Friday, May 19, 2006

Tom Deitz

A part of rural Georgia has mysterious golden tracks leading to other worlds, propelling young people into fantastic battles with magical beings. In the near future, humans and Selkies fight shapeshifting whales out to destroy humanity. Tom Deitz is the Fantasy author of some of these scenarios. He writes Epic and Urban Fantasy set in the South where magic impinges on reality. Other books are about the near future. His books are full of adventure with strong plots, realistic characters and powerful themes.

Windmaster's Bane is the first book in the series introducing David Sullivan and his friends. David lives in a rural section of Georgia with his family. He discovers he possesses Second Sight. One night, David and his younger brother see the Sidhe riding along the track near their home. This starts the first encounter with the magical creatures of Fairy. Subsequent books mix Native American fantastic elements with Celtic to create further adventures for David and his companions. The rest of the books in the series are: Fireshaper's Doom, Darkthunder's Way, Sunshaker's War, Stoneskin's Revenge, Ghostcountry's Wrath, Dreamseeker's Road, Landslayer's Law, and Warstalker's Track.

Deitz's next series is the "Soulsmith" trilogy. This series tells the story of a group of people with strange powers. Set in the South again, the "Soulsmith" series is told in the books: Soulsmith, Dreambuilder and Wordwright.

The next two books are Science Fantasy. They take place in a near future Earth. Selkies and other magic creatures ally with humans to fight against shapeshifting whales. The whales want to destroy humanity because of the destruction of the environment by man. Above the Lower Sky and Demons in the Green are the two books in this series.

The Gryphon King is a stand alone novel. It is about some students at a college. They raise Satan during a mummers play. The students must fight to get rid of Satan. This is one of his interesting Urban Fantasy novels.

His newest work is Bloodwinter. This is an Epic Fantasy and the start of a new series. In this book, two kingdoms fight for survival in a vicious winter. Characters in the book discover a gem with supernatural powers that drinks blood. They are drawn on a quest that may start a war between the two kingdoms. The book ends in a cliffhanger with lots of loose ends for the next book. This is a different subgenre for Deitz, but one he fulfills nicely.

Tom Deitz is a Fantasy author with a great imagination. He creates detailed books with a realistic edge and strong sense of wonder. His realistic characters, interesting plots and contemporary settings combine into thought provoking explorations of Fantasy worlds. Readers will enjoy their journeys through Deitz's books.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Review: _Redeeming the Lost_ by Elizabeth Kerner

Dragons are a staple of the Fantasy genre. These creatures appear as voracious monsters or intelligent beings of good and evil, depending on their portrayals in books. Fantasy author Elizabeth Kerner writes an interesting series about the relationships between humans and dragons. Redeeming the Lost is the third book of a trilogy concluding the story of Lanen Kaelar and the dragon king Akor. The book’s characters, magic system and plot makes it an exciting book of adventure for readers.

Books need characters that are likable for readers to care about. Lanen Kaelar is a young woman pregnant with twins. She undergoes several trials that help her grow throughout the book in love and reconciliation. Akor is a dragon now called Varien in his human form who struggles with learning to be a human and trying to help his people as a bridge between dragons and humans. Deeply in love with his wife, he must overcome doubts for success. The dragons are interesting characters too. Shrikrar is the eldest of dragons. Large and dangerous looking, his is a kind creature capable of love as well as fierceness.

Next, the magical system plays a significant role in keeping the book exciting. Mages in this world are healers with magic only for healing. Those who want greater power become demon masters, corrupting the healing magic. They rely on demons to provide service and power. Dragons are the natural enemies of demons with the ability to destroy them. Magic and nature is held by a goddess who manifests once in a while at extreme moments. Ms. Kerner creates an interesting magic system that moves along the plot.

The strongest part of the book is the plot due to its tightly woven action. Ms. Kerner uses multiple character viewpoints to give the plot events more immediacy. In the beginning, Lanen is a prisoner of the demon master Berys. Her father Marik plans to give his daughter Lanen’s soul to demons in repayment for a past transaction. Pregnant, Lanen despairs of escaping but must rely on her husband, friends and dragons for help. Later, all the characters must fight the Demon Lord summoned by Berys to destroy all dragons. Events come rapidly, keeping the reader involved in the action until the satisfying ending.

Redeeming the Lost by Elizabeth Kerner is a forceful conclusion of a Fantasy trilogy. The author creates an exciting book of adventure through its characters, magical system and plot. She brings a fantasy world to life with the interactions between humans and dragons. Her themes give the story a poignant touch to an entertaining book that readers will enjoy.