The Messenger of the Ground — Jan Fortune
Out in April — pre-order now
Two years after the events of The Standing Ground, the tiny outpost of Y Tir in North Wales becomes a refuge for those who want to live without implants; permanent links to government surveillance that are threatening to dominate people’s lives again. But can Alys, Luke and Emrys thwart the growing threats of the new tech-giants whose offers of enhanced memories and virtual lives mask the erosion of privacy and even humanity?
As new enemies threaten Y Tir’s existence, and old enemies emerge to sew seeds of destruction, Alys’ and Luke’s lives are put under increasing pressure. But there are also allies, not least Alys’ and Luke’s daughter, Iris, who appears to have fallen out of the mists of Greek legend and into Celtic myth. Can Iris, more strange and powerful even than Myrddin Emrys, also known as Merlin, save the day for Y Tir?
Skilfully combining near-future technologies of surveillance and immersive media with Arthurian legend and Greek mythology, this story of suspense is full of convincing and extraordinary characters. A breath-taking conclusion to The Standing Ground trilogy. But does this story ever end?
When the darkness rises again, the light will return wherever people stand their ground.
Jan Fortune was born in Middlesbrough and grew up in Redcar. She read theology at Cambridge and completed a doctorate in feminist theology at Exeter University. Jan has worked as a teacher, priest (ordained at the first ordination of women to the CofE) and charity director. She is the founding editor of Cinnamon Press and has edited around 400 books and led numerous creative writing courses in the Wales, the UK (including courses for Arvon and Ty Newydd), Spain, France, and online. She mentors writers from beginners to highly experienced, across genres and hosts a writing community, Kith, that includes weekly prompts, courses and inspiriation for the writing life via her site Becoming a Different Story.
Her previous publications include non-fiction titles in alternative education and parenting and the major book book for writers: Writing Down Deep: an alchemy of the writing life (available as both hardback and paperback editions) ; the novels Dear Ceridwen and Coming Home. Her previous poetry collections include Particles of Life (BlueChrome), Slate Voices (a collaborative collection with Mavis Gulliver), Stale Bread & Miracles, Edge (a companion to Adam Craig’s Year W), and Turn/Return, a pamphlet inspired by Brian Eno’s Oblique Strategies cards. Her most recent poetry publication is the haiku pamphlet At world’s end, begin
Her previous novels include the Casilda Trilogy, This is the End of the Story, A Remedy for All Things and For Hope Is Always Born, and Saoirse’s Crossing, a stand-alone spin-off novel from this sequence.
Her cross-over novels re-envisaging the Arthurian legends in a near-future authoritarian UK are The Standing Ground (originally published in 2008 and relaunched in a new edition in 2021) and The Roots of the Ground, written during the first UK lockdown as a live project with a group of writers as daily audience for first draft readings, and published in 2021. The Messenger of the Ground is the final book in this trilogy.
Jan studied aromatherapy with the Well School, is a yoga nidrā teacher with the Independent Yoga Nidrā Network and is training as a medical herbalist. She lives in a surviving area of ancient forest in Finistère, Brittany.