The Astreya ‘Verse


The Astreya ‘Verse is a name for the setting in which three stories in six books all take place.  The word, “‘Verse” indicates an alternate and necessarily incomplete universe in which my characters live. There are six books (so far).

What started out in the 1970’s as a novel called Astreya ended with a cliff-hanger, on which I and my characters balanced unpublished for nigh on 40 years until I retired from work work and had time to write what I wanted.  The first book took the title  Astreya: The Voyage South. The story continued into the second book, Astreya: The Men of the Sea, and on to the third book Astreya: The Wanderer’s Curse.  In 2011, all three were published as a single, continuous trilogy in three books.  

The Astreya Trilogy chronicles the adventures of Astreya, the son of a mysterious father he never knew. In search of his strange inheritance, Astreya is deceived, betrayed and cheated, but he also finds love and makes loyal friends who help him achieve his destiny. Astreya is a tale of the sea, a mystery and a love story. 

River of Stones, published in 2020, continues the saga, beginning 20 years after the end of The Wanderer’s Curse.

Ellie, published in 2022, continues with an adventure featuring the eponymous Ellie, who first appeared in River of Stones.

Angel’s Share, written and published in 2020, is a novella that is prequel to The Astreya Trilogy. The story is as told to Astreya and Lindey by a very old man who appears briefly in The Wanderer’s Curse.


Astreya, Book 1, The Voyage South

Book cover image: Astreya, Book 1, The Voyage South
When Astreya turns 17, his widowed mother gives him his father’s knife, a riddling notebook and a bracelet with a mysterious green stone. He sails south, hoping to understand what his father’s gifts mean. He encounters a community murdered by men cursed to sail forever, is storm-struck, betrayed by a shipmate, abandoned by his skipper, and rescued only to be enslaved. His luck changes, and he travels to The Castle. He meets a painter, Gar, who is more than he seems, and his striking assistant, Lindey. Astreya is beginning to trust Gar and hoping that Lindey might share what he is feeling, when he discovers, too late, that Gar knew more about his father’s connnection with the men whose ships wander the ocean. Astreya respects Gar’s parting words and journeys to the sea with Lindey. Just as they are about to declare their love, Astreya is kidnapped by the Men of the Sea.

Astreya, Book 2, The Men of the Sea

Book cover image: Astreya, Book 1, The Voyage South
Aboard Cygnus, one of the great ships whose mission is to ‘shun land lest honour be lost,’ Astreya must learn how to wield the power of his stone from his grandfather, even as he yearns to return to Lindey, who is working ashore and wondering whether if they will ever meet again. Astreya’s grandfather wants to decide his future, a cousin schemes against him, an uncle wants him enslaved or dead. Who can he trust? People offer him knowledge and skills, only to turn against him or to die before they can tell him all he needs to know. As a consequence of two of these deaths, Astreya navigates Cygnus to find Lindey before his murderous, scheming uncle Mufrid does. A battle at sea ensues, involving death (real and apparent) and some revelations, more betrayals, and the need to repair damaged ships and restore Astreya and his friends to health. The book concludes with Lindey taking Astreya and his friends to Matris, the village she left to find her fortune.

Astreya, Book 3, The Wanderer’s Curse

Book cover image: Astreya, Book 3, The Wanderer's Curse
Book three begins with Astreya and his uncle Mufrid each thinking that the other is dead. Astreya and Lindey face immediate problems with their reception in Matris, where her grandmother’s benign rule has been usurped, and the community is under pressure from a power struggle that is aggravated the arrival of Astreya and his friends. The effects of Astreya’s past adventures in book one catch up with him, while at the same time Mufrid is rekindling his search for the navigation stones that Astreya can control and he can’t. His search takes him towards Astreya’s village in the great ship Cygnus, with Astreya trying to get there first to warn and protect the people where he grew up.

River of Stones

A sequel to The Astreya Trilogy, 20 years later.

Only three stones of power remain, and only the eight descendants of Zubin can wield them. A ruthless and power-hungry man is intent on stealing the stones, murdering the three leaders of the fleet, and torturing the secrets of navigation from their children.  Grand master Astreya gives his daughter Mairi command of a ship with instructions to keep the younger members of his family far from danger.  However, safety is elusive.  Mairi must face political turmoil ashore, resolve conflicts with her twin brother Trogen, and lead her young crew through storms, dangerous passages, and battles at sea before she can discover the secret that will lead to the river of stones.  This story can be read “stand alone”.

River of Stones is available from Amazon 


Ellie is a story about losing your way and finding it again.

“… an excellent series that effortlessly blends fantasy and fact and carries the reader perfectly. Highly addictive reading: I recommend them all. 5/5 Amazon Reviewer ‘WR’, UK


Ellie, the youngest navigator in the fleet, challenges the authority of her uncle Astreya, the Grand Commander. Only hours later, cannon shots cripple her boat, she falls overboard and is lost ashore. Ellie tries to return home to Matris, but unexpected friends and threatening foes intervene.  As her uncle, sister, and cousins search for her, Ellie is forced to travel by foot, horseback, and land crawler to the Castle, where the Governor is fomenting war.  

This novel will be of most interest to people who have read The Astreya Trilogy and River of Stones, but it can be read on its own. The illustrations are by Shirley MacKenzie

Angel’s Share

A prequel to The Astreya Trilogy

Angel’s Share is a story as told to Astreya and Lindey when they returned from the Village about how Able Angel helped establish Matris.  This novella will be of most interest to people who have read The Astreya Trilogy and River of Stones, but as a prequel to the Trilogy, it can be read on its own. The illustrations are by Shirley MacKenzie

Available at Amazon or through Ingram Spark

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Tales of Rebels and of the Sea. Also, stories about Dragons.