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The story begins in Greater Manchester. Mike Willis is an ordinary young man who works in a café, but one day he is approached by a strange old woman named Iris, who claims to know him. She gives him a small golden ornament in the shape of a pyramid, claiming it once belonged to his grandfather, Jeremy Willis. Returning home to his flat, Mike is contacted by a solicitor, who informs him that his grandfather has recently passed away from lung cancer. At the funeral a few days later, a woman named Suzanne Noble gives Mike a copy of Jeremy’s last will and testament, which details Mike’s inheritance: twenty-five per cent shares in Jeremy’s business, a bed and breakfast hotel in the Lake District named ‘Jacinta House’.
The will requests that Mike is to stay in Jacinta House for one week before officially claiming the shares, so a few weeks after the funeral he travels up to the Lake District with his two friends: Charlie Straczinski, his lazy and vulgar flatmate, and Raquel Peterson, Charlie’s ditzy and self-obsessed girlfriend.
Once they arrive at Jacinta House, Mike and his friends meet the staff: shrewd landlady Suzanne Noble, bumbling chef Joe Thompson, and overly-optimistic housekeeper Victor Maathai. The stay starts off uneventful, but one day while walking his dog in the woods outside the house, Charlie finds a strange, bat-like creature, which runs off deep into the woods. That evening, during dinner, Mike and Charlie discover the creature in the house’s patio garden, only this time accompanied by dozens more of its kind. The horde barges in and attacks the house, and while Joe and Victor fend them off Suzanne explains to Mike and his friends that the vicious little monsters are called ‘kobolds’. A kobold finds its way into the house and severely wounds Mike, but without warning Suzanne transforms into a panther-like creature and defends him from the kobold.
The next morning, waking up after falling unconscious, Mike is greeted by Victor, who gives him a healing potion and reveals he is in fact a sorcerer. He explains fantastical beasts and beings from myth and legend really do exist, and Suzanne is a werecat, but kobolds are not native to the Lake District and this type of attack has never happened before. Feeling a responsibility for Jacinta House and its staff, Mike agrees to stay and help investigate where the kobolds came from, but requests Charlie and Raquel be taken home. Later that day, Victor sets off with Charlie and Raquel back to Manchester, but along the way they are ambushed and abducted by more monsters, a clan of demonic ‘oni’. They are held hostage by a shadowy, nefarious figure named Dr McAllister, who controls the actions of both the oni and kobolds and is driven by hatred towards Jeremy Willis. As Mike and Suzanne plan to leave for a safer location, Dr McAllister leads the monsters in an assault on Jacinta House. Despite Mike and the staff’s best efforts to defend themselves, McAllister succeeds in setting the house on fire with Mike, Charlie and Raquel trapped inside. However, they are saved at the last second by Iris’ little golden pyramid, which expands into an almost indestructible suit of golden armour with a mind of its own. Encasing Mike within it, the armour fends off McAllister and the monsters with strong light magic. Once the danger is averted, a team from the Norman Price Foundation, a secret organisation which handles sorcery and mythical beasts, arrives to aid Mike, his friends and the Jacinta House staff.
The next day, Mike and his friends are taken back to Manchester by a Norman Price member named Abby Halloran, who reveals she has been assigned to be their temporary bodyguard, to protect them from any potential monster attacks in the future. On the drive back, Mike finds a tiny piece of the armour in his pocket, which expands into a gauntlet over his hand.

Published: Russell Bowman on
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Availability for Jacinta House: Book One in the Silver-Armed King Series
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