My Loft of the Cabin where I store all my virtual reads, reviews and discover new adventures and share new stories!
Time for a short review. Stop laughing, I can write a brief and concise review without rambling. Hey! Stop laughing! I can! Especially when dealing with such an epic and fun fantasy novel! I said stop laughing! But let me introduce to you today's victim..err guest, Mr. Michael Meyerhofer and his first in a trilogy, Wytchfire!
It has been quite sometime since I sat down and invested in epic fantasy. I love epic fantasy, but like everyone else I want my entertainment spoon fed and I want to be able to read more than one book for three weeks. Well, Wytchfyre is an epic fantasy, with the feel of the tomes of the late 80's and 90's, the humor and the darkness likened to R.A. Salvatore's style and the wondrous symbolic nature found in many of Tad Williams' works (told you, late 80's early 90's!) . I found myself fondling my bag of die and wanting to role play as I worked my way through this... in two days.
You read that right, I seriously tore through this a couple weeks ago in two days, about 7 hours of reading... EPIC, baby! It grabbed me right off and whisked me away. I fell in love with Rowen and the trouble he got in from the get go! It is fast paced, completely horrifying with a complex world build but not so much as you had to keep a chart next to the bed but complex enough to not make you feel it was dumbed down to the masses.
All of the characters are believable, which for me was a major bonus for fantasy. Sure you suspend belief but you still want to feel the guy casting Magic Missile with a reasonable saving throw (fingers crossed you did your skill points right)... but you still want to feel like this is a guy who you could have a cup of coffee with if he was going to show up in say Erica Lucke Dean's Suddenly Sorceress with his shirt ofg and asking for his beverage to be a half-caf with 2 shots of vanilla. The thing is, a human is a human, and when he is not, well... ?
A halfling rogue, a half-orc cleric, a human ranger and an elven ninja walk into (a bar.. lol.. no sorry) an orcish castle. The halfling, in an attempt to prevent the group from being ambushed by guards, makes a Spot check and rolls a nat-20.
I say "Oh hey, natural 20". "What do I get?" he asks, and I reply with "X-ray vision". He then asks what he sees, and I tell him with a perfectly straight face "Naked orcs."
Oops sorry I lost my way there for a moment. But I am making a point, it was fun, at times light and not to off the cuff deep and brooding like many dark fantasies. At the right moments it's so dark and horrifying (let's just say I would not want to deal with the "NIGHTMARE" in any of my RPG campaigns) I felt my heart race a bit! I do not have a decent saving throw at all to get me out of that one, and my chance to crit-hit with my measly collection of spells? ... crap where was I (putting the dice away). Oh ya, Wytchfire and Michael (so much for my short and sweet.. dang it all!)
The book is wonderful! It even has stuff for the Japanese Fuedal era enthusiasts! I asked Geoff (my resident expert) after I read on a few scenes how spot-on and his commentary was quite complimentary, "considering it is a fantasy book, not bad!" which is pretty damn good from him.
This is one for your summer reading list with your teens too. It is not to long, certainly not overwhelmingly complex, yet complex enough but not so much as I need to create a Powerpoint chart or drag out my white board to keep track of everything. I could enjoy and also be impressed enough to recommend it to the "kid" (my 25-year-old fantasy fan) who is re-reading Sword of Truth series right now knowing he would love it too. I easily give this book a 9 out of 10 strips of perfectly crispy Cabin Goddess bacon and anxiously wait for the next in the Dragonkin Trilogy.
Hey you, stop laughing! I think I did a pretty good job! Review was under 700 words, 670 on the dot! *pokes you with her sword* Now hurry with book 2, Mr. Man!