From the Author
Dont you love it? The brooding anti-hero, the gentle race forced to fight for survival, the woman of mystery. Warriors, sorcerers, demons, weird dimensions. Horses and swords! The perfect, ultimate, impossible Quest.
Its hard to believe that its almost exactly thirty years since, as a schoolgirl, I sat down and wrote the first lines of A Blackbird in Silver. It wasnt the first novel Id started by any means, but it was the first one I actually managed to finish. That was because the image that first inspired me was the climax of the story. I kept going because I was always working towards that goal.
I loved Joy Chant, Michael Moorcock, Tanith Lee, and most of Tolkien especially the portentous bits, the more high-flown and elvish the better! I was and still am severely allergic to dwarves, trolls, stable-boy kings and tweeness in general. I wanted to write something dark, something that really mattered at least to me.
A Blackbird in Silver and A Blackbird in Darkness form a duet that tells one story. The novel became a two-parter due to my publisher. They suggested making it a trilogy but I didnt want to write a middle volume of padding so it became a duo, and both books should be read as one. The idea sprang from asking myself, What is the hardest thing you could possibly be required to do? Clue: its not killing the Serpent. (Youll just have to read it!) And the Serpent Mgulfn? Growing up against the background of the Cold War, with the imminent threat of nuclear annihilation from bombs or unstable reactors, the image of lands laid waste and the soulessness of it and the impossibility of stopping it
all that fermenting in the murky depths of my young subconscious
thats where my Serpent came from.
When I first began, my Blackbird world had a peculiar, intensely weird and brooding atmosphere that I still feel when I return to it. When I came to re-edit this Immanion press edition, I did so with a light touch. My style has changed so much that I could have ended up completely rewriting it and then it wouldnt have been the same book. Little has been altered except that Arlenmias poor put-upon maid now has a name! So, with some considered pruning, it keeps its original flavour and a certain naïve charm. Enjoy!
About the Author
Freda Warrington is the author of seventeen novels of fantasy, vampires and alternative history, including A Taste of Blood Wine, The Amber Citadel, and her latest, The Court of the Midnight King a mystical exploration of King Richard III. She was born in Leicestershire where she still lives, close to the beautiful Charnwood Forest that has always inspired her writing.