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Monday, 21 May 2012

Surfeit of white

If you have so far escaped the attention of Dirk Lloyd, the evil boy genius and erstwhile Dark Lord, then you have two options. Option one is to hide under the sofa and hope he never notices you. Option two is to embrace your fate and go with the flow. With his second book now out in the UK and his first book shortly to be released in the USA, I'd advise the latter. This snippet from A Fiend in Need may help make up your mind:
The White Wizard, Hasdruban, sat at his great desk of living oak, staring at the painting on the wall. It was a painting of the Dark Lord of the Iron Tower of Despair, the Nameless One, the World Burner, the Sorcerer Supreme, etc and Hasdruban’s Arch Arch-Enemy. He had to be destroyed once and for all, along with all his works.

A knock at the door interrupted his flow of thought. ‘Ah, here she is,’ said the Wizard, his voice hoary with age and wisdom. ‘Enter!’

A strange apparition walked into his Inner Sanctum. She was dressed from head to foot in long, flowing white lace, an ornate headdress on her head, her face completely hidden behind a veil. Not an inch of her flesh was exposed.

‘Ah, the White Witch of Holy Vengeance.Welcome.’

The White Witch merely inclined her shrouded head in acknowledgment.

Hasdruban continued. ‘It seems our foe, though he has been trapped in the body of a human child and is weaker and more vulnerable than he has been in a thousand years, was still able to thwart our last attempt to destroy him – he defeated the White Beast of Retribution. This time, we must try harder.’

He paused, hoping the White Witch would speak, but she didn’t. In fact, as far as Hasdruban could recall, she had never spoken. Not a word.

‘So, I am sending you this time. You willmasquerade as something the humans of that strange plane call a “nanny”. I believe their task is to look after other people’s children and their families. In this case, the child in question is the Nameless One himself. Though actually, he has a name over there. They call him Dirk. Dirk Lloyd.’

The White Witch stood there, silent.

Hasdruban went on. ‘You will beguile the family he lives with, the Purejoies – they know nothing of the viper they nurture in their midst – or rather they choose not to believe what is obvious. You will…persuade…them that they need a nanny. They will put you in charge of the Dark One. Find out what he is up to, and if you can, destroy him. But be warned! Though he has no sorcerous powers to speak of and inhabits the body of a mere child, he still has his cunning, his endless malice and his evil genius!’

The White Witch inclined her head in acknowledgement. Then she bent low, draping her long veil over her arms and began to do something under her robes.

Hasdruban raised a hairy white eyebrow. After a few seconds, she handed Hasdruban a note written on black paper in white ink. Hasdruban scanned it.

‘Ah, how will you get to that plane the inhabitants call Earth? Well, I have some rather special magic for that! Let me show you, my dear…’

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