Friday, July 28, 2006

Review: _Storm Front_ by Jim Butcher

Looking for an entertaining book with magic, action and mystery for the summer? Storm Front by Jim Butcher fulfills these requirements completely. This is an Urban Fantasy set in Chicago and is the first book of the “Harry Dresden” series. The book is entertaining through a mixture of cross genre elements, characters and plot.

Mr. Butcher mixes elements from different genres to create an entertaining story. First, the books has elements of urban fantasy. The story takes place in modern day Chicago where magic exists along with creatures like fairies and vampires from the beyond. Next, the author sues elements from mystery novels with private detectives. This mixture works well and makes a good story with a wry sense of humor. The author demonstrates this with his characters.

Harry Dresden is a private investigator and wizard who practices openly in the city. He lives with a doom over his head due to mistrust by his fellow wizards. Honest and practical, Harry works as a consultant for the police, trading cynical dialogue with a woman cop named Murphy. She is the head of a department that deals with supernatural crimes. Harry has other friends and enemies throughout the book. Told in the first person point of view of Harry, Mr. Butcher brings his characters to life for the reader.

Finally, the plot is a tight mystery that keeps readers hooked until the end. Harry Dresden is called in by the police for help on a gruesome double murder. He must find out if the crime was done by magic. Also, he gets a client asking him to find her missing husband. Both of these cases bring Harry into danger by dealing with organized crime bosses, dangerous vampires and other obstacles in order to solve his cases and get money to pay his bills. The author moves the story at a fast pace with good descriptions of magic in our world

Storm Front by Jim Butcher is a fun book for a summer read. It has mystery, action and magic. The mixing of genres, wry characters and a fast paced plot make the book entertaining for an Urban Fantasy set in Chicago. The first book of a series is great entertainment. One of the cable tv channels is going to make a series from these books. That should be fun too.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Missing Fantasy Author Treasure: Teresa Edgerton

Teresa Edgerton is a missing treasure of the Fantasy genre. She is an author of wonderful talent, able to bring her created worlds alive with vivid descriptions, sympathetic characters and tight, adventurous plots. She has written nine books and a number of short stories. Her works range from Celtic Fantasy to urban creations of an early industrial age. All of her books are worthwhile reading.

Ms. Edgerton began her career with the "Green Lion" trilogy. In 1989, Child of Saturn started started her Celtic Fantasy about knights and sorceresses trying to protect their kingdom from destruction. Ceilyn is a knight bound by his honor, struggling to maintain his knightly ideals while being a shape shifter. Teleri is a young, inexperienced sorceress who must grow in her talent. Together with other characters, they search the kingdom to find and return an important item to the King. Ms. Edgerton weaves Celtic elements into this powerful trilogy. The Moon in Hiding and The Work of the Sun completes this trilogy.

In the next trilogy, the author returns to her world again to tell the story of another woman sorceress. Gwenlliant, a young bride, must battle against a group of dangerous women sorceresses bent on destroying her husband's kingdom. In addition, she must overcome her personal troubles of being an outsider to her husband's people. Gwenlliant's interesting story is told in The Castle of the Silver Wheel, The Grail and the Ring and The Moon and the Thorn.

The author created an intriguing world for the "Goblin" duology. These books take place in a world during an Industrial revolution. In this world, dwarves are the merchant class while the goblins and gnomes have different guilds. Goblin Moon and The Gnome's Engine are full of adventure, intrigue and fun. They are a creative touch to a different time period than the standard Medieval era.

The Queen's Necklace takes place in a world that was once ruled by goblins. Humans rebelled and took back their freedom. They still use the magical things of the goblins with dire consequences. Also, the Maglore, remember they they once ruled over everything and desire power back. This is a complex book with a dark edge full of adventure, intrigue and romance.

Recently, Ms. Edgerton has reappeared under the pen name Madeline Howard. She has begun the new “Rune of Unmaking” trilogy with The Hidden Stars. The book takes place in a world where an evil empress takes control. She has twelve priests that ride to kingdoms, destroying them. Prophecy tells of a person that will be born to save the world from the empress. It is an interesting beginning of a new series.

Ms. Edgerton is a talented Fantasy author of books with good plots and vivid Fantasy worlds. She is a missing treasure of the genre with most of her books out of print. They are worth finding and reading.

Teresa Edgerton's home pages are at: and