About the Author

Barry Mathias is a writer of novels, plays and poetry. He has directed and appeared in plays presented on the Islands and in Britain. Mathias emigrated from England with his wife and two daughters in 1990, and instructed at Camosun College in Victoria. He retired from teaching in December 2000 and opened a bookstore with his wife on Pender Island. They sold this successful business in January 2007 so Mathias could devote more time to writing. He is available for interviews and dramatic readings. His website is www.BarryMathias.com.

About The Books - The Ancient Bloodlines Trilogy

"Holy Grail trilogy abounds in bold action and accurate historical detail -- Pender Island playwright-director pens novels with engaging plot, compelling characters and quick pacing"

Barry Mathias, former Camosun College instructor, will launch the first two novels of his Ancient Bloodlines Trilogy in June 2008. Exciting historical adventures with 'vivid imagery and dramatic action,' these novels explore the timeless battle between good and evil, against a background of England, France and the Holy Land in the 12th century. The Holy Grail puzzle is given a new twist in Mathias's dramatic story.

The Power in the Dark is the first novel of this fast-moving historical fantasy, set in 1112, thirteen years after the fall of Jerusalem at the end of the first Crusade. The action takes place in Wessex County, England, where John and Gwen, who are in their mid-teens, find themselves the focus of powerful enemies and wonderful friends.

Shadow of the Swords continues the dramatic story in the years 1113 - 1116, introducing new characters and the concepts of nobility, friendship and love. The action moves from Wessex and Stonehenge, to France, Cyprus and eventually the Holy Land. There are romances and deadly battles, and always the unanswered questions: Why do the Knights of The Order want to control Gwen? Why is John called The Keeper of the Grail? And what is the connection between John and Gwen?

All is revealed in The Keeper of the Grail. The final novel embraces the founding of the Knights Templar in 1118, an epic power struggle in the Holy Land, and the surprising truth about John and Gwen's bloodlines.

An earlier version of the first novel is already in use by a number of BC schools. The late editor of The Malahat Review, Robin Skelton, said of The Power in the Dark: "A good story, well told. Moves along with speed and clarity, and with such vivid imagery and dramatic action that the reader becomes excited and possessed, as are the book's characters."

View the press release in PDF format here.

About The Books - The Celtic Dreams Trilogy

Celtic Dreams of Glory & In the Ashes of a Dream & The Final Dreams

Set in Wales in pre-Norman times, Celtic Dreams of Glory deals with a time period that few writers have explored. In 1039 the Welsh defeated a huge Saxon army at the Battle of Rhyd-y-Groes. The Celtic forces were led by the charismatic Gruffyd ap Llewelyn, King of Powys and Gwynedd. The story follows the battles and personal triumphs of his gradual rise to become the first and only King of All Wales in 1057, and embraces the lives of his two greatest supporters, Gwriad and Dafydd, the sons of the famous General Cydweli.

The novel accurately portrays the poverty and aspirations of the Welsh people, the stark beauty of their landscape, and brings historical relevance to the rise and fall of Wales' greatest King. Amid the plotting of the Welsh nobles and the bloody battles with Saxons, Gwriad and Dafydd remain loyal to their King. They marry unusual women, rise to great importance, but are unprepared for the sudden and awful reversal of their dreams.

Written by Barry Mathias, author of the Ancient Bloodlines Trilogy.

In 1063 the Welsh King Gruffydd was defeated by the Saxons led by Harold Godwinson, Earl of Wessex. In the Ashes of a Dream follows the eventful lives of the brothers Lord Gwriad and Lord Dafydd who, having been King Gruffydd's strongest supporters, seek to return to their traditional lifestyle in south-west Wales. But, Earl Harold continues to plot against the Welsh as part of his plan to be the next King of England, and the brothers and their wives and family are inevitably involved.

There is vivid action when the Welsh and the Saxons clash in their on-going war; but for Harold the Welsh are merely a convenient enemy as he seeks to become a national hero in his struggle to succeed the childless King Edward the Confessor, who favours the Norman Duke William for his heir. Harold is unaware that in his attempt to destroy Caerdydd, he becomes a mortal enemy of brothers Gwriad and Dafydd.

Amid the historical facts of Harold's successful rise to the throne, his victory at the Battle of Stanford Bridge in September 1066 and his defeat three weeks later at the Battle of Hastings, the writer describes the contrasting lives of the Welsh, their hopes and fears, and takes us into the complex world of love and revenge. This is a fast-moving narrative with strong characters and the ending is both unexpected and thought-provoking.

The Final Dream is a tale of heroism and personal struggles during violent times. A captivating read for those who love historical fiction.

In October 1066 the Norman Duke William defeated the Saxon King of England, Harold Godwinson, at the Battle of Hastings. He became King William the First of England, known as William the Conqueror, and spent the next two years ruthlessly quashing the various insurrections that sprang up across the country, especially in the North-East. During these years he began to reward those knights who had been loyal to him by giving them ownership of large tracts of land to subdue. Some of his most ruthless and loyal knights were ceded lands that bordered the country of Wales, which had not been conquered since Roman times. Unable to resist the chance of acquiring more territory, some of these Norman knights invaded parts of Wales, massacred the unprepared citizens and considered themselves invincible. They were known as the Marcher Lords; among these were the Earls of Chester, Shrewsbury and Hereford, who were under the overall control of Earl Fitzosbern, who was the most powerful man in England after King William.

The Welsh people fought back, relying on their leaders, their rugged mountains and their own courage. Lords Gwriad and Dafydd, the heroes of the previous novels Celtic Dreams of Glory and In the Ashes of a Dream, become inevitably involved in the battles. The story deals with their changing lives, the developing grip on Britain of William the Conqueror, and how Wales fought to maintain its independence in spite of overwhelming odds.

Read an Excerpt

Please go to www.BarryMathias.net to read excerpts.

Barry Mathias books are available at Talisman Books on Pender Island and through Amazon.com, Amazon.ca and Amazon.co.uk in trade paperback and ebook editions:

Watch the Promo

Stay tuned as Barry creates the video trailer.

Listen to the Author Read - coming soon!

Please go to www.barrymathias.com.



"Trilogy Gives Intriguing Picture of Middle Ages ... If you like being drawn into another time and place, this is the trilogy for you! Barry has written a well rounded adventure, full of details, and packed with action, but has also kept the historical context clear."
-- Helen Lemon-Moore, reviewer for Island Tides newspaper
Read full review here.

"A terrific tale, fast paced and gripping to the end. Looking forward to the next two books in Barry Mathias's ambitious trilogy, on 12th Century medieval England, the Crusades and the Holy Grail."
-- Mike Harcourt, author and former Premier of British Columbia

"A band of 12th Century characters fan out across southern England, Europe and the Holy Land unraveling a mystery about lost birthright, power and magic. Full of twists, turns and incidents and vivid descriptions of the violence and lawlessness of medieval life and of the medieval landscape, a thought provoking read."
-- Island Tides newspaper

"Crafted with great cunning and flair which makes for a wild and electrifying read"
-- Ann Coombs, futurist and bestselling author


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