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The Half-Torn

A tale of the Valley of the Witches in 17th Century Germany


Arena Books


Paperback, eBook


One fateful evening in 17th-Century Bavaria, Ilsa Wlich arrives at the end of the Adventurer’s Road where she finds a beautiful but insular town called Reimersberg. The town lies deep in the mountains and wolf-inhabited forests of a place known as the Valley of Witches. Seldom reached by outsiders, its people are not welcoming; proud of their traditions, they frown upon change and those who bring it. Upon arrival, Ilsa finds herself saving the life of a sick boy, Karl, with her ancient knowledge. But she is suspicious of the cause of his sickness. And while she earns the boy’s undying love she also attracts the enmity of some of the town elders – in particular the incompetent doctor, Arzt, and the mayor, Meister. Ilsa’s presence in the town awakens a long-hidden darkness, and she finds herself, together with Karl, fighting to survive on a path far more strange, perilous and bloody than she could ever have imagined.


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Seeing the Light

The Spark

Sitting with a coffee in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, a picturesque, almost chocolate-box pretty town in northern Bavaria, I considered the following: if the prize in a competition was a two-week holiday in the town, but you were not allowed to go out beyond its medieval walls, would its appeal start to fade? Would you start to feel trapped?

“An excellent tale set in [seventeenth] century Bavaria, reminiscent of Grimm's fairytales with the rural German setting and the moral for all to learn."
"The fluidity of his prose pulls you into the mysteriousness of the plot and no willing suspension of disbelief is required."
“I found this compelling and enjoyed being taken to another time and place.”
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