The Cloak of Steel (The Magic Crystals, #5)
‘The Cloak of Steel’ is the fifth instalment in the Magic Crystals series. It picks up about six weeks from the conclusion of ‘Corridors’, during which time Arnold Hammerson has consolidated his power, and John and his friends are being held inside the Woodwards' base for their own protection. Only when the base is compromised do the teenagers make their move, and set about bringing the war to an end in their own way.
Work began on MC5 in January 2011 and concluded in August 2012. Given its length of more than 270,000 words, it was Stephen Hayes's quickest turnaround on any of the Magic Crystals novels to date.
As with MC4, MC5 was considered to be too ‘full-on’ to be consumed by the adolescent audience to which the books were originally targetted. Hayes decided to published two separate editions of the book: A clean edit edition, mass produced; and the original explicit edition, only available through StephenHayesOnline.com. The differences between the editions can be read about here, and they can both be purchased here. By the end of the year, the paperback edition had also been published and can be purchased here.
Work on the audio book edition of MC5, read by Nick Flint, began immediately after the MC4 audio book was finished. It took about two years and was completed in June 2020. It was published at almost the same time as the MC4 audio book and can be purchased here.