“Countless affairs have come to pass in places that don’t exist. They become whispers carried by the wind, or symbols suggested in tree bark; stories woven in constellations, in a twisted fairytale, in an old map… Foreign yet familiar, like the crackle of a fire. They speak of other times, in other worlds. Of the land where she stood: a space that wasn’t at all, and whose inexistence rippled beyond the merely tangible to stun the very threads of reality.” —
When Liahna discovers she is the protagonist of a forest murmur (whispers of consciousness that carry tales of the past and future), she bolts in search of home. Her perspective changes when she bumps into Haenrih, an ‘knight’ errant (thug-for-hire) with a mission: to deliver the foreigner to a feared queen. With assassins at their heels, the dangers and ambitions around the murmur escalate beyond their grasp: Liahna’s journey will not only spark wars; her journey could determine the fate of humanity both in Auldland and on Earth.
The Tree of Dawn is a tale about inherited burdens, pan-european myths with a spin, social stigma, unlikely friendships, and matriarchal bonds.
“He wasn’t alone, though he should have been. The indentation in the slate mountain was some yards off a beaten path riddled with thorny bushes and boasting a complete lack of signage... A rather ill-humoured sort of mountain trail. Perhaps for that very reason it was an unfrequented route, only traced by the matchstick legs of lost sheep and the grumbling steps of shepherds splashing mud on the chase. But he wasn’t alone. The man could see the apparition clearly in the glow of the fire that separated them.” —
“Liahna gasped for air, but Nothing went inside her lungs. She patted her naked breasts, looking for any holes that could be letting the precious air out... Her eyes flickered in fear. She had been there for too long already, she realised, looking around to find that Nothing was the only thing to see. Nothing was everywhere. It was everything.” —