James I. Marino is the author of the novel, The Keepers of Mercia. James’ love of writing can be traced back to his high school days. Inspired by the works of Jack London and Stephen Donaldson, James began to tinker with short fiction. As an English degree student at the University of New Hampshire, he fell in love with a wide range of fiction, including the works of Shakespeare, Hemmingway, Dickens, and Emily Bronte, among many others. His admiration and enjoyment of the mastery of craft displayed by so many powerful writers encouraged James to press ahead with his own writing, and as the words began to flow, he recognized that his desire to write was something more than a hobby. He went on to complete a Master of Fine Arts degree in fiction writing at Southern New Hampshire University.
Following the completion of his degree, James joined the faculty at Southern New Hampshire University as an adjunct instructor for both the English and Communications departments. He teaches various English composition and public speaking courses.
Having grown up on a small farm in rural Dunbarton, New Hampshire, James developed a deep appreciation of nature that can be seen in the thoughtful, well-crafted images that punctuate his writing. He lives on Haven Hill Farm in Canterbury, New Hampshire with his wife Megan, their son Max, and several furry friends.
The Keepers of Mercia
While Binette awaits her father in the large trade village of Riversplit, she encounters an elder who confirms scant rumors being spread by merchants that a religious legion in the fare west, known as the Jebedah, have been pressing villages into its ranks through sadistic means. Stirred by the perceived stature of the elder, and an unexplainable sense of burden, Binette leaves home and journeys west with the elder and his bodyguard, a spirited warrior who is as complex as she is fierce. By the time Binette full understands how dangerous a threat the Jebedah pose to all of Mercia, and as she struggles to contemplate the savage destruction around her, she learns that her role in assuring the land’s future will be far larger than she could have possibly imagined. The trust and admiration she has for the elder are tested by events, past and present, that reveal to Binette the tenuousness of the line that separates righteousness from corruption.
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