I’ve been putting these out over social media over the last few days…here they are gathered together for your reading pleasure!
Inadvertently tumbling through the border after Fenn, Sergeant Will Grant of the Metropolitan Police has spent three months in prison. When Fenn frees him, they step through the border to the Egyptian desert. It’s a two week trip back to England, with the possibility of pursuit. Will the journey give Fenn and Will time to resolve the feelings they have been dancing around since the day they met?
Fenn of the Hunters is a reluctant traveler from their world to London. At the beginning of Shadows on the Border, they are sent by the Council of Ternants to recapture and bring home an escaped carnas, on of the creatures that feed on magic the Ternants use to police the border between the worlds.
Fenn is a magical worker. The Frem call the energy they use to manipulate time and space kias. Fenn and their family are all very strong natural users. One of their special skills is to track strong sources of kias–in people, things or animals. That’s why they’ve been sent after the carnas. Fenn’s not sure what the carnas is doing lost in London; but it’s their duty as hunter to bring it home.
Will Grant’s London is very different to the Underhalls of the Frem that Fenn is used to and they are grateful for the help that Will and his team provide. Their growing connection with Will Grant himself is something that they didn’t expect and are not quite sure what to do with.
Fenn is tired of being manipulated by the Ternants. They want to finish this job, in this busy, crowded, mechanical world and return to their family.
Detective Sergeant William Grant is in all three of the Lost in Time 1920s London books. He is Alec Carter’s second in command. He was invalided out of Military Intelligence (“Contradiction in terms, old chap!”) after he got caught out in a gas attack in 1915. Before that he was working in the Middle East–Palestine and Egypt. He’s in his early forties by the time The Hunted and the Hind begins.
He comes from a wealthy family who were bemused by his decision to go into the police when he came out of the army, but he really didn’t feel like he wanted to do the Foreign Office thing he’d been offered. Boots on the ground and not too much responsibility seemed like a good plan for a while.
He’s always known he wasn’t attracted to women and has reached his own internal peace with that. When he meets Fenn at the beginning of Shadows on the Border, he’s a bit confused because Fenn is so androgynous and that’s not the type of chap he’s previously been attracted to.
Oh. And he’s a worker, or in his boss, Alec’s, terms a bloody magician. It runs in the family. His grandfather was apparently a skilled worker who disappeared some time in the 1860s whilst involved with the Regent’s Park group. So his father never learned all that he should have. He passed on as much as he could to Will, so Will’s not entirely ignorant, just not as well prepared as he’d have liked to be when all these peculiar things start to happen in London.
The picture I’ve included is of Cecil Beaton and Gary Cooper, some time in the 1930s. In my mind’s eye, Will is Beaton, on the left. Cooper is pretty similar to Alec, although they never flirt like these two are.
Matthew Webber is the owner of Webber’s Farm in 1919, at the beginning of Inheritance of Shadows. He was born in 1886 and he took over the running of the farm when his father died before the war. He’s not a big man, but he’s wiry and strong from all the physical work he does; and like everyone nowadays, he knows how to kill a person with his bare hands and use a gun.
He’s been in love with Rob Curland from a distance for years, but obviously he had to hide what he felt-from everyone and from Rob too, because who wants to end up in prison? Instead Matty was walking out with Marie Booth from the farm over the hill in a desultory fashion, in the same way that Rob was walking out with her sister. Then the war came and despite working on the land and therefore not being required to join up to fight, both he and Rob went away to France.
Matty has always believed he isn’t as clever or as worthy as his brother Arthur, because Arthur went to university and then away to London and Matty stayed at home to run the farm. He fears not being good enough and not living up to his hero-worship of his brother. But actually, Matty is as clever as his brother was, and more sensible too.
He likes reading and he likes learning. He was educated until he was sixteen and then he left school and helped his father with the farm. He’s kept reading, though, anything he can get his hands on, so picking up the books and continuing Arthur’s research isn’t too much of a stretch for him. He loves that he and Rob are equals in that. Equals in everything, really. That’s what he wants from life-someone to share things with.
You can read the first 7,500 words of Inheritance of Shadows as the free short story The Gate.