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Works

The Borderlands series

Book I: Shadow of the Eagle

 

"I only need one word to describe this stunning novel: masterful"

Anthony Riches, author of The Empire series


"A haunting, historical epic"

Gordon Doherty, author of Sons of Rome

 

"...will surely become a real fan favourite for years to come. It's a riveting, rich, and rewarding novel that every historical fiction lover needs to read."

Steven A. McKay, author of The Druid

 

SPRING, 831 ab urbe condita, from the founding of the City,

in the ninth year of the Emperor Vespasian


The hired mourners trailed behind the carriage with the casket, wailing women in black who set Faustus's teeth on edge. The procession followed the wagon road from the house to the line of yews along the avenue, where generations of his family lay in their urns and marble boxes, topped with votive stones, the oldest of them slowly being swallowed by the grass. Faustus, in a dark gray mourning toga, with his sister Silvia beside him in a somber gown, followed the casket ahead of the shrieking mourners. He had not wanted them but Silvia had insisted. What would people think if they didn't hire professional mourners to see their father off? They had had them for Mother, of course, not two months since, but Father had directed that funeral as he had directed everything else on the farm.

 

Now he was dead and Faustus had two choices — accede to Father's dying wishes and let the farm swallow him too, rooting him inexorably into the ground like the tombstones, or flee. The appointment to the army's Centuriate training camp in Rome was tucked into the gray folds of his toga, a talisman against changing his mind.

 

Two days after the funeral he signed the bill of sale that extricated him, despite Silvia's weepy protestations. The chickens in the farmyard bobbed about his ankles in a little brown-feathered tide as Faustus threw them a last handful of grain to remember him by.

 

"You didn't have to sell it. Manlius would have married me without a dowry." Silvia twisted her mantle round and round her hands until they looked like a chrysalis, or some hapless infant swaddled by a murderous nurse.

 

Faustus unwound her. "Of course he would." He wouldn't and Faustus knew it. Manlius wanted Silvia but he couldn't afford to marry a woman with no money.

 

"The farm has been in our family for two hundred years," Silvia sniffled, now using the mantle to wipe her nose. "What would Father think? It was his life."

 

"I don't know what Father thinks because he hasn't popped up from the Underworld to tell me." Father had been going to borrow money to get Silvia married. If Faustus had done that, he would never have got free.

Coyote Weather (working title)


Coming in 2023 from Northampton House Press:

 

It's 1967 and the world is going to hell in a hand basket. 

The country is forcibly sending its young men to fight in a deeply unpopular war.

African Americans have had enough of Jim Crow.

Women have had enough of a lot of things.

And over it all looms the politics of the Cold War and the real possibility of a nuclear war.

 

In the face of the Vietnam War and a culture violently remaking itself, Jerry has stubbornly made no plans for the future because he doesn't think that, in the shadow of Vietnam, the Cold War and atomic bomb drills, there is going to be one. Ellen is determined to have a plan, because nothing else seems capable of keeping the world from tilting. And the Ghost, who isn't exactly dead, just wants to go home to a place that won't let him in, the small California town where they all grew up.

The Centurions quartet

The Border Wolves

Volume 4 in The Centurions series

 

"For anybody who loves fiction about Imperial Rome in the far reaches of Britain, Amanda Cockrell has the finest sense of history, character, and narrative I've seen since Rosemary Sutcliff, and that's saying something."

- Delia Sherman, Mythopoeic Award-winning author of The Porcelain Dove

 

"A thrilling, exciting Roman adventure in the tradition of Rosemary Sutcliff's Eagle of the Ninth"

- Alex Gough, author of Emperor's Sword

 

The Centurions

Volume 1 in The Centurions series

Brothers and rivals in the Legions of  first century Rome

 

Barbarian Princess

Volume 2 in The Centurions series

 

"...an engrossing, funny, informative book...this series is virtually flawless. Correus Appius Julianus and his brother Flavius become men in the course of their battles to conquer wild, superstitious Britain in the first century A.D. The author is sympathetic to both the beleaguered Britons and the well organized Roman conquerors. There's a feel of real life, including the grit and fear, in the brothers' adventures and in the concomitant maturing of Ygerna, a scared thirteen-year-old when first captured by the Romans, who becomes a true princess as she learns to mediate between the old ways and the new. The supporting cast is lively and varied. The Mt. Vesuvius explosion that buried Pompeii adds historical realism. ..pays serious attention to emotional causality, gaining its effects from genuine feelings rather than stereotyped responses."

– West Coast Review of Books

 

The Emperor's Games

Volume 3 in The Centurions series

 

 

The Wall at the Edge of the World

"For anybody who loves fiction about Imperial Rome in the far reaches of Britain, Amanda Cockrell has the finest sense of history, character, and narrative I've seen since Rosemary Sutcliffe, and that's saying something."

-- Delia Sherman, winner of the Mythopoeic Award for The Porcelain Dove

 

"When surgeon Postumus Justinius Corvus performs an act of bravery and gallantry, he is awarded an honour, a promotion, and a reassignment from Syria to his home in Britannia. But this is a bittersweet assignment, as it looks like he will be forced to confront family ghosts and personal emotional conflicts. Transferred to the northern reaches of the province, he is on the frontline of the Eagles – the last Wall between the Empire and the North has been left to rot. A new, capable and practical Governor is commanding, and he's intent on obeying the Emperor. A new wall, from East Coast to West, will happen. And Corvus, only intent on treating casualties, is torn; he's a Briton but he's also Roman. In fact, his family honour is based on being in the Eagles. So which way can he turn?

This novel is a fine mix of story and history, and the author manages to shed light on a period when the Roman Empire flexed its muscles at the edge of the world."

--   Alan Cassady-Bishop, The Historical Novel Society

The Legions of the Mist

"Amanda Cockrell's first novel is more than an auspicious debut; it is an extraordinary achivement. She tells us an abundantly various and exciting tale, based solidly on assimilated historical fact and yet richly innovative, imaginatively speculative wherever it must be so. Ms. Cockrell has chosen, and been chosen by, a haunting era just on the edges of present memory, a place where myths begin. And she has made the most of it."
-- George Garrett

What We Keep Is Not Always What Will Stay

Saints and soldiers and the Untied Church of Dog

"There was a late frost last night and you could hear the wind machines going all over the valley to keep the oranges from freezing. They set up funny echoes sometimes, tricks of the sound waves. I kept thinking I could hear the Underworld doors banging shut behind someone, Jesse maybe. Or maybe just behind all our mistakes."

Fifteen-year-old Angie didn't used to think too much about God - until things started getting weird. Like the statue of St. Felix, her secret confidante, suddenly coming off his plinth and talking back at her. Like Angie's mom, about to bust up her third marriage for no apparent reason. And weirdest of all, Jesse Francis, home from Afghanistan with his leg blown off and expected to fit back in at school. Does any of it make sense or is life - and the deity, who's supposed to have a handle on stuff like this - as mixed up as the bumper sticker Angie sees from the "Untied Church of Dog"?

Against the advice of an increasingly vocal St. Felix (who knows a thing or two about war), Angie finds herself falling for Jesse's allure - a guy who's been through so much more than regular high-school kids. But Jesse is battling some major demons, and as Angie starts losing control of the situation, she has to ask - can one person ever make things right for someone else?

A Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books Blue Ribbon book.

Pomegranate Seed

“Amanda Cockrell has written a zinger of a novel with serious import—here’s the real human tragedy of the Hollywood blacklist with verve and style. Cockrell’s unerring sense of time and place allows her to present California without cliche, then and now, as she shifts between past and present time. A mesmerizing read.”
-- Lee Smith

“Take an authentic and evocative summoning up of more than half a century of Hollywood history, from the silents to the hard edges of here and now; add on a lively and diverse cast of characters, credible people as surprising and memorable as the pilgrims in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales; mix well with a suspenseful, page-turning story; then season with humor and with style, and you have the enchanting formula for Pomegranate Seed. Amanda Cockrell is a master magician and this novel is a pleasure to read from first to last. See for yourself.”
-- George Garrett

The Horse Catchers Trilogy

"Amanda Cockrell's books are the most satisfying stories about prehistoric people that I have ever read. Like Patrick O'Brien's sea stories, they are funny, humane novels of character and manners, as well as excellent adventures"
-- Ursula K. LeGuin

 

 

When the Horses Came


The Trickster's gifts come with a price. A long time ago he gave a new animal to the people of the Southwest, and changed the world.


Children of the Horse, Volume 2

Blue Jay and his sister Dances, descendants of the now-legendary Horse Bringers, travel to the Cities-in-the-West in search of more horses.

 

 

The Rain Child, Volume 3

 

Rain Child, in search of a stray horse, finds instead a magical treasure. The iron pot is the first of four enchanted gifts that Coyote will use to lure Rain Child and her horses north for his own purposes.

 

 

The Deer Dancers Trilogy

"A work of mythic beauty"
-- Kathleen O'Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear

 

 

Daughter of the Sky

“In our current political climate, what concerns could be more contemporary than these: What is the role of the artist? What good does any individual’s art contribute to the people? What toll does making art exact on the individual? Which changes are the good changes?
“Believe me, she knows how to tell a good story. But lots of writers know how to tell a good story. Knowing, too, how to give texture and meaning to characters as removed in time as these; and knowing how to examine the spiritual world by depicting the physical one—these are rare gifts.”
-- Monty S. Leitch, Roanoke Times

 

 

Wind Caller's Children, Volume 2

 

The coming of Maize

"A novel of magical realism"
-- Ursula K. LeGuin

 

 

 

The Long Walk, Volume 3

Others' Child and Night Hawk roam along the trade trails to the shore of the Endless Water..

Shadow Castle

By my mother, Marian Cockrell
Now back in print, in an expanded edition with the original illustrations and cover art, and six new chapters.