Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Curious Prophecy of Birds: Folklore & Mystery Clash in Chart-Climbing Novel

Many people dream of exploring remote Scottish islands, craving the seclusion and mysterious beauty of places a far cry from home. In her gripping new mystery novel, author Amanda Darcy follows two complete strangers who find themselves on the island of Faull for very different reasons. When their paths cross they are drawn into events more dark and terrifying than they ever could have imagined.

‘The Curious Prophecy of Birds’ will have readers redefining many elements of their own lives…

In the Curious Prophecy of Birds, four stories are woven together in a complex timeline. Fate, coincidence and the secrets of the past conspire to create a final dramatic twist in which the interconnections between strangers are revealed.

The interwoven stories are those of Kate Simmonds, climber and ornithologist; Nick Johnson, university researcher; the islanders of Faull and the mysterious flock of birds that has descended upon the island. 

Kate is drawn to the island by reports of mysterious bird-behaviour. Nick is there to investigate the island’s sinister past.

Kate is drawn into using her climbing skills to help Nick investigate strange carvings and rock symbols. As they begin to unravel the islanders’ secrets they are helped and hindered by the actions of the birds and various islanders. Together they survive several life-threatening situations only to realise that the islanders believe that their gods demand blood sacrifices. A ceremony is due within days. Unable to secure outside help they can only watch the barbaric cliff top ritual. Nick risks his life to prevent the sacrifice taking place. Two of the island elders die but the ceremony is only finally thwarted when a Chinook helicopter arrives, alerted by a suspicious coastguard. 

The islanders refuse to speak of the events of that night. Life on Faull appears to return to normal but the danger is not over yet…..

“While most people don’t recognise it, fate and coincidence mould our lives. This book pushes those influences to the forefront of the narrative, and readers will turn the last page acutely aware of how they figure in their own existence,” explains the author, a passionate photographer who took inspiration for the book’s title from some of her photographic work. “Some entire communities have secrets and this novel blends them with folklore to produce an edge-of-the-seat saga that proves just how quickly seclusion can contort mainstream beliefs and cultures, and how powerless one is in the face of revenge.”

Continuing, “Where do the birds figure? While they are not the epicentre of the narrative, they are essential to the story. The island mythology states that the birds carry the souls of the dead between earth and heaven. They also avenge those souls who are not yet ready to leave. The book has had great early success. It hit the #1 spot for its category during a free download period, is steadily climbing the charts and has remained in the ‘Top 100’ in one of its categories. I was also thrilled to reach the top ten on YouWriteOn.com.”

Readers have also come out in their droves to leave rave reviews. Sara Robinson comments, “A clever, gripping story with a totally unexpected twist at the end. A real page-turner appealing to those who love trying to solve a mystery and an ideal holiday read.”

N. Barstow adds, “A gripping and involving story, the web of important snippets rewards careful reading. Mythology, mystery and a well-crafted island setting provide an intriguing backdrop for the convincing and well-drawn characters.”

‘The Curious Prophecy of Birds’ is available now: http://amzn.to/1FtwhTy.
For the author’s photographs, visit: http://www.amandadarcy.com.

About the Author:
Amanda Darcy lives and works in Sussex, UK. She writes for the pleasure of crafting and telling a good story with the emphasis on mystery, intrigue and fast moving scenes.

Her first novel, "The Curious Prophecy of Birds", is a fast paced thriller, based in a small island community and explores how the past can so often come to haunt the present and define the future.

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