David "Dave" Duncan was born 1933 in Scotland, United Kingdom. An author of fantasy and science-fiction he moved to Canada in 1955 and in 1986, after 31 years working as a geologist, he became a full time writer.
Amongst his best known works are the Pandemia books, and in particular the A Man of His Word series whose titles (Magic Casement, Faery Lands Forlorn, Perilous Seas and Emperor and Clown) are based on an excerpt from the 1819 poem Ode to a Nightingale by John Keats:
"The voice I hear this passing night was heard In ancient days, by emperor and clown: Perhaps the self-same song that found a path Through the sad heart of Ruth, when sick for home, She stood in tears amid the alien corn; The same that oft-times hath Charmed magic casements, opening of the foam Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn."
Duncan has also written under the pseudonyms Ken Hood and Sarah B. Franklin.
"My decision to write speculative fiction was partly personal taste (write what you want to read) and partly commercial. The Canadian market is very small. My preferred reading was and still is, non-fiction history or science, and in fiction was mainly SF or murder stories. Whodunnits must be set within specific legal jurisdictions, historical novels require a lot of work, but SF has a universal appeal, so I could aim for the U.S. market. Lately, with my The Alchemist’s Apprentice and its forthcoming sequels, I am combining fantasy, history, and murder mystery in the same book."
E-Reads interviews Dave Duncan
The idyllic life of Princess Inos is disturbed when a god appears, hinting that she will wed. As no eligible suitors ever visit the kingdom, Inos is exiled to learn how to be a lady, but back home the stableboy Rap develops strange powers.
"On first impression Magic Casement - and Dave Duncan's A Man of His Word series in general - might appear to be just your good old-fashioned fantasy fare. And in many ways it is but there are elements within that lift it above the norm and in the end I felt like I had read a book that gave me the comfort I felt from the classic fantasy of yore with enough fresh ideas to allow it to sit unashamedly alongside the great fantasy books of recent times." Floresiensis, Fantasy Book Review