The Wizard from the Isles is the story of a real wizard, steeped in the ancient mysteries of Gaelic lore. The story begins in the Isles where he was born, and relates a life that spanned over a century, in many parts of the world. The wizard opposed the Dark Powers who would overturn the laws of Nature. Yet his life's focus was the pursuit of knowledge and enlightenment, following the ancient principle of Truth without which any wielder of power is inevitably corrupted, and ultimately destroyed. This is an authentic story of deep mysteries and formidable struggles to maintain the Balance of Nature against Evil. It throws light on such figures as Merlin, and the Nazarene who was the foundation of modern Christianity. Yet for all his formidable Powers, the central figure remained a man who saw his approaching death as a welcome reunion with the loved ones who had passed before him. The Wizard from the Isles is one of those rare books - drawing on local lore and a long history of oral traditions, it addresses contemporary concerns about how we truly evaluate the things that really matter. A culture conveyed through mass media technologies so often sidelines the deeper questions, and answers, but Ian Rae writes from wide knowledge of the way people are and our eternal quests and questions, with a fine sense of human frailty and vulnerability, as well as strength and resourcefulness. The universal values at risk in the novel are as valid in Australia as they are in Scotland, but the local provenance of the writing endorses a sensitivity and attentiveness that might give any reader the pleasure good writing affords. As the poet Tom Raworth puts it, 'it would improve our intelligence if we cut back on size'. Here's a global novel that attends to the local intelligence. And one that I welcome keenly. Professor Alan Riach, Department of Scottish Literature, Glasgow University Ian Rae is an Australian writer of entirely Scottish ancestry. Before he became a full-time writer he was an academic in the field of history, and a qualified psychotherapist and clinical hypnotherapist. He is also a professional singer and musician, and a sculptor. Ian has been a writer of short stories - formerly under the nom de plume of Jack Irvine, the name of his Ayrshire forebears - and has had numerous stories published in Australia and the USA, plus two books, Where's the Fair Go? and In Praise of Younger Women. Two further books of stories are planned: Rough End of the Stick is in press; Dark Journeys in progress. Ian's interest in Gaelic lore is deep-rooted, having grown up in a Scottish community in Australia. The Wizard from the Isles derives from tales told him by an old Scot who said he was a wizard, and who exhibited powers and knowledge that stayed the author's natural scepticism.
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