On his fifteenth birthday, Tommandros left home with nothing but a travel sack, his trusty walking stick, and a peculiar bag of old bones that belonged to Gran. His destination: the city of Jahaelis where the High Elect, a council comprised of the most powerful summoners in the world, judge the merits of every novice in the land. If he passes, he’ll join one of the known orders and learn how to use his powers. If not, his powers will be removed and he’ll have to forge a new path in life. Along the way, he encounters a sharp-tongued sorceress who can call down lightning from the sky. Taking a particular interest in his macabre heirloom, she decides to accompany him to the city on a mysterious errand of her own.
In a nutshell, think The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle (at least in tone), generously sprinkled with Ursula K. Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea. I’m probably grasping a bit here, but these authors have had a heavy hand in shaping my own voice.
One of my favorite movies when I was a kid was The Last Unicorn. It still has the power to make me cry. Couple that with my mother’s nightly ritual of reading classics like The Chronicles of Narnia and Bruce Coville books like Jeremy Thatcher the Dragon Hatcher, and it’s no wonder I developed a love for all things magical.
I conceived the idea for These Old Bones not long after my own grandmother passed away. The character of Gran and her relationship with Tomm is an homage to my own relationship, which you’ll see as the story unfolds. The story explores what it means to overcome your doubts and embrace your true potential...also there are wizards and magic and dark plots afoot.
I hope you enjoy following Tomm’s journey. You can follow me on Twitter @andyjainsworth. Beware of snark.