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A. Trae McMaken Books In Order

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Publication Order of After Adventures Books

After the Wish Dragon (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon
After Endok (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Dwarves of Ice-Cloak Books

The Crippled King (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Mouth of Fire (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Second Gate (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bones of Stone (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Mine Lord (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon
Jackal of the Waste (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Those Who Dwell (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

Tale of the Timberlostla (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Rosin for Breath (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Puttygut (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon

Trae McMaken is a fantasy fiction and memoir author who is best known for the “Dwarves of Ice-Cloak” series of novels. The author works and lives on a property overlooking Lake Huron, where he fiddles, writes, and watches his flock of sheep feeding on the grass.
Over the years, he has had a varied career as a singer, storyteller, fiddler, and folklorist, even though he does not travel much these days, as he prefers to stay on his farm, playing tunes with his friends, farming, researching, and writing.

Trae grew up in China Township in a Puttygut Road farmhouse. Growing up, he saw the many changes to the area as the many rural families were displaced, to be replaced with newcomers from metropolitan Detroit. Some of these changes would be the inspiration for some of the novels that he would later write.

Outside of his writings and creative endeavors, he also works a day job as a registered nurse. He chronicled his previous life living as a folklorist, storyteller, and fiddle player in “Rison for Breath,” a book that he published in 2012.

Growing up on the Ontario-Michigan border, Trae loved imbibing the various styles of fiddle playing such as Michigan Old Time, Ontario Old Time, Irish, Quebecois, and Scottish. These are the main stylistic accents that he usually melded into a dynamic language of fiddling reflecting the traditional and diverse heritage of his home region.

Trae once taught at the East Tennessee State University faculty of Country Music, Old Time, and Bluegrass Program as an adjunct professor. During that time in Tennessee, he got into Southern American traditions as a clawhammer banjoist and fiddler.
However, he has always had a passion for the music of the Great Lakes region and is one of the few remaining practitioners of the musical trove in that tradition. In 2022 and 2023, he was named Old Time Fiddle Champion of Michigan State.
He also runs the “Michigan Fiddle” website, which helps to promote and preserve the fiddle traditions of Michigan.

While on tour, he performed in all manner of venues such as schools, historical sites, outdoor education programs, workshops, camps, festivals, radio, television, and libraries. Even though he no longer engages in active touring, he sometimes can be seen in concert in the Great Lakes region.

At one point, Trae McMaken went to East Tennessee State University from where he graduated with a master’s degree in storytelling. While there, he studied the spiritual and ethical foundations of historical storytelling, in addition to many folk traditions.
As a raconteur, he was featured in the “Magazine Pathways Across America,” for his efforts as a musician and historical storyteller, who recounted the “Battle of Kings Mountain” from the 18th century.

As a recording artist, his album “Long Winter Nights” is a vivifying look into the song and fiddle traditions of the Great Lakes, which includes some of his original numbers.

He has also worked with several artists including appearing in the 2015 album “Forever” by Ricky Hilton and has also collaborated with Joseph Sobol the master cittern player. Their album featured John Willians, Laurence Nugent, and Martin Hayes among other artists.
As a folklorist, much of his work can be found on MichiganFiddle.Com, where he has a massive collection of information on the history of Michigan fiddle music.

He has also worked with the Michigan State University Museum on the fiddle traditions of Michigan and was also a researcher for the Ray Hicks and Other Beech Mountain Folk by the Center of Appalachian Studies.

Trae McMaken’s novel “The Crippled King” is a work that feels like something from “Middle Earth,” as it introduces the lead as something of a “Spartacus,” who raises an army against the oppressors.

However, what makes the young prospecting loner named Naen fall in love is a series of unexpected accidents. He is constantly torn between the unexpected mantles of leadership and a struggle for survival. The only way he can get rich is by ensuring that his bones are not bleached in the sun without memory or heritage.

When he finally becomes rich, he stumbles upon several indentured servants running from a vicious master. The refugees are led by Jade, a dwarf maid who has her desires for the future and these do not seem to include anything Naen desires.
But in the face of the brutal wilderness, the refugees will need all the help they can and Naen who has a lot of experience can provide it. When spring comes around, Naen has to make some tough choices as he does not know if he should stay with the refugees or leave them to their fate and fight it out all alone in the wilds.

The novel “Mouth of Fire” by Trae McMaken is set in “Mountain of Ice Cloak,” which is dealing with ursi, who have been scouring the valleys and raiding flocks every spring. Trade and migration have slowed to a trickle due to the scourge as the warrior Queen Jade can no longer protect them as a wasting disease gnaws at her bones.

As she grows weaker, the folk choose her eldest daughter as their new leader, even though Firehelm the prince believes the Ice Cloak is better off with a warrior rather than a healer. The prince is raring to go, as all he wants is to go after the ursi, to find and destroy them, so that he can gain the favor of his people.

At one point, Firehelm gets permission from Queen Jade to raise a personal guard. Among these is Korin, a young dwarf who joins the cause and is afflicted with uncontrollable tremors that impair his practice of other trades. He is hoping that he may find his purpose through a warrior’s calling.

Caught up in fell deeds, leadership, and friendship, Korin follows the prince north where the destiny of the folk may become more clear.

“The Secret of the Dark Forest” by Trae McMaken opens to a very grim situation. There is no way to avoid what is coming and the only way in or out of the mountain is through the Gate of Ice. However, while hardly anyone knows about it, there is a smuggler’s gate that had been dug out by Yale, a Southcaver over several decades.

Even though the dwarves of the Southcave do not have a good reputation in the mountain, no one can deny their rebellious streak and tenacity.

Meanwhile, a Southcaver smelter’s daughter named Topaz has been accepting marriage proposals. However, she never expected to get caught up in the second gate rumors, much less to decide the fate of the entire community.
But with King Ringhand trying to find and bring to justice the Smuggler Prince, she knows that they all cannot avoid their destinies.

Book Series In Order » Authors » A. Trae McMaken

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