Moment of TruthMoment of Truth – Michael Pryor

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Cover blurb
The unthinkable has happened: Albion is at war. Aubrey and George are swept up into the military – but not in the way they expect. With Caroline drafted into the Special Services, Aubrey is sure the combination of his magic, George’s practical skills and Caroline’s fighting secrets will make them a formidable team. But what if the military hierarchy has other ideas?

When Aubrey’s top secret espionage unit is sent to Gallia to investigate mysterious magical emanations, what they discover is intelligence gold. Holmland is about to unleash an unstoppable horror upon the world. It could win the war within weeks. Aubrey is in a dilemma: should he obey orders and simply observe, or should he and his friends do their best to stop a bloodbath?

Saving thousands of lives could cost Aubrey his own. But that’s never stopped him before.

Michael Pryor says
Moment of Truth is Book 5 of The Laws of Magic, and it’s here that the trajectory of the series takes into the war that Aubrey and his friends have desperately been trying to prevent. With this, everything changes.

I find war difficult to write about. I am conscious of not trivialising war and the sacrifices so many have made so, in some ways, Moment of Truth might be a little more sober than some of the earlier books in the series, with the challenges more serious and the dangers more real. However, this has given me a chance to explore the characters of Aubrey, Caroline and George as they are tested in cauldron of war.

At this stage of the series, I feel like a juggler as much as a writer. I have so many narrative threads, so many characters, so many hints and clues, that keeping them all under control takes all my skill and effort – but I hope the final result is dazzling!

Moment of Truth begins
Aubrey Fitzwilliam was on a mission. determined, unwavering, purposeful, he would not be diverted from his goal, especially since spring was in the air.

Aubrey had decided that he was committed to snaring Caroline Hepworth. No, he corrected himself, not snaring. Poor choice of metaphor. ‘Winning her’ wouldn’t do either, and he was staying well away from any idea of sweeping her off her feet. He shuddered at the prospect of calling it ‘pitching woo’, even if it would provoke her extraordinarily attractive laughter.

He would simply tell Caroline how he felt about her. He would be dignified, polite, sincere. He would be clear and forthright. Then he would listen to Caroline’s reaction patiently, not interrupting, and he would honour her intention. He would not argue, quibble or pretend that he was joking all along and that he actually had an appointment to hurry to.

He would begin this mission straight away. Almost, anyway. As soon as he had time, really, what with one thing and another. Or, rather, he’d act when the time was right, for these things can’t be hurried. Timing was everything, he’d found — or imagined — in these matters of the heart.

Aubrey realised that Commander Craddock was talking and sending rather pointed glances in Aubrey’s direction. He composed himself and vowed that he’d pay better attention. Even though he had been in Darnleigh House before, being part of a tour guided by the head of the Magic Department itself was priceless.