« Kiwi Writers, open for business | Main | I've decided; I don't want to be a writer any more. »

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Wizard's Bane - Book review

Today I finished reading Wizard's Bane, Book One of the Sojourn Chronicles, by crystalwizard.

Crystalwizard is a storyteller of considerable ability. Some people aspire to be good writers; my own belief is that the art of weaving a good story is a prerequisite to the craft of putting that story onto paper (or computer screen). Others will doubtless disagree. But, if I aspire to anything as a writer, it is to become a good story teller. Crystalwizard is a good story teller.

Though I have only read the first book of the Sojourn Chronicles, it is clearly an epic tale of Tolkien proportions. The characters are believable, in a fantastic sort of way, and there is both a noble goal (that spans books) and immediate challenges and dangers for the hero, Dale, to overcome. Dale has a mission to accomplish, though he only slowly becomes aware of its scope while struggling to survive on the world into which he has been thrust. His survival is accompanied by his gathering a strange assortment of misfits on his journey to the "city of wizards".

There were some nice touches in the story. I was tickled by the idea of programming as 'magic' (a spell got stuck in a 'for ... next loop')which reminded me of Arthur C Clarke's quotation "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

In one sense, I was disappointed in the way that book one ended; there was less of a climax than I would have liked. But in another sense, this is part of the epic genre; how do you end a story that is a part of a much larger story? If you read Wizard's Bane, then be prepared to read book two (and book three, and ...)

Also be prepared to encounter the odd misplaced word on the way through. These things didn't bother me, but I did notice them. If you are pedantically inclined, then don't let this spoil an otherwise great read.

All in all, I consider this to be a read that shouldn't be missed, and I will be reading the second book very soon.

Crystalwizard's books can be found at: http://sojourn.omnitech.net where you can order a print version or download the ebook (pdf format)


Posted by fordy at 7:54 PM
Categories: Reading, Reviews