagination and an incredibly inventive mind. Readers will come to love the many wonderful creations in this novel, it is jam-packed with the most wonderful and inventive characters; new, exciting and beautifully realized. ~Cherry Mosteshar, author of Unveiled: One Woman’s Nightmare in Iran
Static fizzed in his littlest fingers. It felt like the most natural thing in the world. He turned to Conall and pointed. Sparks flew from the tips, longer and longer ones that raced across the space separating them. Of a sudden, two streaks of light burst from his fingertips upending Conall who fell perilously close to the edge. Irritated at not finishing him off, Sebastian turned to Roisin and Blodwyn, raising his littlest fingers. Thinking better of it, he span back to Conall. Fearless of the slippery rocks, he sauntered over and delivered a fierce kick to Conall’s loins intending to roll him off the edge. The warrior barely moved. Raising his fingers, he pointed them downward, watching with satisfaction as the sparks crackled and kindled, building up to the killer crescendo. He playfully sent Conall’s prostate body this way and that, edging him ever closer to the precipice. It felt so good to be killing this insect.
A renewed roar arose as the host of knights poured onto the battlefield. Sebastian let his spyglass fall, transfixed. A dreamlike veil began billowing at the edge of his vision, yet it dissolved rapidly and the scene sharpened into crystal clarity. Countless souls were being murdered before his eyes. His defenses breached, harrowing screams flooded his ears; an awful sound he could not bear. He forced his gaze upwards.
Gobbleratches had arrived in droves and the sky was filled with twisting, plummeting forms. He sank to his knees.
“I could have prevented this,” he wailed, curling into a ball. “Why did they do this to me? How could they expect me to kill thousands to save more? I’m just a boy.”
He screwed his eyes shut and pressed his palms against his ears, trying to zone out. It did no good. The battle consumed his senses. He could taste it.
“Are you alright?” asked Blodwyn, her voice appearing to come at him down a tunnel.
“Why did you bring me here?” he cried angrily, his hands trembling uncontrollably.
“I’m so sorry,” sobbed Blodwyn, dropping beside him. “I’m so, so sorry.”
“I can’t get away,” he screamed. “I’m scared. I want to go away. I want to go home.”
Feeling her hands on him, he pushed her roughly away, but when she persisted he found he had no fight left and he let her fold herself around him, opening his eyes to her hypnotic gaze. He saw her raise her arm and bring it toward him, felt the branch touch his brow, and as her lips brushed his lobes and her tears kissed his face, heard the words she whispered in his ear, knew, even as he dissolved into sleep, that he had never heard anything so wonderful in all his life.
“Child of my heart,” she murmured. “Child of my heart.”
Brendan Murphy was raised in Sheffield, England, with dreams of becoming a writer, and has written every day since he was nine years old. After reading medicine in London and psychiatry in Manchester, he moved to Australia in 1999. He is an Associate Professor at Monash University and has written widely on youth mental health. His nonfiction work on the development of football in Victorian society, From Sheffield with Love, was published in 2007. He is contracted to Assent Publishing for his six-book fantasy series, Sebastian and the Hibernauts. The first adventure, Beyond the Gloaming was published in 2014 and the sequel, The Traitor’s Trap, in 2015. He is a columnist for Aontacht magazine. He lives with his wife, Katrina, and their children, Sebastian and Violette, in a sprawling property built for the composer, Dorian Le Gallienne. They share their garden with a mob of kangaroos, a wombat, two possums, any number of creepy crawlies, and some very feisty kookaburras.
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