The Torcian Chronicles

Enter The Kingdom of Torcia

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The Crazy World of Fantasy Art

I love fantasy and sci-fi and grew up as part of the Star Wars empire. I also a keen reader of graphic novels particularly Japanese manga like Fruit Basket, Naruto, and Shaman King.  In fact, I did consider writing The Torcian Chronicles for almost a day until I realised I was not a natural story illustrator and it takes me even longer to draw the pictures than write the book, so the idea was shelved, forgotten, and never to be mentioned again.

Then in the crazy world of fantasy, I met Dr Machina.

Dr Machina can draw.

His art has been described as a modern form of Dada – however, I just think it’s inspired art.

His Art-

‘Dr Machina is a part-human/part-machine digital artist. The work is strongly satirical, combining dark humour and absurdity, in the building of a fragmented science fiction universe.

In the absence of a traditional narrative structure, Dr Machina utilizes a decontextualized single-panel format – similar to those found in the Pop Art movement as well as political cartoons.

The source material is typically obscure vintage comics and text, which have undergone hand alteration and machine processing to achieve a distinct style.

The humour and parodic elements are intended to explore: concepts of appropriation in contemporary technoculture, juxtapositions of time/culture, and the future of art in the age of artificial intelligence.’ from

The Torcian Chronicles-

This is one of his illustrations by Dr Machina based on the beginning of ‘TheTorcian Chronicles’  when Mesham is first volunteered by King Athemar to try to save Torcia from the Mivirian horde. I think it sums up Mesham’s point of view rather well. Unfortunately, the King has other ideas…

Extract from The Torcian Chronicles-

       ‘Do not worry,’ smiled Lokir malevolently, ‘We have taken your old age into consideration.’

Mesham frowned, sensing a trap.

       ‘Rejuvenation... We are going to take your physical body back through time!’ exclaimed the King excitedly, ‘By the time we’ve finished with you: you won’t even recognize yourself! This is going to be such an exciting experiment, err…I mean magic spell ... You know I have been studying magical arts for almost a year now.  I can’t wait!’

Well I can, thought Mesham grimly. He knew the spell. The greatest spell ever created by the Grand Warlock Wyrdirkin, just before his vanishing. It could only be attempted in the iridescent caves of Scir Dun Mountain, which were said to glow with the power of a thousand faulstan shards.

Mesham also knew that the spell had never worked. The only change the rejuvenation spell had ever achieved was to turn the living into the dead…’

The path Mesham had been put on was going to be a hard, uphill struggle often against the very country he was meant to be saving.  

Read more about Mesham’s adventure in The Torcian Chronicles.

Dr Machina -

More of his work can be found in Single Cell.

‘Forget traditional narrative structure! Only one box is needed when Dr Machina gives the Pop Art and political cartoons a bio-hacked upgrade. But what's in the box?

Go for a ride with a pioneer of experimental comics. Enjoy obscure vintage panels and scripts - hand altered, machine processed, and reborn into life in the 21st century.’

Contact Dr Machina directly if you are interested in commissioning art and/ or collecting at

Along with your purchase, you will receive a Certificate of Authenticity (COA), which includes a unique and verifiable cryptographic ID generated by

The Saturday Sizzler

Spinning Daleks

Last Sunday I was at Somerset ComicCon, crossing the border into unknown fantasy territory. It was a huge event but surprisingly spacious and everyone had room to roam which was great. I am not one to stay chained to my author table for long so my day was broken with frequent sorties to other stands. For this event, I decided to go a little outside the author box and try to make my table less about the books and more about the Torcian experience. So I had candles, a goblet of sweets, and my dogeared map of the two lands., which is looking more authentically battle-worn each time I have it on display.

One of the things I look forward to most at ComicCons is meeting fellow lovers of high fantasy. You meet some very interesting people. One of my favourites atSomerset was this young man who wanted to know about my magic system which was quite exciting for me to explain - I don't know if it was as exciting for him though.

I also one man came up to inquire if I had elves in my book, to which I replied that I don't have elves, dwarves, goblins or orcs, that would be a little book called Lord of the Rings! And that I have my own stable of fantastical creatures. This seemed to please him as he bought a book regardless or perhaps because of the elfless nature of my work!

Another random happening was a real live actor actually came over to me and shook my hand. He was in Rogue One - one of my favourite Star Wars films ever and I  thought do I ever wash this hand again? Needless-to-say hand has been washed but memory not deleted. When TheTorcian Chronicles is made into a movie I would love to have  Daniel Eghan in it! 

 As with all good conventions, there was a tight security with constant Daleks patrols. The funniest moment was Dalek versus wheelchair when a lady in a wheelchair was chased passed my table by a Dalek screaming. 'Exterminate! Exterminate!'

I also met Daenerys Targaryen, the mother of dragons. I do not know anything about Game of Thrones but what I did learn was never to go round the back of a dragon as their tails have a tendency to whip unsuspecting peasants in the face!

After SomersetCon I  had the cutest message ever from a parent saying her son had taken 'The Torcian Chronicles' into his school to show his friends - which I thought was adorable :)  





Of Fantasy Authors and Rock Concerts

Life as an author is weird and often expected. The same can probably be true of authors in general particularly those of the fantasy disposition, who are not known for their attachment to the constricting boundaries of reality. That being said when asked to venture away from the chains of their fantasy life for the fantasy author usually goes rather abstract. So, while most authors are flocking to the studious literary festivals such as Budleigh and Hay this summer –  the fantasy crew of the EAA and I have been invited to perform at a music festival!
I took recorder lessons at primary school, so I feel very well equipped for this.
I really do not know how many other genre writers would be asked to go this but as a fantasy author, it's usually a case of they are weird enough already and will undoubtedly attract an audience.
Of course, I jumped at the chance to channel my inner Billy-Jo Armstrong. Fortuitously, for any prospective audience, I will not be reliving the glory days of school recorder ensemble – I am coming as a fantasy author doing living my book in the guise of a performance artist. This should be interesting as ‘The Torcian Chronicles’ is a dark fantasy, sword and sorcery adventure full of lethal monsters, evil villains, and desperate battles for survival- quite, a challenge to recreate in a marquee in the middle of a music festival.
However, nefarious plans are underfoot involving robes, black cloaks, explosions, and dry ice.
 A touch of Torcia will be descending on one unsuspecting music festival this summer – enjoy and prepare to enter a darker magical world of warlocks, magical creatures, and intrigue.

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Fantasy Books by P.J. Reed


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Sounds like a great day was had by all. Hope you sold a few too :)

Great blog!

How Do You Like It?

I had a review posted today by a woman blogger and I think she likes it vanilla… which is slightly awkward.

The review was positive, and I thank her for it as it mentioned good character building, great monsters, and world building but she was unhappy because the characters in my book appeared to have ‘odd relationships with one another.’

Yes, indeed they do.

The Torcian Chronicles being a YA dark fantasy does not have sex scenes in it – I follow the mantra of keep it clean for the teen.

However, there are hints of naughtiness for the more adult reader to decode.

 If you are looking for Twilightesque lovelorn teenagers filled with hormonal angst, who end up marrying and living happily ever after – this is seriously not the book for you.  The hints of relationships dropped in this book are more along the lines of ‘wooing a mate according to the Game of Thrones.’  These hints are usually dropped as innocuous one-line sentences which are seemingly innocent unless you have a darker more interesting side, I think my shocker reviewer might have picked up on a couple.

All I can say is… if you think these hints are bad wait until my freaky adult horror drops next year – it makes grown men blush.

Anyway, for those of an adventurous mind, I would like to suggest you pay particular attention to the Aebleakan Archer Captain who literally has men trembling at her feet, Shadral’s adoration of Mesham, and Captain Sicam ‘heartthrob and serial womaniser’ who ends up tied to a table by a real man-eater. To name but a few of the odd relationships in this book.

If anyone has worked out any of the odd relationships in this book – please enjoy them!

For further details read the book at ‘The Torcian Chronicles.’