Gigantic hounds entombed within the castle wall were intended to protect the occupants from evil. The residents could never know that Hounds from Hell might ever rise to vent an ancient fury. Within the glens of nearby Raglan Wood lurked a fanged and horrific vengeance. In a region where humankind had only recently dared to loose the latch and brave a glimpse inside, the unknown might well rule supreme. Tales of demons, portals to the underworld, and ghouls sired from the forest spirits themselves to thwart the hand of man regularly resonated around the lonely hearths of Monmouthshire and echoed down the dimly lighted passageways of the scattered, isolated manors. Only the foolhardy naively dismiss the unknown as harmless—only the ignorant dare assume the darkness lingering on light’s periphery might ever remain entirely void of malevolence and malice. Enthusiastic admirers of author W. B. Baker would agree that not including this Cardiff University writer in any anthology of Welsh or British authors would be amiss. His novels exhibit extraordinary talent in not only creating breathtaking imagery and overwhelming historical accuracy, but repeatedly confirm a stunning ability to reveal Britain’s collective integrity. Drawing attention to a rich and often overlooked history of Monmouthshire and Glamorgan, Baker has become a formidable advocate of Wales and of English literature.
—Carol Daniels Kansas City, Missouri, USA
The Wraiths Of Raglan Wood is really rather brilliant—revealing once more the very finest from this particularly competent British writer. Yet again, this award-winning author demonstrates expertise in creating evocative word pictures—along with the uncanny skill to portray the most heroic and loathsome qualities in us all.
—Brigitte Watkins Nottingham, England
Britain has long been the home of fantastic tales, and W. B. Baker once more shows his astonishing prowess as a writer with this, his latest novel. A thrilling and often spectacular combination of poetry and prose, The Wraiths Of Raglan Wood features explosive scenes of violence and emotion, stunning narrative with breathtaking imagery, and overwhelming historical accuracy. Like no other author of contemporary fiction, Baker asserts his extraordinary faculty of creating evocative word pictures, along with an uncanny aptitude to encapsulate the most heroic and loathsome qualities of the human spirit. Some critics may argue that Baker’s writing may not be worthy of prolonged superlatives or comparisons with the very greatest of British authors: his plots lack the dexterity we see from some; his characters, the depth and range we have come to expect from others. All the same . . . Time and time again, W. B. Baker repeatedly demonstrates a stunning talent to reveal England’s collective integrity. His novels dominate historical fiction with the writer’s impartial portrayal of our imperfections and consummate greatness. Perhaps that is exactly what we, as a nation, desperately need from time to time—a writer unafraid to whip away the froth of romanticism and expose our all too often base human nature.
—critique in Review Aldershot, Wokingham
At long last, a novelist has arrived with the wit and aptitude to justly claim the throne of allegory left vacant for so long.
—Windsor, Berkshire, England
Once or twice within one’s lifetime an author comes along who actually manages to unfurl and advance the banner of genuine Literature: to reclaim the soul of Britain in the name of something far grander than simple prose.
—St. Ives, Cambridgeshire
W. B. Baker’s latest novel . . . may quite simply be the finest compilation of poetry and prose that Britain has witnessed in the past half century.
—Kensington Road, London
Not shoddy sentimentality but honest sentiment, this account set during the Second Crusade tells the heroic tale of men and women who may, through the savagery of conflict, abandon religion but never their faith: who might mislay their cause but,