A famous Welsh legend has inspired a new novel which is published this week.
Return from Darkness by Graham Jones is based on the story of the Twrch Trwyth, a deep vein in Welsh Mabinogi folklore.
The publishing of the novel follows the Welsh Government’s 2017 tourism campaign celebrating the ‘Year of Legends’.
‘I learned Welsh after I moved to Pembrokeshire and relished exploring the county and beyond on foot. As time passed I learned more about the myths and traditions associated with Wales until it became such a fascination that the seeds of this book were sown’ explained Graham.
‘The American writer and mythologist Joseph Campbell said once, ‘Myths live in all of us, in our darkness’ I realised that my novel had been waiting in my own darkness for the right time to re-emerge’ said Graham, ‘I then started to write inspired by the Mabinogi story’.
The novel begins when schoolboy David’s life is changed for the better by an encounter with the guarded and mysterious headmaster of his school. A storyteller and mystic, he opens the timid boy’s eyes to the reality of ‘other worlds’ beyond our own. Twenty-five years later, having returned to Pembrokeshire, David embarks on a quest that will take him deeper into these alien realms.
Pressing into the darkness, he is menaced by cruel ancient enemies desperate to possess his power for their own ends. And following him is a beast formed from the very fabric of Celtic mythology − the animistic form of a great boar, Twrch Trwyth.
An adventure story of a journey into Celtic mythology, Return from Darkness has been described as ‘a spellbinding journey to find the shining light inside all our darknesses’.
‘Mythology can be seen as a series of ancient messages passed down by our ancestors to help future generations through the challenges of life’ added Graham, ‘and perhaps this book may help to draw some of these messages out of the darkness so we can ‘read’ and understand them’.
Graham Jones was born in Cardiff. He taught Physical Education and Outdoor Pursuits before taking early retirement and settling down in north Pembrokeshire. He now lives in the White Mountains of Crete.
Return from Darkness by Graham Jones (£9.99, Y Lolfa) is available now.