Fire in the Straw


In Fire in the Straw, fourteen year-old Mac faces adventure, mystery and a fight for survival in a medieval time city called Loxeter. Historical fantasy for young and old.

Fourteen year-old Mac is abducted from everything he has ever known and hurled into a bewildering and dangerous new life in a medieval time city. There are no twenty-first century thrills here; the thrill in Loxeter is the relief at being alive for another day.

Knowing his mother could be seriously ill, Mac tries to cope with separation from his family and friends. In a fight for survival, Mac is ill-equipped for life in Loxeter. Computer skills, rock music and deodorants have no use in a violent medieval world ruled by daggers and swords.

Within hours of arriving, Mac endures a brutal interrogation and narrowly escapes assassination. Mac knows nobody but is the focus of attention wherever he goes. Incidents break out around him like fire burning in straw and he is pursued by intrigue. There isn’t just one mystery; he’s tangled in a web of them.

Mac wishes he knew why Catholic and Protestant plots surround him and is troubled by visions of the black and white image of a boy. A strange old man in green helps him and he begins to realize that Loxeter’s fixation with scarecrows and fire has sinister roots.

Among those Mac learns to trust are a young master swordsman and a group his own age representing six centuries. As the truth begins to unravel, Mac learns more about himself than just who he is, but the surprises and danger are not over.

“A classic in the making – move over Tolkein, Baird has arrived! Wonderfully written and such a powerful story. ‘Fire in the Straw’ will ignite your imagination.” G P Taylor – author of the Shadowmancer and Mariah Mundi series.

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Fire in the Straw by Stephen Baird was published by Trafford Publishing in 2007.

Stephen Baird published his first novel, Fire in the Straw, following a hugely belated gap year. After finishing his career in education, he is now working on a YA (Young Adult) historical fantasy set in Renaissance Italy. He has written two short stories for the Cornwall Writers short story collections, ‘Cornwall Misfits, Curiosities & Legends’ and ‘Cornwall Secret and Hidden’. He has also written three plays and a rock musical for 8-13 year-olds. Stephen’s wife says that her prediction that all three sons would reach adolescence before their dad proved correct. Stephen and Liz live in Truro, Cornwall with Mustard the Whippet.

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