Dartmoor... The Saving by BJ Burton
Beneath the wide-open spaces of Dartmoor live the Dini. Now just two feet tall, their bodies no longer able to bare children, the Dini are dying out. Only ten survive on the moor.
According to their own folklore they are descendants of the Celtic tribe, the Votadini, who were great warriors and horsemen. Led by their kinsman warlord, whose battle name was Artos (now remembered as Arthur), they defeated the Saxon invaders. The witch Demetia, responsible for the treacherous downfall of Artos, sought to punish his loyal kinsmen and cursed the Votadini so that generation by generation they shrunk in size.
After 1,000 years, the Dini were forced by the cruelty of the Biguns to live in hiding in the wild places. But staying hidden is growing difficult as modern-day Biguns pour into the wild places to enjoy their stark beauty. Is it time to stop hiding and fight back?
A series of strange events arouses the suspicions of Dartmoor Ranger Bob Johnson. Is he going mad or can there really be tiny people living on the moor? If he is going mad, he’s not the only one – there’s a strange old man who believes he is the re-incarnation of Merlin. Is it Bob’s role to save them? Is there an even bigger task for him? Inspired by the Spirit of Artos, Bob becomes Robert Edgar Johnson, Guardian of the Earth, Companion of Kings. Maybe, just maybe, he can help to save us all.
Dartmoor… The Saving is a charming tale from author BJ Burton; part historical fantasy, part contemporary fantasy, this is a story that will leave you believing that little people really do exist in the remote areas of the British Isles.
The stars of the show are undoubtedly the Dini, the little folk themselves; cursed, generation after generation they shrink in size until now, unable to bare children, there are only ten left.
“Each generation was of smaller stature than the one before. After seven hundred years we were only half the size we had once been. As we became smaller and smaller, we went from a position of respect to one of ridicule. We were treated as something strange and suspicious. If anything went wrong we were suspected of witchcraft.”
Dartmoor… The Saving: Chapter 5 – The Droller’s Tale
Written in the third person, using a pleasantly-paced and neat narrative, the setting is kept mainly to Dartmoor and its environs (the Dini of Snowdonia and Cumbria are alluded to but not explored in great detail). The story of the Dini runs parallel to that of Ranger Bob and Jane, humans (or Biguns as the Dini call them) who live near the moor. The Dini want somewhere warm and safe to live, Bob and Jane want, but cannot have children. Bob and Jane live in a large house that is too big for their needs… you can, as the reader, see the perfect solution to both parties needs but will the author allow this to happen?
The author skilfully brings across the austere beauty of Dartmoor and the Dini are portrayed so realistically that it would not surprise you if you met one the next time you went for a walk.
There are some really loveable characters amongst the Dini, you really feel for their plight and can’t help but feel anger at how humans are destroying their natural environment. The relationship that really stands out is that of Carn and Eppie; a loving relationship that will have the reader hoping that their ending is the happy one that they deserve. The disreputable Tegid and his brother and unwilling accomplice Nudd are also memorable.
Add to this storyline a generous helping of Arthurian legend and Celtic mythology and you have a rich and satisfying read that will show an Arthur (Artos) and a Merlin (Myrddin) different to the ones widely known.
BJ Burton loves both the Dartmoor of the setting and the little people of his creation. His passion for his tale makes this a very readable and enjoyable experience. The reader will be left with a desire to explore the areas lovingly described within. Dartmoor… The Saving is unlike anything you may have read before. I would highly recommend this book.
This Dartmoor... The Saving book review was written by Floresiensis
Have you read Dartmoor... The Saving?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
Dartmoor... The Saving reader reviews
Jeff from Sunderland, Ontario, Canada
A great book that starts off slow and builds to a "can't put down" read. Great for anyone who is familiar with Dartmoor and the local area! Looking forward to the next book.
8/10 from 2 reviews
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
The Weirdstone of Brisingamen
When Colin and Susan are pursued by eerie creatures across Alderley Edge, they are saved by the Wizard. He takes them into the caves of Fundindelve, where he watches over t...
The Dark is Rising Sequence
On holiday in Cornwall, the three Drew children discover an ancient map in the attic of the house that they are staying in. They know immediately that it is special. It is ...
Three Hearts and Three Lions
The gathering forces of the Dark Powers threaten the world of man. The legions of Faery, aided by trolls, demons and the Wild Hunt itself, are poised to overthrow the Realm...
His name is West. Her name is Cally. They speak different languages and come from different countries thousands of miles apart, but they do not know that. What they do know...
The Abhorsen Chronicles
Who will guard the living when the dead arise? Sabriel is sent as a child across the Wall to the safety of a school in Ancelstierre. Away from magic; away from the Dead. Af...
The Chrestomanci Series
Diana Wynne Jones
Orphans Eric Chant (nicknamed Cat) and his sister Gwendolen, a gifted witch, are whisked away to live in a castle with Chrestromanci, a much-revered man of magic, wealth an...
It has lain lost and forgotten for fifteen hundred years in the ancient heartland of England – a scrap of glass and metal melded by fierce fire. It is the lost core o...
Charlie Keeper has been forced from her home by a bloodthirsty and terrifying stranger. But in escaping she discovers her house holds the gateway to the Realm of Bellania -...
The Tragedy Paper
Every year at an exclusive private boarding school in New York state, the graduating students uphold an old tradition – they must swear an oath of secrecy and leave b...
The Very Best of Charles de Lint
Charles de Lint
Charles de Lint, a fantasy author who has left the same mark on the genre of myth and legend much as the likes of Sir Thomas Malory, Christian Anderson, Grimm, who has foun...
The Testament of Tall Eagle
John R Fultz
A young warrior's vision-quest unveils an alien city full of magic and mystery. As a tribal rift threatens to destroy Tall Eagle's people, night-crawling devils sta...
Out of Oz
The marvellous land of Oz is knotted with social unrest: The Emerald City is mounting an invasion of Munchkinland, Glinda is under house arrest, and the Cowardly Lion is on...
Alif the Unseen
G Willow Wilson
He calls himself Alif - few people know his real name - a young man born in a Middle Eastern city that straddles the ancient and modern worlds. When Alif meets the aristocr...
After an inexplicable catastrophe on Earth, John Bridgeman is left to scrap out a solitary existence, surrounded by bodies and haunted by the girlfriend he cannot allow to ...
R.H. Ragona's Circus of Magic is the greatest circus of Ellada. Nestled among the glowing blue Penglass - remnants of a mysterious civilisation long gone - are wonders ...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:
- Recommended contemporary / urban fantasy books/series
- Recommended parallel universe / Alternate reality books
Best of 2016
A small group of commuters and tube workers witness a fiery apocalypse overtaking London. They make their escape through a service tunnel. Reaching a door they step through......
It is for the entities known as Sleepwalkers to cross the doors between dreams, and hunt the nightmares that haunt sleeping minds. Theirs is a world of impossible vistas, wher...
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.
When Vivian is evacuated from London in 1939, she expects to be staying in the countryside. Instead, she is whisked away to Time City – a place that exists outside time and space. It is a strange and remarkable place, where technology rules – yet important events of both past and future are marked by the appearance of mysterious Time...
The Guns of Empire
As the roar of the guns subsides and the smoke of battle clears, the country of Vordan is offered a fragile peace... After their shattering defeats at the hands of brillian...
At the Convent of Sweet Mercy young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth....
Events are coming to a climax in the Banished Lands, as the war reaches new heights. King Nathair has taken control of the fortress at Drassil and three of the Seven Treasu...
For Kivrin Engle, preparing an on-site study of one of the deadliest eras in humanity's history was as simple as receiving inoculations against the diseases of the four...
The Banished Lands are engulfed in war and chaos. The cunning Queen Rhin has conquered the west and High King Nathair has the cauldron, most powerful of the seven treasures...