Published January 2017.
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The fates of two men living centuries apart are connected by one mythical creature in this compelling supernatural tale that imaginatively retells the historical legend of the Wolf of Allendale.
In a Celtic village in Northumberland, Druid and village leader Bran must face two dangerous opponents: an otherworldly wolf-like beast, the cysgod-cerddwr or shadow-walker, and formidable invaders from the south.
Two thousand years later, at the dawn of the Industrial Age, the beast is disturbed and again prowls the lonely hills. Bert, an old shepherd, is the only person who understands what is happening. And only he knows the ancient ritual which can destroy it.
Separated by centuries, Bran and Bert must battle this fearsome wolf and confront the imminent end of their way of life.
The truth behind the story
In 1904, in the town of Allendale in Northumberland, something started attacking the sheep. An escaped wolf was blamed, although the culprit was never conclusively identified.
Farmers started housing their sheep, but still the slaughter continued. A committee was set up to try and hunt it down and a reward offered for its skin, to no avail.
A wolf was then found dead on a railway line and the story was considered finished, until 1971.
The heads were eventually taken by a museum for study; their current whereabouts is unknown.
Praise for The Wolf of Allendale
I love the folklore and once I started reading it was hard to put down. Would recommend anyone to read it.
Author Hannah Spencer clearly has a deep love of landscape and writes from a place of intense connection to the land and all that lives on it. I loved this aspect of the book, and the way in which these details root the narrative and give a solidity that helps hold the more magical and supernatural elements of the tale firmly in place.
This is a beautifully written book with a large cast of compelling characters, an engaging story arc and a lot of depth.
Nimue Brown, druidlife.wordpress.com/
A masterful composition of suspenseful pacing, intense character creation and layers of beautiful description.
Alison McBain, Bewildering Stories magazine.