This is a story that straddles two worlds…our own and one populated by the sprites that the story books tell us, once inhabited our world. It is a world just starting out on its industrial revolution.
In our world…Domania is opening. A leisure world populated by elves, dwarves and goblins has been created beneath Elphinstone Crag, a place long associated with all of the above. Now in the nearby town of Gilsland, jobs have been created and hopes are high. The only voice of dissent is that of an old man who knows the stories. They tell of missing children and superstitious miners and the disappearance long ago of his own great-great grandmother.
In their world…, an elf jumps straight off the edge of a cliff as an experiment.
In their world…a man wakes up on a breakwater gazing across at a fishing village he knows he has never seen before. He can’t remember his own name or what he does for a living. The label he pulls out of his pocket tells him he is Hamble Titchmarsh and that he has lived and worked in that fishing village all his life.
In their world…Humphrey Boggart (so named because he once watched a DVD of The Big Sleep…it’s a long story, if you want to read it, it’s called The Malthouse Falcon), Thursday Market’s only private detective is out to determine why a man who is covered from head to foot in scratches is murdered in the street. When he discovers that the man has come through the Wall of Thorns, a magical barrier created to protect the slumbering Palace of Fotherghyll from intruders, he starts to unravel a case that involves both the disappearance of sprites and the appearance of ‘sleepers’. He has to do all this while keeping one step ahead of an assassin with a detachable head.