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My vision is to create a world where every person feels valuable purposeful and empowered

Jaques Smit Author




Epic Fantasy meets Positive Psychology

A reckless young thief lands himself in a team of misfit spies. Their mission, to stop an apocalyptic war bearing down on his home. But at what cost?

“The Eye of Winter” by Jaques Smit is a gripping action-adventure set in the world of Ayrul. Birger, a brash young thief and his eager accomplice Wynn, rob the wrong merchant, stumbling upon a plot to ignite a devastating war.

Pursued by cutthroats, Birger sets off on a journey to stop it from happening. But he gets more than he bargained for when he meets Renate Couture. She helps him cope with loss, tame his emotions, and settle in with a team of spies as they explore the complex political landscape of Azrea.

With epic battles, magic, and richly drawn characters, Jaques brings his love for fantasy and positive psychology to life in the unfolding story. Join Birger in his transformational journey alongside exotic friends, facing difficult choices and moral dilemmas.

Absolutely loved it, the D&D vibes and all the races, great storyline. It had me hooked and invested. – Stephen Logan

By the end of it, you really feel for Birger who has been so badly beaten up for so long. – Danielle Kleffmann

Renate is awesome, as a coach myself I could see what she was doing the whole way through, and her reveal caught me by surprise. Everything around her suddenly made sense. – Mariska du Preez

Wow! What an exciting finish...but wait, there's more...! – Earlie Rose

Published by Paul Smith Publishing London



In 2009, in the thick of a difficult period in my life, I started a book. It was inspired by the pen-and-paper role-playing game world that I created. But soon I ran into a roadblock. Though I love storytelling, due to difficulties with ADHD I was not very well read, which affected my work.

I went on to travel the world as a game designer, got married and had a son. Then I discovered coaching and Positive Psychology. What a wonderful gift, I thought, enabling others to excel! So, I dedicated myself to learning all about it and, through it, I refined my purpose. But it also brought me something unexpected.

I was a creative for most of my career, and now I spent all my time enabling others to create. I missed being a creator myself. What’s more, I was working so hard I was getting drained. I needed to find balance.

Through it all, I never gave up on my book. I continued to read, research, write and play. After all, you get better at what you focus on. And if there’s one thing ADHD is great for, it gives you hyper focus!

When I thought of that first amateurish attempt, I knew I could do better. I’m not saying I’m great now. You begin to decline when you think you are. I strive to consider myself a forever beginner because embracing this mindset opens up my thinking.

I sat down to rewrite the story and wanted two things. First, a setting worth playing in. I prepared the maps, so that one day, players could walk in the streets of Anthir and hoping that the Magpies’ Code might live in another Game Master’s world.

Second, I wanted to bring into the book my personal vision of creating a world where every person feels valued, purposeful and empowered. I laced my story with concepts from Positive Psychology, hoping to galvanize a Positive Fantasy movement.

Back on the topic of fantasy, allow me a moment to share the story of a seven-legged jumping spider who made its home in my hallway. It was a hardy soul, hanging around for weeks, becoming something of a family pet. My young son Liam and I named it Bob. Since my son was a fan of my writing, I decided Bob should be in the book.

Bob would later be renamed Snow as he took shape in the pages, but this little bit of inspiration became a defining factor in how my magic system came to life and evolved – giving birth to the ecology of the Weave and all its unique features.

Creating this book has been a long journey. At times draining, but most of the time it was life-affirming.

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