The Shires of York

A Fantasy Series, in Six Parts by Joseph Murphy-James


The Series ...

One: The Age of Darkness
Two: Turmoil
Three: First Republic
Four: War
Five: Curse
Six: The Last Guardian?

The Prequels ...

The Prequels

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On: Yorkshire Magazine

This six-volume series of fantasy books has shades of Harry Potter, Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, and yet has distinct differences. Author Joseph Murphy-James has crafted The Shires of York in a unique and compelling manner, in that the old historical world of Yorkshire runs alongside a mystical world of magic, demons and dragons.
To ancient peoples the world of magic was an extension of the real world, and Murphy-James has brought this belief to startling life. Real historical characters such as Queen Cartimandua of the feared Yorkshire Brigantes tribe, challenges the demons for supremacy. The famous and terrible Harrying of the North is not executed by William the Conqueror, as we have always thought, but by an unruly mob of goblins who tackle their job of destruction with a gleeful zest that almost endears them to us. Even the Black Death is not brought about by fleas, but by a massive curse on the land by the High Priest of the devilish Damonen.
More at On: Yorkshire (opens in a new window).


You would certainly be hard pressed to ask for a better collection of high fantasy elements than those appearing in Joseph Murphy-James's The Age of Darkness-demons, Romans, rival British monarchies, elves, sentient power crystals, an evil phantasm, and, of course, dragons. These fantastic creatures are "immortal, but not without their weaknesses," and Age of Darkness explores and exploits this angle. There looks to be no shortage of intrigue and mysticism in The Shires of York series of which Age of Darkness is the first. This series presents itself as a six part history of England's Yorkshire melded with high fantasy covering the departure of the Rome, the arrival of Vikings, the Norman Conquest, rise of Cisterians, the plague, and, finally, the War of the Roses.
More at Misanthropester (opens in a new window).

Grindstone Literary Services

Thank you for fantastical opening! In this short piece you managed to create a vivid sense of what this other world is like. The names, the volcanic landscape and the mysterious character of Albert all served to pique my interest. Conceptually the piece was strong, combining familiar place names and titles with strange names and a hellish, almost alien landscape. It did not feel like a typical fantasy opening, which is a good thing for sure. The magical aspects of it are original and intriguing.
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