Sunday, February 21, 2016

Michael Forester, Author of the Epic Fantasy-Poetry "Dragonsong" | Excerpt

Hello readers,
Today on the blog, I am pleased to share an excerpt from Michael Forester's latest novel "Dragonsong." As many of you know, I am a poet, so I instantly appreciate texts that experiment with verse of give generous nods towards traditional forms and styles. "Dragonsong" is an epic fantasy written in rhyming Old English (did your inner nerd just squeal with excitement? Because I totally started smiling like crazy when I first heard about Forester's novel taking on this form).

Forester has ever so kindly given us a special sneak-peak into his novel, and I hoping that you will all enjoy it as much as I have! As a poet, I know that it not only takes time but some extreme skills to pull off what Forester has done. The interwoven rhyme is not off-putting, and it gives way for ones imagination to reflect back upon older epic stories that must have been sung around hearths in the days of old. This skill should be of no surprise since Forester is a graduate of Oxford University. He, as he puts it, "was born with a pen in hand." He is an award winning author and has works already in print. You can learn more about him at the bottom of this post, but as for now, I  hope that you enjoy the novel description and the excerpt!

About the Novel:

Genre: Fantasy Poetry
Word Count: 3,200
Rebekah, daughter of Merlin and noblewoman of Albion has been driven to madness by the murder of her lover Vidar. In her torment she bargains with the Prince of Demons to turn her into a dragon. Once transformed, she seeks to take revenge upon her father, Merlin, whom she is fooled into believing is responsible for Vidar’s death. Behind the subterfuge stands Oberon, Captain-King of Elves, who cannot foresee the devastation his jealousy and unrequited love for Rebekah will unleash upon the world of Gaia. Its salvation depends upon Merlin travelling back in time to find a pure hearted warrior, Lady Attie, who, together with Michael, seer of Albion, must take the Sleep Stone from the gates of Hell to persuade the dragon to sleep. But if they are unable to return the Stone to the mouth of Hell in time, the demon army will awaken and ransack Gaia in a war that will destroy its existence. Time is the solution to Gaia’s destiny – but only if the gods of Asgard can find a way to stop it. Dragonsong is a unique epic fantasy that explores fundamental themes of good and evil, jealously and revenge. Woven together with a gripping and powerful plot, the pattern of the language, the musicality of the form and the profound emotions invoked carry the reader to extremes of human experience and capability at both its best and worst. Read an Excerpt Below!

Chapter V: Dragon Love


The dragon came to Albion
as morning light did touch the land
and not a sound of dragonsong
escaped her lips as she did stand
upon the soil of Gaia once again.
She stood before Arthurian Court.
The light did her illuminate.
And for her father now she sought
and on this thought did ruminate:
that he his final lesson must be taught.


The sun, it rose into the sky
and mused she, that upon this day
she would, her father, make comply,
and maybe this would take away
the depths of torment that her heart did feel.
For mostly now, and oftentime,
of sanity was she bereft.
Her human thought, it did decline,
and mostly dragon heart was left.
And Merlin's death that process might now seal.


As sun did make the shadows long
did Harmony, a mighty roar
exude, and thus did dragonsong
resound within the land once more,
and mothers held their children to their breasts.
And those that then did walk abroad
fled to their homes at rapid pace.
And those who had, did take their swords
and hid themselves in safest place,
and put their breast plates close upon their chests.


For all did know the fearful sound
and all were truly terrified.
The dragonsong did now resound
and once again it did abide
in Gaia -and still worse -in Albion.
Then roar-ed Harmony in rage,
"Show me my father, bring him here!
For nothing will my hate assuage
until I see him kneel in fear
and shed his blood for Vidar who is gone."


But nothing did disturb the sound
of wind that blew between the trees.
No battle cry did there resound.
No army came now, her, to seize.
Only before her rose the blinding sun.
Then with no warning, nor with sound,
did Merlin stand before the Court
and thus did occupy the ground,
the very place that she had sought
to tear him bodily as had been done …


… to Vidar, many decades past
as she now never could forget.
Her memory would ever last
and in her heart was fully set -
however much the dragon nature raged.
Then Merlin gently lifted up
his voice and to his daughter spake,
"My love-child, thou didst surely sup
a bitter drink -thy heart did break
and ever in this pain it is engaged.


Canst thou hear me my precious child?
Or is thy mind deluded so?
And is thy nature now too wild
to take on human form and go
and walk with me and talk with me this day?”
The dragon stood its ground, but thought.
And deep within a tiny sound -
a single word it had been taught
replete with meaning, full profound:
'Twas "righteousness" - a word she could not say.


Her voice did growl from deep within,
"Why hast thou been the cause of death?
And was my lover lost in sin
that thou should leave me thus bereft
and aching, now, into death’s arms to fly?
And for thee now, no love I have
but hold thee just in deep contempt.
But unto thee my gift I'd give
and then my anger would be spent.
My father: 'tis a perfect day to die.”

Learn More about the author

Some are born with silver spoons in their mouths. Michael Forester was born with a pen in his hand.
Of course, it was immediately pinched by his big brother who put it on a shelf too high for him to reach. He got his own back though. He nicked his brother’s abacus and hid behind the sofa with it. Thus his accountancy and entrepreneurial career was born, but always clouded by a nagging suspicion that his true calling had something to do with writing.
By the time he was 30 he was finally tall enough to reach the shelf, and took down the pen. This induced a bout of split personality disorder in which he oscillated between pillaging the stock market and writing books teaching others how to make incalculably vast sums of money (one was called Going for Growth and the other, How to Make More Profit). Unfortunately, they didn’t make incalculably vast sums of money themselves.
The millennium year saw a complete volte-face (millennia can be quite feisty like that, Michael says – still, not to worry, he’s fully prepared for the next one) in which he determined to devote his life to poetry, fiction and life writing. The first result was If It Wasn’t For That Dog, about his first year with his beloved hearing dog, Matt. (Michael has been severely deafened from the age of 30). Sold on behalf of the charity Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, the book is still in print.
Short stories followed on subjects ranging from goblins and dryads to inter-racial love in a racist age, marital breakdown to bureaucracy, nursery rhymes to Alzheimer’s disease. Not far behind came poetry from haiku to epic fantasy poems and New Age mind-body-spirit writings on subjects as diverse as self-worth and the nature of physical death.
In 2009 he won first prize at the Winchester Writer’s Festival in the ‘Writing can be Murder’ category. He has been short/longlisted three times in the Fish Writing Contest.
Eventually Michael felt ready to start his first novel, Vicious, a story of Punk Rock, reincarnation and the second coming of the Messiah. It took six years to complete the manuscript which passed through five drafts and will be showcased by The Literary Consultancy in November 2015. It was followed by its sequel, ‘Daughter of Man’. Both volumes await publication while Michael works on the third and final volume of the trilogy, ‘If The Dead Be Not Raised’.
Now at the venerable age of 59 (deep respect, master, deep respect) Michael divides his time between Tenerife and the UK. He numbers dryads, angels and Liberal Democrat Voters amongst his closest friends (but he acknowledges the last of these are widely considered to be mythical creatures).
Michael is now blessed with the opportunity of devoting the better part of his time to the pursuit of literary stardom. His children look on aghast as he squanders their inheritance on such profligacies as A4 printing paper and laser toner cartridges.
They need have no concern. He plans to leave them the pen.
Many thanks to Michael Forester for allowing us to have him on the blog! What do you think about "Dragonsong"? 

May Excellence, Happiness, and many Books come your way! With Much Love,

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