Once known for its inspirational beauty, Skye’s forests and meadows were more barren than green now, enveloped by stillness instead of bustling wildlife. Lakes and waterways once teeming with marine life lay stagnant. Most of those who lived here survived under gray clouds of despair.
Several of the eldest knew of the prophecy that would return the land to its prior golden age and quietly hoped it was true.
Only a handful knew the secret that would allow the prophecy to come true. They refused to speak of it.
Fifteen-year-old Iggy is good at three things: languages, witty retorts, and running from a fight. When a guy pulls a knife on him during a high school argument, all the banter in the world isn’t enough to save him, so Iggy resorts to his backup plan - running. But before he can make his escape, the locket he always wears around his neck heats up, and someone tackles him from behind, pinning him to the ground.
Iggy’s never thought of himself as a fighter. He’s spent his life running from anything that can’t be solved with a quick one-liner or a snarky comeback. But as he learns more about the strange place he’s landed, one thing becomes abundantly clear: In the World on Skye, they need a hero. And Iggy just might be the one they’re looking for, even if he’s not so sure.
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Months of self-induced isolation to protect loved ones from exposure to Covid-19 led Emergency Medicine Physician David Mucci to create a fantasy world as an outlet to manage pandemic stress and support his own mental health. The resulting novel, Ignatius and the Swords of Nostaw (St. Bart’s Publishing, October 2021), tells the tale of an impossible mission led by an unlikely hero - a relatable feeling for many figuring out how to survive unprecedented circumstances in 2020.
Accustomed to acting quickly to save a life or manage an urgent health situation by applying the knowledge and experience gained over his nearly 40 years in emergency medicine, Dr. Mucci deeply felt the impact of the pandemic in the ER.
"Amongst widespread unknowns, without comparable experiences to help manage patient outcomes while trying to keep up on ever-changing medical news to treat suffering patients, the pandemic was a higher level of stress to endure. Coupled with the deep fear of bringing a deadly virus into my home after ER shifts, I needed to dig deeper than TV binges or reading books to cope and to remember the potential each person has to be a hero in everyday life," said Mucci.
The product of his creative outlet is the coming-of-age story of 15-year-old Ignatius, “Iggy”, who is thrown into a world of unknowns, transported to a medieval world filled with magic. Based on research of myths and legends, Mucci created The Kingdom of Skye, the setting for Iggy to develop special powers and accomplish quests to fight evildoers and find his way home.
According to Mucci, Iggy must learn to trust a diverse set of characters but also learn to believe in himself and grow; much like as a medical provider, Mucci had to trust himself, trust his colleagues and learn how to adapt during the pandemic.
The first in a planned 5-part series, Ignatius and the Swords of Nostaw is YA fantasy suitable for both teens and adults as it gently reminds readers that they are responsible for their own destiny, and that sometimes the most unexpected people can be the best teachers.
At 67 years old writing a YA Lit fantasy series, Mucci is also proving that there is no limit for being creative. "The only limitation is the one that you place on yourself and on your imagination," says Mucci.
About the Narrator: Tim Campbell
Tim Campbell is the Audie, Voice Arts, Independent Audiobook, and Earphones Award-winning narrator of over 600 audiobooks. He also sings professionally with the LA Master Chorale and LA Opera, and on motion picture soundtracks such as Venom, Creed 2, and Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker.