My new book The Druid and, much more so it’s sequel, Song of the Centurion, feature Dumbarton Castle as a location. The main character and, to my mind, star of the books, Bellicus the warrior-druid, is based at this fantastic ancient fortress although he does travel all around Britain.
The series is set in the fifth century and, as the druids had been effectively wiped out in southern Britain at that point by the Romans I knew Bellicus must hail from somewhere north of Hadrian’s Wall if he was to be believable. Since I used to work in Dumbarton Castle it seemed the ideal location to use as his home.
Bellicus is no Gandalf, Raistlin or Allanon – his staff doesn’t light up or shoot blue fire and he can’t teleport or call on demons to help him solve problems. This is straight historical fiction after all, not fantasy. But he IS a giant of a man who knows how to smash your face in with that eagle-topped staff he carries if you get in his way! Not as subtle as Gandalf perhaps, but just as effective….And guess what, Merlin makes an appearance in The Druid, although only in passing.
I’m sure you will enjoy the books when they finally come out (trust me, if you’re fed up waiting on it I’m ten times worse).
Anyway, the second book in the series, Song of the Centurion, sees Dumbarton Castle as a more prominent setting for Bellicus and his companions. I visited it recently with my daughter – you might have seen our photos if you follow me on Facebook – but whether you did or not, here’s a few more to give you an idea of what the place is like.
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