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Gillian Philip

Gillian PhilipGillian Philip was born in Glasgow, lived for twelve years in Barbados, and now lives in the north of Scotland with her husband, twin children, three dogs, two sociopathic cats, a slayer hamster, three chickens, and a lot of nervous fish. Gillian Philip ghostwrites fiction for companies including Hothouse and Working Partners – she’s written as Gabriella Poole (Darke Academy) and as Erin Hunter (Survivors). She has written short fiction, too, for secondary Key Stage 3. Life Of The Party, Mind’s Eye, Sea Fever and Cyber Fever have been published by Evans Brothers, and short stories The Changeling, Rockface, Misty and The Kindest Cut appear in their sci fi, crime, ghost and comedy collections. Her books have been shortlisted for prizes including the Royal Mail Scottish Book Award, the North East Book Award and the Angus Book Award; She’s been nominated for the Carnegie Medal (for Crossing The Line) and the David Gemmell Legend Award (for Firebrand). Learn more at Gillian Philip’s website.

Firebrand: Breathes new life into old tropes

Firebrand by Gillian Philip

When Firebrand opens, Seth, a 16-year-old Sithe, has a crossbow trained on his brother, Conal. Conal is thin, his face half-blacked and bloody, his hair shaved from his head. Conal is about to be burned as a witch at the tail-end of the sixteenth century at the urging of a minister who smiles at the thought of the horrible deaths his victims are about to endure. Seth will kill his brother to spare him the agony of burning at the stake.

It’s a prologue that grabs the reader’s attention firmly. Turn the page and Seth is only eight years old. He’s been sent by his mother, an adviser to the queen, to live with his father, who is bound to another Sithe woman. Seth’s mother was but a dalliance, a bit of unfaithfulness not unusual or immoral among the Sithe, though Seth’s stepmother is not exactly enamoured of him nonetheless. Seth is eager for his father’s love, but the man never seems to notice... Read More

More speculative fiction by Gillian Philip

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsBad Faith — (2008) Young Adult. Publisher: Life’s easy for Cassandra. The privileged daughter of a rector, she’s been protected from the extremist gangs who enforce the One Church’s will. Her boyfriend Ming is a bad influence, of course, with infidel parents who are constantly in trouble with the religious authorities. But Cass has no intention of letting their different backgrounds drive them apart. Then they stumble across a corpse. What killed him? How did his body end up in their secret childhood haunt? And is this man’s death connected to other, older murders? As the political atmosphere grows feverish, Cass realises she and Ming face extreme danger. The scene is set for a murderously sinister dystopian satire.