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on April 22, 2013 :
I grew up reading a lot of books from Enid Blyton to Stephen King, mystery to fantasy. Fantasy books I read included Terry Brooks 'Sword Of Shannara' series, 'Magic Kingdom For Sale - Sold', 'The Chronicles of Prydain' by Lloyd Alexander.
As I started reading this book it became clear that this was a fantasy story reminiscent of my childhood favourites.
The storyline revolves around a narrator, The Great Atavus, telling The Fable of the Summoner for the first time ever. His story begins with a peaceful land, Arth, being attacked from within by N'atax. For reasons unknown to anyone he turned from someone who wanted to help the people of Arth into an evil who wanted to destroy everything good about it.
In time a prophecy was made by The Wise One, who could see into the future. He made what was known as the Great Prophecy - the seventh child of the seventh house would eventually be born, and he would bring about the destruction of N'Atax once and for all. He became known as The Summoner.
The child destined to be born arrives, but far from being the soon to be warrior the people of Arth expected, the child born is a girl. The years pass and the day arises when the child, Ravendune, becomes 18 years of age. It is also the day N'Atax attacks, and she has to flee with her best friend, Le-Thon.
What follows is an amazing tale of discovery, friendship, bravery, fantastical creatures and, above all, a belief in what lies ahead. As uncertain as their future would appear, Ravendune and Le-Thon battle through everything in an attempt to achieve her lifelong destiny.
The author has written an amazing story, full of descriptive work I have rarely seen before. One of my favourite passages occurs near the beginning of the story -
“As it rose into the twilight of the evening, the globe of the moon was as blue as the Western Sea. The light from the setting sun mixed in the air with the reflected blue light of the moon. The multiple rainbows around the Triune Falls began to swirl and twist. Soon they merged above the land and formed a single Ringbow! It was a perfect, solid circle of all the colors of nature. The Ringbow shimmered and sparkled like a flawless crown high overhead.”
This one passage made me smile so much at the simplicity, yet complexity, of what he describes. It made me want to see it for myself!
Randy Massey has written this, his debut novel, and set himself a high standard. I can only hope that this standard is continued in the next 3 books in the series. I look forward to reading more from him. There is a little twist right at the end of the story which I loved, by the way.
My one niggle about this story, and one which I have conveyed to the author, is that I had to sit in peace and quiet to read this story. Due to the amount of description, and the number of adventures he packs into this book, I had to concentrate on it moreso than others I have read before. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, don't get me wrong, but be aware this story isn't one you can just lay down after a short period of time reading. This is a story which will draw you in and have you wanting more.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on Feb. 19, 2013 :
This is a fantastic fantasy novel that grabbed me from the first page! I loved it!
I usually do a character breakdown at this point, but with this story it is very difficult to do as there are so many different characters and they each have their own personalities. The story is told as a narration by The Great Atuvus, in the oral tradition to the children around a fire. He spins the most fantastical and exciting tale night after night. As he tells the story, he not only captured the children's attention and imagination, he captured mine to. I was riveted by the prose and the flow of the story. The story follows Raven and Le-thon as they travel through strange lands and face many perils on their quest to save Raven's family from the clutches of N'atax.
I love reading fantasy, because I can let my imagination run riot! Where else can you find talking trees and fantastical flying beings? I did find some of the scenes in the story a bit long and drawn out, but all in all, this book was a most exciting rollercoaster ride with action and adventure of epic proportions! The boar-riders gave me the heeby-jeebies! I certainly wouldn't want to meet these guys any time soon - They are quite scary! N'atax was terrifying! There are also some wonderful, and helpful, characters that made me smile. Pa-Tee and Pa-Tu are brothers, and are the sweetest of characters; I just wanted to hug them! I loved the ending of the story, and it left me all warm and fuzzy!
Randy Massey has written an amazing fantasy that is action packed, fast paced and completely absorbing. I would be interested in reading the next book in The Legends of Arth series, Daedalus Rises. I highly recommend this book if you love fantasy, action and adventure. - Lynn Worton
(reviewed long after purchase)
Angus H Day
on Aug. 05, 2012 :
I don't usually read fantasy but this one turned out to be pretty good. The theme of 'squash the big evil dude that makes our existence miserable' is given new life with a female protagonist here. I recommend this book.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)
on Aug. 01, 2012 :
Randy Massey is a first time author who possesses a wonderful gift, the gift of storytelling. The Summoner is a tale of majestic proportions. The journey you take once you begin reading this novel is suspenseful, magical and vividly entertaining. The lands of Arth and its inhabitants are brought to life by a warm and welcoming narrator. I cannot remember the last time I read a book that painted a landscape as clearly as this one. There are so many wonderful beings, who each have a background, a colorful history that makes them the characters that they are. Even now, after having finished the book, I am still wanting more. I recommend The Summoner by Randy Massey to any person, young or old that wants to travel to a distant world and be part of an epic adventure.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on May 28, 2012 :
Exciting tale! So nice to see a female hero for a change. Well worth the read, and a job well done on a first book.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)