Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Review: A Chronicle of Endylmyr by Charles Hall

The Witches of Endylmyr

Full of ambition an Eastern despot seeks to control all magical items in the world of the novel.

These items, created in the distant past have become scattered over time, some coming into the possession of the Khan, others into the possession of a primitive pastoral people, and yet others into the possession of the European-like community of Endylmyr, located in the far reaches of the western plains. When the Khan sends armies to seize the devices, the various peoples of the North and West band together to resist, using the magical devices themselves to defeat the Khan’s schemes.
After a few misguided attempts to use the entire collection of magical items, Angmere, the historian, discovers an ancient rhyme that suggests three women are the key to the puzzle. Gwynyr, Hellwydd, and Hilst, acting the part of the three witches of Endylmyr, become a storm that has been brewing over the northern mountains and defeat the Khan’s attempt to seize the city. For the present at least, the peoples and cultures of the woods, steppes and plains are free from the threat of conquest.

When it comes to the fantasy genre and what I like I admit I'm a bit picky but Charles Hall has written a wonderful epic that had me captivated from the opening pages.

The story begins with a prologue..............Pendaran the Archer is lost in the woods and encounters The Winter Queen from whom he eventually receives three gifts. "Peregrine, as your companion; safe passage through my wood .... and an object that contains a portion of my magic."  The magical number three predicts a fairytale element in what is to come which as a lover of such stories really appealed.
"And so it was that Pendaran met Peregrine the magical falcon, and the two began their lifelong adventure together."

The time, the place and the people all felt very real which is something else I like. I can relate to a place of plains and mountains and there was a sense of a time when people were dependent on and lived in close harmony with nature. I loved the detail with which the environment and the animals, the clothes, the food , weapons and everyday activities are described and how skilfully these elements are woven into the story without ever overpowering or slowing down the pace of the action and adventure.

Great characters, exciting plot - add  mystery and magic and it was the perfect mix for me. I enjoyed this book immensely and look forward to more from Charles Hall.

Thanks to Elise at Outskirts Press for sending me a copy of A Chronicle of Endylmyr to review as part of the books virtual tour.

Genre: Epic Fantasy
Publisher: Outskirts Press, 2010

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