Jos Clarence, 25, good-looking, single and highly intelligent is a lecturer at University College London. His thesis: 'Ancient mathematical systems with particular reference to Mesopotamian astrology at the time of Hammurabi', is also expected to to win prizes. Yet his world, and that of his flatmate Pete, an investment banker who's a friend from Cambridge, and Pete's girlfriend Cass, a flirtatious, American blonde with a worrisome past, is about to be turned upside down when he inherits an old cottage in Wales from a great-aunt he barely knew. More than that he finds himself at the beginning of a modern-day, Arthurian adventure: one that requires he solve the riddles contained in a poem, written in the form of Welsh Triads:

'Two kings contested Rheged and both lost their crowns.
Three ladies acted disgracefully: the White Shadow, the Lady in White and the Lady Silver-orb of the Lake.
Yet a son of the last should one day sit on the throne of the Bear.

Twelve knights came and spoiled Morganwg but one more married an heiress.
Edward sat on his throne but couldn’t find the sword.
Unless a son of royal blood will wield of the Hard-Cleft, then the true heir will not sit on the throne of Brutus.

Three earls from one family; a father and a son by their necks did swing and another was beheaded.
Three earls sleep together, join them if you would take eagle’s wings.
Embrace your destiny and see the throne of God.'

Jos' life becomes a game a chess with himself a pawn at the mercy of 'Annwyn', the invisible world of spirit that controls our fates. In the course of his adventures he must overcome an adversary who's motives, though not at first as clear as his own, are equally compelling. To fulfil his destiny, Jos and his friends will be forced to fight battles at many different levels: legal, emotional, physical and eventually in the unseen world of 'Annwyn' itself. Will help from a 'Merlin-like figure, 'Aquila', be enough? Will they be up to the challenge of saving the life of the heir to Arthur's throne?

This is Adrian Gilbert's first novel and it will leave you hungry for more. Well-known for his intricate researches into ancient mysteries and such non-fiction block-busters as 'The Orion Mystery', 'The Mayan Prophecies' and 'Signs in the Sky', his new book is truly mind-blowing in its scope. Like Dan Brown's 'Da Vinci Code', 'Shadow of the Dragon' brings together adventure with real history, genuine esotericism and identifiable locations. Furthermore, the books the heroes refer to as they attempt to solve the riddle, the genealogies they investigates and the scenario of ancient history they research, are all genuine. This means that for those who wish to go further, can use 'Shadow of the Dragon' as a guide-book for their own quest into the mystic past.