Here, my friend, take the harp. I am sure you can entertain us with a fine lay! For Caedda, a slave on the estates of the monastery ruled by St Hild, words could be more terrible. Escaping to the solitude of a byre, the slave reviews his privileged past before trying to come to terms with the danger that he finds himself in. Where can he find refuge when he has already hidden in the most obscure way that he could? Can the Lord's Poet avoid retribution again or is it time to rise to the challenge and embrace his destiny?
JK Deaconson was born in Dundee, Scotland in 1968 and after a young childhood spent around the UK, settled down in Newcastle upon Tyne. By the time he started college he had already met his future wife and had fallen in love not just with her but with what his home; his city (Newcastle) and his county (Northumberland). Reading Environmental Studies at Sunderland and Anglo-Saxon Studies at Newcastle University, he has a fine appreciation of the natural world and how people interact with their landscape in traditional societies, and an affinity for Old English literature. The first fruits of this was The Adventures of the Billy Goats Gruff, published under a different name in 2010, where a mix of traditional fairy tale and elements of Anglo-Saxon history and mythology came together. It also saw the first reference to the protagonist in his latest work, Caedmon: The Lord's Poet In return, one of the characters there has a walk-on role in Caedmon's story. JK Deaconson lives with his wife, four children and two lurchers in Newcastle upon Tyne.