Thursday 2 November 2023

Run To The Western Shore by Tim Pears BLOG TOUR #RunToTheWesternShore #TimPears @_SwiftPress @ChristianLLewis @RandomTTours #BookExtract


A powerful novel about destiny, home and surviving in a world in flux

Britain, AD 72.

Quintus, long exiled from his people, has travelled great odysseys in the retinue of a powerful Roman. Though a citizen of nowhere, is a man of reason, fluent in many languages. Olwen, imperious tribal royalty, is rooted in her native land – a volatile warrior, fiercely attached to the natural world.

Given away by her father as part of a peace treaty, Olwen flees during the night, taking Quintus with her. Hunted by an army, the two make their way across the country, living off the land, heading for the western shore...

Run To The Western Shore by Tim Pears is published today, 2 November 2023, by Swift Press. As part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour, I am delighted to share an extract from the book with you today. 

Extract from Run To The Western Shore by Tim Pears 

He could hear the barbarians coming from a long way off, a discordant cacophony. Tuneless trumpets blaring, drums thumping all out of rhythm. He could hear them splashing across the river at the horse ford, Hen Domen, and he could hear them coming up from the ford. Then one after another the drums and trumpets stopped. It was as if a signal for them to cease the racket had been given but each drummer and trumpeter only noticed the order at random. A raucous rabble.

He heard the scuff and scumble of the horses’ hooves on the dry turf now, the clinking of harness. Then he saw them coming up from the river, at first only the tips of their spears over the brow of the slope, then the plumes on their helmets, and gradually their forms entire, horses and riders, rising.

A lone figure came cantering past this cohort and trotted into the camp at their head. His helmet hung on one of the rear horns or pommels of his saddle. He wore cheq- uered trousers, leather boots, a red silk tunic beneath a shirt of iron ring mail. He had a gold torc around his neck. His only weapon was a long sword, in a bronze scabbard attached to a belt of metal loops, worn on his left side. The dark horse he rode was abnormally large for these people of the hill country. A mare perhaps fifteen hands high, the horse had well-muscled, compact shoulders. She had a long, arched neck and a beautiful small head, with eyes wide apart and short ears. She had a strong body and powerful hindquarters. Her thick mane and long tail had been plaited and her coat brushed to a high sheen. She had an iron snaffle bit and was caparisoned in a finely stitched harness decorated with ornamental metal discs.

The chieftain – for this surely was Cunicatus – sat upon her in the hot midsummer sun with his back straight, shoulders wide, broad chest forward, head held high and chin jutting out. He was a muscular man. There were grey hairs in his beard and in his plaited hair, yet it came to the boy that here before them was a man in the prime of his vitality. Quintus had never seen so prideful a man as this. His bearing upon the big brown mare was like that of an emperor receiving tribute. An extraordinary performance.

Behind the chieftain came his warriors. They too rode proudly, packed close together, their smaller horses tightly reined, jostling against one another. Leather squeaked; harness jingled. The horses stamped and snorted, breath- ing heavily under the hot sun. The men all wore helmets and carried spears or javelins. Their tunics and trousers had woven patterns and were brightly coloured: red, blue, yellow. One or two had a scalp, others a skull, hung from a front pommel of their saddles. Provocations.

TIM PEARS is a much-admired, prize-winning writer whose prose has been likened to Marquez,
Faulkner and Hardy. His recent West Country Trilogy was a critic’s favourite. Born in 1956, Tim grew up in Devon and left school at sixteen. He worked in a wide variety of jobs: welder, librarian, reporter, archaeological worker, fruit picker, psychiatric nurse, groundsman in a caravan park, painter & decorator, and night porter in Devon, Wales, France, Norfolk and Oxford.

Throughout this time he was always writing, and later making short films. He completed a Directing course at the National Film and TV School, graduating in the same month that his first novel, In the Place of Fallen Leaves, was published, in 1993.

In the Place of Fallen Leaves was awarded the Hawthornden Prize and the Ruth Hadden Memorial Award. Tim’s second novel, In a Land of Plenty, was made into a ten-part drama series for the BBC broadcast in 2001. Other novels include, A Revolution of the Sun, Wake Up, Blenheim Orchard, Landed and Disputed Land.

Landed was given the MJA Open Book Award and was shortlisted for the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize and the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. All of these novels were chronicles of our time, exploring moral challenges as they are expressed in the dynamics and politics of relationships and family life.

In the Light of Morning was a departure, set in Yugoslavia in the Second World War. Tim then embarked on his most ambitious work, a trilogy of novels (The Horseman, The Wanderers and The Redeemed) set before, during and in the aftermath of the First World War.

Tim is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He lives in Oxford, and is married to a psychoanalyst. He and his wife have two children. Apart from family life, he enjoys urban rambling and walking the dog (his first listener and a harsh critic) and rural foraging. Along with cinema, sport has been Tim’s other passion. He was a third-rate footballer and mediocre tennis player, and remains a poor ping-pong player. He continues to be an avid spectator of the ‘amazing human invention that is the game of football’. 

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