Binding Oaths

Book 12 in the Wyrdwolf series

Book 12 in the Wyrdwolf series
When Izzy begins to suspect her son's dog is an intruder, she has no idea of the horrors this will reveal. With Michael seriously ill and Morgan in trouble at school, the last thing she needs is to uncover an ages-old plot that has robbed Merlin's heirs of their memories. Then Izzy finds out she has lost something she would kill to regain.

If only she could remember what it is.

Bound by the Seelie Court, Declan can't tell her what he knows. Except that the only way they can recover what they've lost is for Michael to kill an elf. With her mates ill or threatened, Izzy begins to think they have no hope.

Help comes from two witches who are forced to face their own past when they agree to a request from Declan. By the time they realise how deeply they are involved, they and those they love are already at risk.

Unable to rely on anything she thinks she remembers, Izzy must make a nightmare journey to ancient lands in a last-ditch attempt to save her mates, her cubs and herself against overwhelming odds. This time they are fighting elves – and their only chance is to reach the witches first.

The twelth book in the Wyrdwolf series draws on Welsh mythology, Cornish folklore, traditional witchcraft and Christian folklore. Set in the borderlands of England and South Wales.

Binding Oaths - 175,000 words, set in sans serif typeface.

  • series number: Book #12
  • Where to buy: Amazon US
  • Where to buy: Amazon UK
  •    For other countries, click on the UK link and substitute your country's domain for the .co.uk in the url
  • True BitsIf you want to know which of the folklore and history in the books is true

True Bits in the book (folklore and history)

Tree Lore
 The folklore of the trees – rowan, oak, ash, hawthorn, yew etc., is real.


Chapter 2

What Michael says about the symbology of the rose is true.

Chapter 3

Morgan's TV show: the Nanteos Cup actually exists. The Thirteen Treasures of Britain buried with Merlin on Bardsey Island is part of British folklore. Merlin's Oak in Carmarthen existed between the 17th and 19th centuries. St Beuno's Cup is based on the Trawsfynydd Tankard, housed in the National Museum of Wales. The Mabinogi is the main collection of ancient Welsh mythology.

Vortigern is mentioned in a story of Merlin in the Historia Brittonum attributed to Nennius, a 9th century Christian monk from Gwynedd, Wales.

Y Draig Coch (Welsh) = the red dragon. This is the name of the Welsh flag.

n'est-ce pas, ma cherie (French) = won't we, my love?

Chapter 4

Pépé (French) = grandfather (informal)

Chapter 7

In the Wyrdwolf series, kickback is the payment incurred for serious magic.

The X-ray eyes is a reference to Superman, created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster and published by DC Comics.

Chapter 8

What Declan says about the dating of electricity in the UK is true.

Chapter 9

Izzy's disorientation echoes Merlin's imprisonment by Nimue/Vivian. One Breton tale has him imprisoned underwater.

Fornyrðislag 'old story metre' is an Old Norse poetic metre with alliteration but without internal rhyme. Iambic pentameter is an English verse form.

Chapter 10

Ah, bon (French) = Oh, really? (sarcastic)

The Addams Family were created by the cartoonist Charles Addams. They were given names in a 1960s TV series.

Chapter 11

Enid is a Welsh name. The Welsh pronunciation and meaning are true.

Chapter 12

Orpheus (Ancient Greece) and Väinämöinen (Finnish, Kalevala) are famous for charming animals through playing on their harps.

Policy files are part of standard investigation police work in the UK.

The security alphabet soup is mostly real. These laws and organisations exist. I made up the Magical Security Foundation.

Hearts, diamonds, daisy wheels, shoes, cats etc. are all examples of apotropaic – protective – magic used from medieval times (at least). That includes the letters relating to the Virgin Mary. What Jeff says about them is true. I made up the bit about diamonds being used for the Vanir.

Staining runes after carving is referred to in the Poetic Edda, Havamal. There is an academic discussion about the colour and whether blood or paint was used.

Chapter 14

The Dunning–Kruger effect exists. Right down to the lemon juice story.

There is a Welsh Christian saint called Melangell. She was said to be the daughter of an Irish king and is associated with hares. I changed her story.

In English folklore, hares are associated with witches.

The Tylwyth Teg are the Welsh elves.

Chapter 15

'Mabinogion' is a misinterpretation. It is correctly Mabinogi. The tale of Math fab Mathonwy, Gwydion and Blodeuwedd is in the Fourth Branch of the Mabinogi. Math and Gwydion made Blodeuwedd out of oak, broom and meadowsweet. The connection between meadowsweet, willow and aspirin is true.

I made up the oak tree Lleu perched in being the same one used to make Blodeuwedd, and the involvement of Kirion the Sallow.

comprends-tu (French) = do you understand (familiar form)

Chapter 16

Désolé, cherie. La petite mort, n'est-ce pas (French) = Sorry, darling. [It's] the Little Death, isn't it?

La Petit Mort is a concept referring to a weakening or loss of consciousness, specifically in sleep or during an orgasm.

Blade Runner is a 1982 American neo-noir science fiction film based on the 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick.

The Kipling quote is real, as is the Cornish story about the spriggan. Tolkien's song is in The Hobbit. The grim ballad is Child #67.

Thomas of Erceldoune is a figure in Scottish Borders folklore.

Chapter 17

Verglas is a description for a thin coating of ice or frozen rain on an exposed surface.

Chapter 18

The information about Trellech is real, including the well.

The tying of rags on the branches of trees is a living tradition in Britain.

Declan's information about roses and Harpocrates is true. Heru is the Greek name for Horus, the son of Isis. Her Kemetic name is Aset.

A 'Grand Tour' was the 18th century custom of a trip around Europe undertaken by upper-class young European men.

In vino veritas (Latin) = in wine lies the truth. That is, a person under the influence of alcohol is more likely to speak their hidden thoughts and desires.

Chapter 19

The Arthurian folklore from Tintagel is real, as is the probable history of 'Arthur's Castle'.

Chapter 20

The folklore about white hares is true.

Chapter 21

Kernow (Cornish) = Cornwall.

Kerdhin (Cornish) = Rowan.

The Dagda is a god from Irish mythology.

St Michael's Mount is the Cornish counterpart of Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy, France. Its name in Cornish is Karrek Loos yn Koos (= grey rock in the wood). There was a priory there in medieval times. It was never named Myghal's Mount and I made up the school.

The Hurlers and the Pipers exist. I've tweaked the folklore about them.

 Mên Scryfa (Cornish) = 'stone with writing' is a standing stone in North Cornwall. Local folklore has an army buried under it.

The tale of the enchanter lord of Pengersick is from Cornish folklore. It includes an Eastern wife, a mysterious stranger and the fire. I made up the library.

Avalon = Isle of Apples. Arthur was taken there after the Battle of Camlann.

After Osiris was killed, Isis recovered the pieces of his body and brought her husband back to life to enable him to father Horus (Heru).

The information about Cadoc, King Donyarth and the history of the title of Earl of Cornwall is true.

Chapter 22

The Gokstad ship was rescued from a Viking era burial mound in Scandinavia and is now in Oslo.

Skiðblaðnir (Old Norse) = 'assembled from thin pieces of wood' is mentioned in the Prose Edda Gylfaginning 43. It could be folded up and always had a fair wind.

The word hysteria comes from the Greek word for uterus. The ancient Greeks believed that the uterus moved through a woman's body to cause disease.

Chapter 23

I made up the Ridley Scott version of Lord of the Rings.

The names of the magical schools and colleges are drawn from historical or mythological figures. In Welsh mythology, Math fab Mathonwy (mythological) King of Gwynedd in North Wales. His story is the Fourth Branch of the Mabinogi.

Pwyll = Pwyll Pen Annwn (mythological), the hero of the First Branch of the Mabinogi and King of Dyfed in south-west Wales.

Llywelyn = Llywelyn the Great (historical), King of Gwynedd in North Wales and ruler of all Wales in the 13th century.

Gwydion = Gwydion fab Dôn (mythological), a magician, hero and trickster. He appears most prominently in the Fourth Branch of the Mabinogi.

Myrddin (Welsh) = Merlin.

Chapter 24

Pucas are a part of Brythonic (Welsh, Cornish etc) folklore.

Folklore exists about a harpist variously named Glascurion, Kirion the Sallow, Keraint, Glasgerion etc. He's mentioned by Chaucer in his House of Fame and the tale of love and revenge is Child Ballard #67.

Yggdrasil is the world tree in Heathen mythology. The Glastonbury thorn and Merlin's Oak exist (or existed until recently). Folklore surrounds both.

Chapter 25

Asap (UK acronym) = as soon as possible.

'Tapping the bone' exists. So do the other forms of divination mentioned.

In UK folklore, witches were thought to be able to change into hares.

Rain uses an Anglo Saxon rune set. I have given the Anglo Saxon names for the runes. The meanings of the names are true, as is what Rain says about the rune sets. The tree folklore is real.

The attributes of the wood of the three runes when they are transformed is true.

Chapter 26

the family jewels (British slang) = male genitals.

Many of the ingredients in the potion are used in relevant herbal remedies. Some are dangerous. Some are my imagination.

Mên-an-Tol (Cornish) = stone the hole. It comprises three upright granite stones. The central one is round with a hole in the middle. 'Crick' alludes to its alleged healing ability.

Cornwall has been an important source of tin from ancient times into the modern period.

Hag stones are stones with a naturally occurring hole through them. In Britain, they have many names.

The all-female Takarazuka Revue is a popular Japanese drama school.

Chapter 27

Early miscarriages in humans and dogs reabsorb the zygote(s) rather than aborting them.

Chapter 28

The story about Justin Magnus can be found in The Black Recorder.

Chapter 29

In his The Battle for Gaul, Julius Caesar tells us druid training took twenty years.

A nemeton was a sacred space of ancient Celtic religion.

Chapter 30

Adder stones were a particular form of hag stone. The Welsh and Cornish names are true. The name adder stone comes from a tale in Pliny's Natural History book XXII in which he says they were prized by druids and gathered by them directly from the adders.

Chapter 31

The knight move is unusual among chess pieces. It moves in an 'L' shape that enables it to jump over other pieces. A rook is one of the most powerful pieces. Each player begins a game with two rooks.

Chapter 32

Croque Madame is a cooked ham and cheese sandwich topped with a fried egg. It's a universal French snack.

Chapter 33

What is said about the origin of Tintagel Castle is true.

The Arthurian legends began with Gildas, Nennius and Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae.

What Rain says about the names Alwyn and Aylwin is true.

The Bodmin Manumissions is an excellent source for medieval Cornish names.

John Militon is a real person who owned Pengersick castle in the 16th century. His son Job was briefly Governor of St Michael's Mount.

Chapter 34

The Old North (Yr Hen Ogledd in Welsh) existed. It stretched roughly from the existing M62 motorway to the Antonine Wall in Scotland and included the ancient Welsh kingdom of Gwynedd.

The Ring of Luned is one of the mythical Thirteen Treasures of Britain. The folklore relating to it is real. What Sam relates about Merlin and Bardsey island is from Welsh folklore.

Chapter 35

Nia (Welsh version of Irish Niamh ) = bright.

Aval (Cornish/Breton) = apple.

Lesser or Little Britain are names given to Brittany.

Chapter 39

The Trawsfynydd Tankard is in a museum in Cardiff and is as described in the book. There is no cup called after St Beuno.

St Beuno exists as a saint. He may have been two different people due to the timelines. Edward's potted history of him is true.

Chapter 40

Broceliande is part of the myths about Merlin. On the map, it's the Forêt de Paimpont in Brittany. Emrys is one of Merlin's names in Welsh folklore.

Tegen (Cornish) = jewel

Milpreve (Cornish) = adder stone.

 O Rose thou art sick is from the poem The Sick Rose by William Blake.

Chapter 41

The yew is associated with life and resurrection due to its longevity and ability to regenerate when apparently dead.

The bit about Anglesey being the last stand of the druids is true, according to the Roman sources. However, there is no Math's Well.

Gorsedd (Welsh) = throne. The real-life version is a community or meeting of modern-day bards. It occurs in Wales, Cornwall and Brittany.

Pengwern is generally regarded as being the early seat of the kings of Powys.

Chapter 42

The symbol used by the Magicians' Guild is the Hieroglyphic Monad. It was designed by John Dee, the Elizabethan Magus and Court Astrologer of Elizabeth I of England.

Chapter 44

Many apotropaic symbols were seared. They were placed as Cheryl says.

Chapter 47

Awen is a Welsh, Cornish and Breton word for inspiration. It's a central concept of modern pagan druidry.

Chapter 51

13 September 1996 was a Friday.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is the commonest cause of sudden death in healthy young people.

Wistman's Wood is one of the highest oakwoods in Britain. The lichen and moss make it an atmospheric place.

Chapter 52

According to the Mabinogi, Math fab Mathonwy was said to be king of Gwynedd. Glasgerion was said to be the son of the king of Powys, which is where St Beuno came from.

Chapter 54

The astronomical information for 26 April 2017 and 12 October 1996 is correct.

Chapter 56

AWOL (acronym) = absent without leave

The geography of the journey to Wales is accurate. It can be followed on a map.

WAG (acronym) = wives and girlfriends (usually of celebrities).

Chapter 57

Firehome and Icehome are two of the Nine Worlds in Heathen Mythology.  Ginnungagap is the primordial void.

The approved method of driving on ice is true.

Chapter 58

According to British folklore, the fay dislike cold iron.

Canines can smell the reaction of silver tarnishing.

Chapter 60

Castell Bryn Gwyn exists.

The Hitchcock thriller is The Birds, based on a story by Daphne Du Maurier.

Chapter 62

The Seelie Court takes place in the area occupied by the Bryn Gwyn stone circle. Only two stones remain, as described.

Chapter 67

Loki siring a child on Tiw's wife can be found in the Prose Edda Lokasenna 40. However, that child is a son and not a werewolf.

Chapter 69

Joan-the-wad is part of Cornish folklore.

Many of the ancient tin mines are in the same area as Mên Scryfa.

Chapter 72

The Clearwell Caves exist.

Chapter 73

Hogwarts is a reference to the Harry Potter books, written by J K Rowling.

The Stars of the White Nights festival in St Petersburg exists.