Friday, April 20, 2007

Review: _Road to Ehvenor_ by Joel Rosenberg

The “Guardians of the Flame” Fantasy series tells the stories of people from our world who are transported to a world of magic to live out their lives. The Road to Ehvenor by Joel Rosenberg is the sixth book in the series. It is a fast, entertaining read due to its interesting world building, realistic characters and adventurous plot.

Fantasy authors can make their stories better with interesting world building. Creating a realistic setting makes the story more vivid. This book has a effective setting of magic and cultures in the author’s created world. The world consists of a medieval setting with magical wizards and creatures. There are slavers, which the characters fight against to bring democracy to the world they live in. Ehvenor is a city with an embassy of Faerie that creates wild, chaos magic and warps the city and surrounding region. Attaining the city is the goal of the characters.

Next, realistic characters keeps the action going throughout the book. Walter Slovotsky is the main character. He suffers from nightmares and feelings of inadequacy of getting older while dealing with a disintegrating marriage. Ahira is his dwarf friend who is very stable, a good fighter and has wisdom. Andrea is a wizard, but suffers from addiction to magic. These people are from our world. They bring a different point of view to the fantasy world. Jason, Andrea’s son, is an accomplished warrior but inexperienced in strategy, needing to learn from his elders. The author portrays these characters through dialogue and action, giving them real flaws that makes them human.

Finally, the adventurous plot keeps the reader hooked for an exciting read. told from the first person point of view of Walter, he and companions pursue a quest to the city of Ehvenor. Rumors of strange marauding creatures in the countryside starts the action. When the group investigates, they encounter a pack of wolves led by an intelligent monster wolf. This event triggers a journey to the city to stop the attacks. Mr. Rosenberg keeps the action coming quickly with numerous battles and vivid descriptions

The Road to Ehvenor by Joel Rosenberg is an entertaining book in the “Guardians of the Flame” series. Interesting world building, realistic characters and an adventurous plot hooks readers into a good story with plenty of action. It is a nice addition to a popular Fantasy series.

I’m adding this review as a bonus this week. It is short because the book is a fast read for readers:

The Road Home by Joel Rosenberg is a completion to the story told in the last book review. This book continues the story of Walter Slovotsky and Jason Cullinane. Walter struggles with the the realization of his getting too old for adventures and battles. He must come to decision about his life. Jason searches to find his boyhood friend Mikyn to stop his murderous rampage. An entertaining read, this book brings the story to a satisfying conclusion with plenty of action. It is a fast read and nice addition to the “Guardians of the Flame” series.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Review: _Blood Bound_ by Patty Briggs

Werewolves, vampires, shapeshifters and other creatures their heads again in the tricities area of western Washington state. Mercy Thompson begins a new adventure in the second book Blood Bound by Patty Briggs. The novel is a rousing, suspenseful adventure with interesting characters and a gripping plot.

The interesting characters draw readers in for a good story. Mercy Thompson returns in this second book with new dilemmas she grows from. She still lives in her trailer and is a mechanic, coyote shapeshifter. Torn between two powerful alpha werewolf men, she fights to maintain her independence, not wanting to be dominated by them. Adam, the leader of the local werewolf pack, is a strong, wise leader. He tries not to push Mercy into a relationship she is not sure of. Samuel, an old boyfriend, brings in more confusion to the triangle. Added into the mixture is the enigmatic vampire Stefano show brings in more complications. Ms. Briggs keeps the character relationships dynamic, which makes them likable for readers to stay with the story.

Next, the author keeps readers hooked with a gripping plot. the book is suspenseful from the beginning. Mercy’s vampire friend asks for her help in stopping a vampire that murders people in large numbers, which might expose the vampires’ existence to the world. She and her friend are nearly killed by a sorcerer vampire possessed by a demon. The danger presented by the killer sorcerer threatens all supernatural beings. The werewolves become involved when Mercy is threatened by the sorcerer. Mercy must race to save her friends though she is weaker compared to the others. Ms. Briggs keeps the plot suspenseful with vivid descriptions and plenty of action.

Blood Bound by Patty Briggs is an exciting second book of the “Mercy Thompson” series. Interesting characters and a gripping plot keeps the this urban Fantasy suspenseful and entertaining. Readers will remain hooked until the rousing end. The book is a nice compliment to the first one, Moon Called. I await the next book with eager anticipation.