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Magic of Caithness inspires latest Crowvus book release


By David G Scott

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The Caithness landscape has provided "a wealth of inspiration" for a local publishing company's latest release.

Crowvus' new book is Honour’s Rest by Judith Crow, a young adult magical realism novel set almost entirely in the Highlands and which follows the story of a teenage boy who is sent to live with his uncle after he starts displaying magical abilities.

Judith Crow.
Judith Crow.

A series of adventures follow, including two which take him to Dunbeath Strath where the climactic moments of the story are set. The book will be released on Monday (October 11).

Judith, whose photograph of Dunbeath Strath features on the October page of the 2021 Groat calendar, was initially inspired by a visit to the area in the summer of 2012. Since then, she has visited many times but always in the autumn.

Judith’s photo of Dunbeath Strath for the October page of the current Groat calendar.
Judith’s photo of Dunbeath Strath for the October page of the current Groat calendar.

It is not only Dunbeath Strath which features in the book. The characters also visit a family in Halkirk, and take the Northlink ferry crossing from Scrabster to Orkney. The fictional castle which gives its name to the book is based further south, near Aviemore.

This is Judith’s third book, but is the first to take so much inspiration from the Caithness landscape. She said: “From my first visit to Dunbeath Strath, it just stuck in my head as this very magical place. I think it’s how you get all these different time periods combined in one space, which is also a fascinating natural environment.

Promo banner for the book.
Promo banner for the book.

“Dunbeath is such an important place for the book, and now I can’t visit without imagining the fictional events which take place there. I was absolutely thrilled when my picture of Dunbeath Strath was selected for October in the Groat’s 2021 Calendar – I already knew it was going to be my book launch month so it just felt like a sign.”

Early reviewers have described the book as “a cleverly plotted magical adventure” (Wishing Shelf Reviews) with “characters that are engaging enough to keep you turning the pages to read what happens next” (Owen Hollifield).

Honour's Rest
Honour's Rest

Judith was born in Orkney, grew up in Lincolnshire and now lives in Caithness where she works as a primary school teacher. Her work draws inspiration from folklore, experience and the natural world. The Backwater, Judith’s debut book, was a finalist in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards 2019.

More information on Crowvus and how to purchase Honour’s Rest and other titles can be found at www.crowvus.com/

Crowvus also provides author services, ranging from creating book covers to editing and proof reading.

Related articles:

Wick sisters Crow about their double whammy book launch

Caithness author announced as international book prize finalist


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