Bookshelf spotlight: The Ancient Future

This week’s instalment of Fantasy Friday takes us back to the mid-2000s, when I picked up The Dark Age by Traci Harding, the first book in The Ancient Future trilogy. This is a time-travel fantasy where significant changes are made to the future (present and beyond), by going back into the past and introducing ideas and skills that did not exist then. But it’s quite a bit more than that too.

The Ancient Future by Traci Harding
Please ignore the fact that the books are out of order in this photo 🤦‍♀️

The trilogy starts with our main character, Tory, travelling in Britain after the death of her twin brother. She gets transported through a circle of standing stones, back to the Dark Age. Merlin himself has transported her. Suddenly appearing out of nowhere and wearing strange clothes, she is naturally mistaken for a witch. But Tory smart, well-schooled in ancient Britain, and is a black-belt in Tae-kwon-do. It doesn’t take long for her to not only be a welcome member of the court that picks her up, but to start making significant changes, such as womens rights and sharing her knowledge of the martial arts. Together with Merlin, they work to change the course of history, while also working to defeat the evil of a witch that had been imprisoned, but is now at large.

We travel with Tory between the present, the Dark Age, Atlantis, and eventually to the semi-near future. As we make this journey, we are introduced to the idea of reincarnation and soul-pairs, cool technology and aliens. We learn that not everyone is who or what they seem, and time doesn’t move linearly. It’s a fun ride, and while I wouldn’t count it up there with the greats, it’s well worth the read.

Here’s the blurb from book one.

Late one evening, a car accident leaves Tory – daughter of a prominent history professor – stranded near a ring of stones in the English countryside. She resolves to spend the night at the sacred site; a black belt in Tae-kwon-do, Tory holds little fear for her safety. But across the vortex of time and space, she is being watched. The Merlin knows of the legend Tory is to become, and through the wisdom of the Old Ones, teleports her back to the Dark Age.

Prince Maelgwyn of Gwynedd and his band of knights stumble across this mysterious woman dressed in jeans and a leather jacket. Believing she is the witch of the stones, they threaten to kill her. Rising to her own defence, Tory challenges the Prince’s champion to unarmed combat. With her superior fighting skill she easily overwhelms the warrior, winning the admiration of the Prince, and changing the course of British history forever.


  1. this series has a similar vibe to the outlander series where the woman travels back in time thru some stones as well and then trying to tell the people back in the days of scotland i think to prevent some war that will take place. might just have to add this to my TBR pile.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I read the first 2 or 3 from outlander back in the 90s. I liked these much more. I can lend you book 1 so you can try before you buy 🙂


      • yeah that would be great! i would assume this series would be more interesting. not that i don’t think the outland one is good. i must one day also re-read the outland series as well since i haven’t read the 2 two books and i’ve forgotten what has happened

        Liked by 1 person

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