The Landland Chronicles: The Greying by Dallas Sutherland

The Landland Chronicles (The Greying, #1)The Landland Chronicles by Dallas Sutherland

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Landland Chronicles: The Greying is book one in this fantasy series written for children aged 10-13 years. I shall begin with my last thoughts as the book ended; as a child, who wouldn’t love to be written into a delightful book? Meah finds herself alone, her mother has died and her father is missing, she’s left with Aunt Beryl a cold women she hardly knows. Together they are in a boat emptying her mother’s ashes into the sea when Meah falls overboard.

Lost and alone she is washed up on a distant shore where everything has lost its colour. She meets Mermie and Dalff who have been waiting for her arrival to help them find the lost colours. They insist she is called Teah the thinking girl. I really enjoyed the mix of myth, legend, and history to create this magical place. I wanted to taste hot-sap tea and meet a Pitterpatterdell. Some of the names made me smile, their simplicity was refreshing in fantasy Josh O’Tosh, Bill MacIll, Ani Stout and Danar Long.

Teah must go and find a sage called The Biggo who seems to know just where she is and what she might need, he sends Spike with messages of encouragement in her quest to retrieve the Black thing and the Book of Colours. Her path is troubled by many adventures, but slowly with help she finds herself and her lost parts and with friends and brave Pictish warriors she discovers just what or who is causing the sinister tap, tap tapping and together with the Biggo they set off on more adventures in Landland.

I think this is a good fantasy world and the mix of adventure and myth worked well. I have my own historical interest in the ogam language and was thrilled to see it included in this tale.

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Dallas will be joining us on the blog tomorrow as our guest author, do come back and find out more about him and his books.

Guest Author Alix B Macey

Today my guest is Alix Macey a local author of “Becoming Anorak Nid” which I reviewed here on the blog yesterday. Follow this link to the review post

Let’s go and meet Alix;

Alix B Macey

1)  Where is your home town?

Oooh now there’s a question!  Hometown? Born in Hampton Court, Middlesex, but we moved around a lot.  I have lived in 27 different places in the UK and 11 of those were before I was 15 years old! ( I have just written them all down so I could count)

Happily, now home is in a little village called Crondall, Nr. Farnham in Surrey. At  6 years, this is the longest place I have ever lived in, so this for me is most definitely “home” (followed very closely by Suffolk, then Kent – if that’s allowed?!)

2) How long have you been writing?

Ever since I was 4 years old and I could hold a pen!
I was full of stories as a child and would write story after story. In adulthood however, I am a relative newcomer to “grown-up” writing. I have written radio programme scripts, children’s animation scripts and website articles.  But my first two books in the Becoming Anorak Nid series began as an idea about 15 years ago and have been finished in the last 6 years. (yes I did say 6 years!)

3) Have you always written children’s books?

Not at all really.  I worked for a presenter for the BBC up until 2005, and so a lot of my writing has been scripts for programmes.  I have written a few scripts for children’s animations, but they were much more serious than I like to be when writing.  I see myself as a bit silly – well my children tell me on a daily basis that I am, and they are such judges of character, so I guess I must be!

4) Your fun book has a lot of subtle play on words with some of the names, can you tempt the readers with one or two examples?

Ha ha…yes,  I love this question.  My favourite is Sile.  He’s an ant who can’t talk so he is Sile-ant.  Being silent he is mute, so he is a mute-ant…mutant! He carries cardboard signs around with him everywhere so he can communicate –  so he uses “sign” language  Hah! Sorry I know I shouldn’t laugh but he just makes me giggle.  Then of course there is our hero; Nid.  He is a spider which of course is an-“arachnid”…an-arachnid. Nid buys a magic coat/anorak and becomes a bit of a superhero and gets known as Anorak Nid (an-arachnid).  Tee hee..can’t stop giggling..there are loads more…

5) You’ve chosen English Garden creatures as the characters, why was that?

I am an out-doorsy kind of girl, so I love nature. But to be honest it was really the way the story unfolded.  Nid, being a spider, could either have been a house or a garden of sorts.  And once he started on his adventure to Mr. Busy’s Bumble sale it took him outside, where he met all manner of wonderfully colourful characters.

6) Poor Nid lost his parents, can you tell us what happened to them?

They unfortunately got trodden on by the SB’s (Shoe Beings). It was a most unfortunate encounter with a sole and the stone tiling on the kitchen floor.  Sniff!

7) You’ve made the author have a voice as a narrator in the story, why?

Do you know; I don’t know why. It wasn’t a conscious effort, and not thought of at all. I just found myself talking to Nid, and he answered me back, so we became sort-of friends and he helped me tell his story.

8) Is there going to be a moral to the story?

Great question.  Oh yes, there are lots of morals – which come in the shape of a fairy with a massive social disorder – and lots of odd ribboned scrolls.  All is revealed in Book Two – A Rude Awakening. Things are not at all what you think they might be.

9) The book, but not the story, ends on a real cliff hanger which the reader can pick up in “Becoming Anorak kid – The rude awakening” what made you choose to make the story into 2 books?

…Shhh , don’t tell anyone but originally it was all one book.

I was told by a book analyser (that story is on my blog ) that for a paperback version the story was way too long, at over 30,000 words. So I was advised to turn it into two books. There seemed to be a natural split at the da..da..daaaa moment. So there you have it; one becomes two.

10) What are you working on at the moment? Do you have a publication date?

Book 3 in the Becoming anorak Nid series is currently being worked on – sadly in the loosest sense of the word.  I really must get a wriggle on.  Thank you for reminding me.  Names are not forthcoming yet, but it may very well have the word Turd in the title…eeeyeww!

Product DetailsBecoming Anorak Nid available here on

Product DetailsBecoming Anorak Nid – A Rude awakening available here from

Website –
Twitter – @alixbmacey
Thanks for being our guest today, it’s been great meeting someone local.