It goes without saying that our team are great with numbers, but one of our partners is proving he’s also a whizz with words.

Tom Rhodes has just published his first book, The Awakening of Speros, a fantasy tale of magic, adventure and one boy’s fight against a tyrannical king.

Taking inspiration from some of his favourite authors such as George RR Martin, Christopher Paolini and JRR Tolkien, Tom has infused his book with elements from some of the most famous series of epic fantasy novels. It even has a detailed map at the beginning, drawn by illustrator Michelle Wade, who is based near Northallerton.

Tom says: “I’ve really enjoyed writing the book and building the story up. I did a bit of writing when I was younger, but this is the first time I’ve gone through the whole process of finishing and publishing something.

“Writing is an escapism for me. It’s about as far removed from accountancy as possible. I really enjoy my day job but I also love escaping into a different world with my writing. I tend to write fantasy because I like that you can make up your own rules and get lost in what you want to happen in your story.”

The book is aimed at teens and young adults and is the first in a trilogy called The Tale of Taratia. Set in a fictional land based loosely on Medieval England, the story centres around Speros, a young man who discovers he has magical powers. When King Marcellus launches an invasion, Speros is enlisted by a guild for young magicians and joins the fight for freedom.

The book is available on Amazon as an e-book or a paperback, and can also be found in Castlegate Books, located in the marketplace in Knaresborough.

Tom says: “I’m really grateful to Gary Cooper at Castlegate for stocking copies of my book. I really enjoy working with local independent businesses through my job as an accountant and I appreciate Gary being the first to take a chance on me and stock my book.

“I can’t wait to develop the trilogy and have nearly finished writing the script for the sequel, which I hope to get published next year.”

Order The Awakening of Speros from Castlegate Books in Knaresborough or from Amazon here.