Wit'ch Fire by James Clemens
Wit'ch Fire was a genuine impulse buy. I had read no reviews nor received recommendations — I was simply in the bookshop, liked the cover and plot synopsis on the reverse, and listened to my gut. Foolhardy, perhaps, but sometimes fortune favours the bold. This time, it did.
Wit'ch Fire is the first of a series of five books by James Clemens, also known to mystery and adventure fans as James Rollins and to others as the former veterinary surgeon Jim Czajkowski — his real name. The series — his first in fantasy — is called The Banned and the Banished, and is concerned with the adventures of a young girl, Elena Morinstal. But before I begin to talk about her, the prologue and its fictional foreword deserve a mention.
The... Read More
James Clemens(1961- )
James Clemens is the best-selling mystery-thriller author James Rollins. Here’s his website.
The Banned and the Banished (The Wit’ch War Saga) — (1998-2002) Publisher: On a fateful night five centuries ago, three mages made a desperate last stand, sacrificing everything to preserve the only hope of goodness in the beautiful, doomed land of Alasea. Now, on the anniversary of that ominous night, a girl-child ripens into the heritage of lost power. But before she can even comprehend her terrible new gift, the Dark Lord dispatches his winged monsters to capture her and bring him the embryonic magic she embodies. Fleeing the minions of darkness, Elena is swept toward certain doom — and into the company of unexpected allies. There she forms a band of the hunted and the cursed, the outcasts and the outlaws, to battle the unstoppable forces of evil and rescue a once-glorious empire…
Wit'ch Fire by James Clemens
Wit'ch Storm by James Clemens
As much as I enjoyed Wit'ch Fire, the first part of James Clemens' The Banned and the Banished, it has to be said that this is better.
Wit'ch Storm picks up the tale of Elena Morinstal shortly after where the last book left off. Once again, the prologue intimates that the reader is party to a text that has been banned for being dangerous and is clearly not true — a hook I have found effective every time Clemens has used it. I not only want to know what happens within the book itself, but I want to get to the end of the series to know (1) who is the writer we are told is a liar and (2) what happened to make the tale so dangerous?
At any rate, I was drawn in inside a few pages, and that is very difficult to do. The plot is, as before, fast and frenetic and... Read More
The Godslayer Chronicles — (2005-2006) Publisher: From national bestselling author James Clemens comes the first novel in a new series about a world where mysterious gods hold powerful secrets, knights walk in the shadows, and demons claw up from the darkness, as one man struggles to prove he didn’t kill a god.
Shadowfall by James Clemens
After the Sundering, gods fell to the barbaric world of man. Chaos and war reigned for centuries until the gods bonded themselves to the different lands. Then, with their powerful Graces, they bring the world back from the brink, and help mankind to build great cities. Now civilization spreads to all but the Hinterlands, where the crazed, rogue gods rule. But through the years a darkness starts to grow, stirring the winds of war. All-out conflict between the gods means a bloody anarchy for man that will be worse than ever before. All hope falls to the Shadowknights — the blessed, elite warriors of the world — but who can the Shadowknights save? They may have been infiltrated so deeply by the same evil that threatens all, that their very core may be rotted.
Seems like most epic fantasy these days is predictable, too whimsical, low on action and description, and/or magic is as commonplace as a cell-ph... Read More
Shadowfall by James Clemens
Shadowfall is the start of yet another fantasy series and much of it will sound familiar to fans of the genre. There is a military order of skilled knights with a secret sect, a pantheon of gods, not one but two special swords (not to mention a special dagger), lots of folks with hidden origins, a small band fighting against overwhelming odds, and a quest to undertake to save the world.
Despite the oh-so-familiar trappings, however, and despite some flaws of execution, Clemens injects enough originality into the work that it transcends the cliches and becomes an engrossing read. Shadowfall is set in the Nine Lands, lands kept in peace by gods who "settled," tying themselves to a particular area of land and allowing their "graces" (bodily fluids collected by human "Hands"— and yes, the... Read More
Warriors by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois (eds.)
FORMAT/INFO: Warriors is 736 pages long divided over twenty short stories and an Introduction by George R.R. Martin. Each short story is preceded by biographical information about the author and a short description of their contribution to the anthology. March 16, 2010 marks the North American Hardcover publication of Warriors via Tor.
“The King of Norway” by Cecelia Holland. I’ve never read anything by Cecelia Holland before, but the author is described as “one of the world’s most highly acclaimed and respected historical novelists.” Not surprisingly, her contribution finds the author doing what she knows best: historical fiction — specifically a tale of bloodthirsty... Read More
Warriors ed. by George R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois
To quote from George R.R. Martin’s introduction “People have been telling stories about warriors for as long as they have been telling stories.” I imagine that for most all who enjoy fantasy or almost any genre fiction, it’s the timeless tradition of the telling of warriors’ tales that is the heart of our passion. In fact, reading Martin’s introduction titled “Stories of the Spinner Rack” is enough to put Warriors on any bookworm’s reading list. For many of us who grew up in Small Town USA during the 70’s and earlier, before the big book stores and Amazon.com, we know exactly what he was talking about. It’s a very relatable trip down memory lane that primes the reader for the adventures that follow.
At 736 pages, Warriors is practically a tome. It contains twen... Read More