Where I Got It: From the publisher via Orangeberry Book Tours (thanks!)
Who I Recommend This To: Folks who love an epic story with an old world feel.
Publisher: Dioscuri Press (2013)
Length: 384 pages
Series: Book 1 The Children of Telm
Ifferon is in hiding, and has been successfully hidden as a cleric for 10 years. But now evil forces have set upon his village and he must flee again, as he has always done. See, Ifferon thinks he can hide what he is, and in hiding, escape the unfair responsibility that was laid upon his shoulders by his bloodline. One of his ancestors got frisky with a now dead god, Telm. This god fought and imprisoned Agon ages ago, and now the jerk is threatening to win his way free. Ifferon may be the only last surviving direct descendant of Telm, and therefore, the only one who could go toe-to-toe with Agon. First, he will venture through many lands in his continued attempt to flee, and then further travel will ensue in his attempts to prevent the freeing of Agon. Lots of friends, foes, and unknowns will assist and hinder him along the way.
Ifferon and Teron part ways hurriedly while battle approaches their village. Ifferon is assailed by black chasing shadows almost immediately as he and another (wannabe cleric Yavun) run willy nilly like startled bunnies. Soon, they bump into Herr’Don The Great, savior of damsels in distress, bringer of the sword, major task accomplisher, and blow hard. They all leave, running into the magus Melgales who reveals hidden things. Next enters Thalla, the lover of Herr’Don and apprentice to Melgales. She also has a bow but rarely uses it. In fact, she starts off strong and interesting but then quickly slides into Silly Lass With Breasts role. For nearly half the book, she is the only female character. Other heroes, magi, women, bad guys, and youngins make an appearance as we move forward.
So far I have made this book sound a bit light hearted. It isn’t. This is a thick book, not so much in page numbers, but in the fact that so much is going on on every single page. Additionally, the book is told in limited third person, like Tolkien wrote The Lord of the Rings. This means that we see everyone’s actions and hear everyone’s words, but we never know what is going on in anyone’s head. In some instances, this can be challenging, and in some it makes the plot that much more interesting because you truly have to weigh everything about a character to figure out if they are the spy and betrayer.
I enjoyed the intensity of this book. The serious, desperate need to defeat Agon and his minions weighed on all the characters and drove the plot. There was a variety of ages; not just the young and beautiful were key to this novel. Eventually, we do get some warrior women, one with sense and the other without. I do have to mention that nearly all the women are called sluts or prostitutes or whores by some man at some point in the book (and those male characters are soundly booed by other male characters). But it stood out in my mind as I was reading it. Perhaps because the main female character, Thalla, was driven by the need to be attached to a man and had to be protected, or fought over, for most of the book.
By and large, the book was very interesting with beautiful prose, good guys with personality flaws, and large, well-developed world to play in. From a technical aspect, I only have two points that stand out for me as minor detractions: 1) Occasionally the reader would be following a group of heroes and several pages into the scene, a character, who I thought had gone with the other hero team, speaks up. Ooops, where did you come from? Been here all along, have you? 2) The ending left several of the smaller story arcs unanswered and I felt I could have used at least a few more pages to wrap things up for this book. I know it’s a series, but there were just some nagging questions. Nothing major for those who plan to continue with the series.
Definitely interesting, full of mythological flavor and dressing, and I still love the cover. Ifferon is a worthy lead character, conflicted about his role in life and running from a hidden, deep, gnawing guilt. Despite Herr’Don’s bluster and self-importance, I want to know more about why he isn’t home playing the prince he is. Delin Trueblade makes a respectable aged knight in shining armor and I hope his sense of right and wrong leaves him untarnished. It will be interesting to see where Dean Wilson takes his characters, and his readers, in the rest of the series.
What I Disliked: Thalla started off interesting and then turned silly….and stayed silly; author could be a little more creative with his rude male characters insulting the ladies; the ending was a little abrupt, but wouldn’t bother me if I had Book 2 to jump into right away.
I received this book as part of the Orangeberry Book Tour. If you want to see other reviews, interviews, and guest posts, click HERE for the schedule and links.
Tis the season for all thing fantastical over at Stainless Steel Droppings. Stop by and enjoy Once Upon A Time, a celebration of the Fantasy Genre.