The Italian author shares how Scotland inspired his fantasy series

Massimo Tagino is the author of Saga del Cacciatore (Hunter’s Saga) Fantasy series set in ancient Scotland and drawing on Celtic myths and legends.

The first two books in the series Alba And Sotto il Cielo di Skye (Under the Sky of Skye) has already been published in Italy, with the author admitting that it is his dream to translate his work into English.

Planned as a trilogy, the series tells the story of Aris, a young elf bear hunter who accidentally meets An Mauler, a legendary bloodthirsty demon. In the clash between the two, Aris is severely wounded but survives, convinced that he is the chosen one who will rid Scotland of the forces of darkness.

Mr Tagino tells The Herald: “I lived in Edinburgh for about seven months and worked as a potato peeler.

HeraldScotland: Massimo Tagino with his bookMassimo Tagino with his book (Image: Massimo Tagino)

“During this time an inseparable bond was formed and I think of Scotland every day: their country, the smell of wet peat in the parks, the peaty taste of whiskey and the melancholic melodies of the bagpipes.

“You managed to convey something inexplicable to me, as if all the magic of one of the most beautiful countries in the world had entered my heart. I hope with all my heart that I managed to express my love for you through the pages of to mediate my books.

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“I lived in your beautiful country for some time and I was welcomed like at home. Unfortunately I had to return to Italy for personal reasons. When I started writing The Saga of the CacciatoreI wanted to share with Italian readers the magic of Scotland – its myths, legends and breathtaking landscapes.

“The title of my first book embodies my passion perfectly, because ‘Alba’ has a double meaning. It not only refers to ‘sunrise’ (in Italian) but is also the Gaelic term for Scotland itself.

“Indeed, Scotland is the true protagonist of the first book. I hope to give Italian readers and who knows maybe even the rest of the world a taste of Scotland.

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“I have an unwavering love for Scotland and its people.”

Mr. Tagino’s book has been well received by Italian audiences and there are plans to make a graphic adaptation of the story.

In addition, the editors plan to issue a Gaelic version that will use the language in passages from the series.

HeraldScotland: The first book in Massimo's seriesThe first book in Massimo’s series (Image: Massimo Tagino)

He says: “The series has received a good response from readers in Italy and we have decided to develop a comic book series that will tell the stories from the books.

“We are working on converting the books to comic book format and we intend to publish a version in Scottish Gaelic. Scottish Gaelic is a beautiful language but it is in danger of extinction and I would like to make my humble contribution to preserving it.” The Italian author shares how Scotland inspired his fantasy series

Grace Reader

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