(1943- ) UK illustrator and writer. He has illustrated several of his own novels, which begin with his first Loremasters of Elundium sequence – The Road to Underfall (1986), Palace of Kings (1987) and Shadowlight (1988). A second sequence was begun with The Knights of Cawdor (1995). Given its roughness of execution, the series has, perhaps unsurprisingly, gained little critical recognition, though the basic story – in the first volume, an Ugly Duckling saves a Land in peril from dark forces who are represented by the villainous Kruel, and becomes king – may please some. In the second sequence, though the evil Kruelshards have been defeated, a new danger threatens the kingdom. MJ's second series, Heirs of Gnarlsmyre – Glitterspike Hall (1989) and Hall of Whispers (1990) – features a female heir to the city of Glor. Her difficulties (males from the Water Margins surrounding the city oppose her because of her Gender and because their leader Mertzork is ambitious) are eventually surmounted.
MJ's singletons tend towards Dark Fantasy. In Shadows in the Watchgate (1991), set in contemporary East Anglia, a taxidermist named Strewth animates his animals in error and havoc nearly ensues in Norwich. Stone Angels (1993) also involves the inanimate coming to life in Norwich: this time they are two stone Angels, one good and one evil. In Hidden Echoes (1992) a fantasy writer is abducted into a Wonderland where Time is stored. Children of the Flame (1994) deals with a centuries-old Curse. [JC]