The Books

The eight novels of the Saga are almost impossible to classify. Yes, they are works of historical fiction -- but they are also love stories, mysteries, crime stories, allegories and regional novels. The seventh novel, called "Sacrifice", is best classed as a thriller, and the eighth, called "Conspiracy of Angels", might be called a "literary novel." They are enjoyed equally by male and female readers -- and all the readers are more than a little intrigued that author Brian John, a happily-married father and grandfather, should have "taken on" so enthusiastically (and successfully) the persona of a strong and passionate female in the telling of the tales.

The full story of Martha Morgan's life came to Brian during a night of delirium on Gran Canaria in 1999, after he had picked up a nasty virus on the flight from London. The full narrative, complete with characters, places, twists and turns in the plots, and even detailed conversations came into his head and stayed there until it was all written down. He still feels, to this day, that the story was a gift, but he has no idea where it came from!

The first novel, "On Angel Mountain", covers just one year of the heroine's life, when she is still a nervous teenager learning how to survive in a brutal world. The second, "House of Angels", deals with Martha's time as a young mother who discovers her own strengths and who sets a complex trap for the evil men who have designs on her and her estate. The third book, called "Dark Angel", is the most inward-looking of the novels, dealing with the themes of motherhood and female insecurity in the context of an ultimately tragic love affair.

Book four, entitled "Rebecca and the Angels", describes how Martha tries, in her middle age, to do something to make the world a better place -- and in so doing lands herself in a series of very dangerous situations. And Book five, called "Flying with Angels", covers the last years of the heroine's life, during which she has one last romantic fling and has to deal with a number of very determined and shadowy enemies. Book six, called "Guardian Angel", deals with the few years following Martha's recorded death. The heroine is somebody who goes by the name of Susanna Ravenhill -- but who is she?

And the seventh novel," Sacrifice", the only one which does not have the word "Angel" in its title, covers a period of about two years, and slots conveniently into a long gap in the story related in "Dark Angel." It is a very dark tale, with a number of traumatic episodes built into the narrative. "Conspiracy of Angels" is set in the year 1810, and the story immediately follows that of "Sacrifice"; it is an adventure story in which Mistress Martha become involved in the anti-slavery movement and in which she ends up dicing with death.

Conspiracy cover