Synopsis: Ian Moore-Morrans has crafted a supernatural novel of adventure, time travel and romance set in the Scottish Highlands. In it, twin brothers from present-day Edinburgh hope to witness a “phantom battle” purported to take place annually at northern Loch Ashie. Instead they are engulfed in this battle between ancient Highlanders and Vikings which transports them back to the 12th Century. In their encounters with the local inhabitants they experience hostility, friendship, romance, death sentences and a supernatural reprieve. Finally a wizard-like being, “Ancient One,” attempts to help them return to the 21st Century.
The idea for this book came to Ian when he was visiting Scotland in 1999. While visiting his sister-in-law, he read an article in the August 1999 issue of The Scots Magazine entitled “Mystery at Loch Ashie,” quoting witnesses who claimed to have seen a “phantom battle” take place on the shores of that loch (lake) during the month of May in previous years. He thought to himself, hey, there’s a story here! Right then and there, he found some paper and began sketching out ideas for the story which became “Beyond the Phantom Battle: Mystery at Loch Ashie.”
Author’s credentials: Ian comes from Campbeltown, a small town of 4000 people on the west coast of Scotland, Argyllshire, so he knows the area well that he writes of. His high school was Campbeltown Grammar School. There he was told by his English teacher that he should become a journalist on leaving school. He always loved to write but was too busy earning a living to do so. It wasn’t until he finally retired that he found time to write and has been doing so ever since, completing seven books of different genres by the time this was published (2010).
Reviews and Comments regarding this book:
*****“Action and adventure, romance and swordfights interplayed with the summer solstice to make this a great summer read. I met Ian Moore-Morrans about six months ago and found him to be an entertaining and interesting Scotsman. His novel reflected this. Beyond the Phantom Battle: Mystery at Loch Ashie was a tale of time travel and adventure, interwoven with Scottish history, geography and ancient customs. At 185 pages, it was an easy read and an excellent first novel. The ending popped a surprising twist that opened the door for a possible sequel.” – P. And E. Gibson, on Amazon, June 2010.
“Enjoyed the mystery. The details about Scotland and its history really added depth to the story. I was expecting a predictable ending and you really threw in a twist there!” – Paula F. Winskye, author of “The Reverend: Murder in Medora” and others, on Facebook, August 2012.
Gayle’s Review on Goodreads:
*****A tale of adventure, time travel, fantasy, historical fiction and romance set in the Scottish highlands. As I’m married to the author and have edited the book myself, perhaps I’m a bit prejudiced. However, I don’t think you’ll find a better read that will take you from the 21st Century back to the 12th Century when Vikings were invading the Scottish Highlands. The author grew up and lived in Scotland, in some of the area of which he writes. Geography buffs will enjoy his knowledge of the highland area from Inverness south to Argyll. Historical fiction buffs will enjoy his depictions of 12th Century Scots and Vikings. Fantasy buffs will relate to his turning the historical claim by “witnesses” (to have seen a ghostly conflict taking place over the years around the first of May at Loch Ashie near Inverness) into a tale of two brothers from Edinburgh traveling to that lake and attempting to witness the battle for themselves. Adventure enthusiasts will thrill to the battles, intrigues, trials, discoveries and voyages the brothers endure. Fans of the supernatural will relish the character of “Ancient One” or “Aeoh” as the brothers call him – a wizard-like being with both good and evil powers which he uses with gusto. There is also a wee bit of romance as the brothers fall in love with two 12th Century lassies. Mystery buffs will speculate if Aeoh will really succeed in helping them to return to the 21st Century. Readers invariably mention how they enjoyed the surprise ending.
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