The Vanished Mage

by Penelope Hill and J A Mortimore

A vanished mage… A missing diamond… The game is afoot.

Cover art by Penelope Hill
Cover art by Penelope Hill

From Broderick, Prince of Asconar, Earl of Carlshore and Thorn, Duke of Wicksborough, Baron of Highbury and Warden of Dershanmoor, to My Lady Parisan, King’s Investigator, greetings. It has been brought to my attention that a certain Reinwald, Master Historian, noted Archmagus and tutor to our court in this city of Nemithia, has this day failed to report to the duties awaiting him. I do ask you, as my father’s most loyal servant, to seek the cause of this laxity and bring word of the mage to me, so that my concerns as to his safety be allayed.

The herald delivered the message word-perfect to The Lady Parisan, Baroness of Orandy, Knight of the Diamond Circle and Sworn Paladin to Our Lady of the Sighs. Parisan’s companion, Foorourow Miar Raar Ramoura, Prince of Ilsfacar, (Foo to his friends) thought it a rather mundane assignment, but nevertheless together they ventured to the Archmagus’ imposing home to seek him. It turned out to be the start of an adventure to solve a mystery wrapped in an enigma bound by a conundrum and secured by a puzzle.  All because of a missing diamond with a solar system at its core.

Authors Penelope Hill and J A Mortimore have effortlessly melded a Holmesian investigative duo, a richly detailed city where they encounter both nobility and seedier denizens, swashbuckling action, and magic that is palpable and, at times, awesome.

Map of the Known Kingdoms, Copyright © Penelope Hill 2022
Copyright © Penelope Hill 2022

The Known Kingdoms was originally devised as a potential campaign setting for Penelope Hill’s University D&D group back in the late 1970s. At that point, the idea was to devise a variety of Kingdoms and principalities, along with a disparate group of religions, so that players could have varied backgrounds and various faiths, some conducive to co-operative play. As it happens, nobody actually got to play in the Known Kingdoms – exams and other events got in the way.

Map of Asconar and its environs, Copyright © Penelope Hill 2022
Copyright © Penelope Hill 2022

But the world went on bubbling and forming in the back of its creator’s mind, and was there – fairly well defined, when Penelope and Judith started discussing what they might write together next, having already completed one collaborative novel. The Lady Parisan, with her holy sword and furry companion, and the backdrop offered by the Known Kingdoms gave the chance to tackle a self-contained mystery.

Plan of Nemithia: City Walls and Districts, Copyright © Penelope Hill 2022
Copyright © Penelope Hill 2022

The city of Nemithia, capital of the Kingdom of Asconar, provided the location.

The Vanished Mage, was published in ebook format on 23rd September 2022 and in paperback on 17th October 2022.

ISBN: 978-1-915304-18-6 eBook Typical price £2.99 / €3.49 / $3.99
ISBN: 978-1-915304-08-7 paperback 212pp List price £10 / €13 / US$20
Prices online may vary. eBook price includes VAT (where applicable).


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