A Review of “The Gift Maker” – author Mark Mayes By Deirdre Quiery

“The Gift Maker” is a novel which demonstrates the ancient power of storytelling within a modern psychological and metaphysical framework. In reading it the reader sinks into the wave of the original need for a human being to tell a story of others – to be connected to the movements and urges of being born and our struggles to find profound and meaningful relationship with one another. What could be timelier, in a world which appears on the surface to be disintegrating and torn apart by division, cruelty and self-destruction. “The Gift Maker” shows that hope is possible – a Phoenix can gloriously arise from mythical flames.

Thomas Ruder – a History Undergraduate – is the first person to receive an unusual gift – which takes him on a journey into a world which will allow him to realise his deepest dreams. However, he will painfully learn that every step of his journey on the outside is also a step into the mystery of his own being. Two more gifts are given to others by “The Gift Maker”. The story unfolds with resonances of a “covenant” being made which has to be fulfilled. It pulses with a sense of destiny and a groaning need for each of our characters to be truly born – by facing everything within them which stops them from being whole. Notice that I said “our characters” – Mark is an amazing storyteller who binds the reader emotionally, intellectually and metaphysically to his creation.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It is beautifully written with great lyricism and poetry, amazingly visual and descriptive and fantastically imaginative. All of which meant that I didn’t want to put it down – and yet paradoxically wished to linger and savour the words – the way you would want to carefully watch the sun setting and not wish for it to disappear. Yet in the closing of the novel, as in an amazing sunset – there is a final burst of brilliant mysterious energy which brings everything into a sense of being held within the hands of the author and the covenant is fulfilled.

The author shines insight into the world of theatre and what is real and surreal become blurred images within which the reader is both spectator and drawn on stage.

The reader will marvel at the plot structure – it weaving and tumbling into layers and layers of complexity – which only the finest of writers can weave so well – gossamer being the author’s pen.

This novel absolutely merits a 5 Star rating.

the gift maker

Deirdre Quiery’s latest novel, The Secret Wound, publishes June 9th 2017

The Secret Wound





The Gift Maker on Kindle only 99p – for a limited period :-) Currently #20 in Dark Fantasy and Low Fantasy! :-)


“This is a magical, daring book, set in a world reminiscent of Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast or the Wes Anderson film Grand Budapest Hotel” – bestselling crime author Simon Michael

‘Gifts ought to be free, but they never are. They tie you to the wishes of others. To your own sad expectations. To the penitentiary of your dreams.’

Late one night, Thomas Ruder receives a strange package: a small blue box. Another such item is delivered to his friend Liselotte Hauptmann. These ‘gifts’ will change their lives forever.

In the far-off border town of Grenze, a play is to be performed at the Sheol Theatre. Reynard the impresario expects a very special audience. Thomas and Liselotte, together with their friend Johann, are drawn into Reynard’s seductive web, as Daumen, the gift maker, must decide who his master really is.

The Gift Maker is a story about identity, about fulfilling your dreams and becoming the person you always were … at whatever cost.