Gwion drinks from the witch Cardiwen's magic cauldron of knowledge and is reborn as Taliesin: magician, poet, prophet, weathermonger and trickster. Adopted as a baby by Elphin, the unluckiest man in Wales, over the next twelve years Taliesin transforms Elphin's fortunes. The story as told in the Welsh Mabinogion is a succession of mediaeval folk tales which have collected around the figure of Taliesin, who was once as well-known as Merlin.
Maggie Pearson's first novel, Owl Light, was shortlisted for the WH Smith Mind-boggling Book Award, and her most recent, Shadow of the Beast, was longlisted for last year's Carnegie Medal. Her other books include the Flashbacks titles: A Slip in Time (Victorian) and The Eyes of Doctor Dee (Tudor).