I was born and brought up in Birmingham (UK). In my mid teens I suffered from exposure to Tolkien from which I’ve never fully recovered! After leaving school I did a variety of jobs until redundancy threatened, at which point I escaped to university to do the degree I’d always wanted to do and discovered Tolkien’s academic work as well. As a (very) mature student I first acquired a BA in Medieval Studies, then followed it with an MPhil in Anglo-Saxon History. Old English remains a facination and one day - when and if I ever get the time - I'd really love to learn Old Welsh. By this time anything and everything medieval had become a bit of an addiction, as proven by my ever expanding bookcases of reference works (which one day might take over the house) and visits to every castle and ruin I could find. All this, coupled with a life of avid reading of fantasy, spurred me into writing about a fictional world as a way of exploring the ideas about the bits of history which remain obscure, or how things might have turned out differently.
Apart from the completed fantasy quartet set in the Islands I am also writing a historical series based on the Robin Hood legend and set very firmly in the late twelfth/early thirteenth centuries. The aim with these coming books is to return the legend to its true setting, but to tell more would be to spoil the fun...!
I currently live in Worcester with one husband and several recued lurchers, one of whom shares my photo - which is nothing unusual in my life! I support Evesham Greyhound & Lurcher Rescue.
on March 12, 2013 :
I've read the conspiracy stories, the swords and sandals, the myth and magic, and the unbeatable foe plots, but this beats the lot.
Never have I been so convinced that an alternative world actually existed, peopled as it is by the kind of characters you could meet every day as well as by the most heroic and the most fantastical. They are presented in such a way as to possess not only believable personalities and concerns, but also their own individual histories and connections. It is very easy to become involved to the point of being fearful of some of them whilst becoming attached to others so that you really do care what happens to them, and want to know what happens next.
The descriptions of the lands through which the action takes place are so varied and convincing that you feel you have taken on a real physical journey alongside the various characters. I actually got a few late nights with this book because there were points where I really couldn't put it down.
There are plots and sub plots, twists and turns, heroism, romance, violence, and shocks enough to please the most discerning reader. Give yourself a real treat and read this book. It's an escape into what fantasy should really be about.
(review of free book)
on Jan. 16, 2013 :
'CHASING SORCERY' IS WITHOUT DOUBT, THE BEST EPIC FANTASY BOOK PUBLISHED IN YEARS!!
If you even slightly consider yourself a fan of fantasy - or if you just enjoyed 'Game of Thrones' - you'll LOVE this.
Just when I'd got thoroughly fed up with writers telling the same old 'boy comes of age and saves the world' type stuff, or writing stories over endless numbers of books that never seem to end, finding 'Chasing Sorcery' was a welcome breath of fresh air!
It's got a dynamic, fresh approach to the epic fantasy genre with a varied and interesting ensemble cast of central characters - of all ages. LJ Hutton has effectively combined the best features of other fantasy writers such as; the political intrigue of GRR Martin; the creation of a world with its own history, language and philosophy of Tolkien's Middle Earth; the immediacy of pace and action of Brent Weeks; and the warmth, humour and depth of characters of Robin Hobb and Terry Goodkind.
It's so refreshing to meet unique characters, who you can really give a damn about, and who don't always know what to do next. There's some seriously tasty muscle (Maelbright - yum), strong female leads (go Matti), as well as a nice balance of reluctant or naive heros and heroines (I can't wait to see how Ivain turns out!). The baddies are seriously creepy - I defy anyone to drive in fog calmly after reading about the Farlaith, and it's great that as a reader we get to find out the Abend's plans too - plus the moment with Tancostyl and the goat is very funny! I found it unusual to have openly gay characters within a fantasy novel, but it's very much a case of some characters being gay, rather than a book about gay characters. Even the secondary characters are well drawn, but they don't become so numerous as to become impossible to keep track of - something that other writers fail to appreciate!
The action is exciting, and there are a range of unusual situations that the characters find themselves in, and 'set piece' moments that are certainly made the most of. I really liked the riddle and mystery aspects included within the ancient manuscripts. I found the world of the six Islands complex without being overwhelming, and the balance and jumps between the different story threads compelling. I'm so glad to see that it's already set as a quartet, the plot has moved forward to an appropriate place for this structure - I can't wait to start Book 2!
It's what good fantasy is all about - excellent characters, a realistic world and brisk action, with a generous and original dose of magic thrown in.
A brilliant new series!
(review of free book)
on Jan. 13, 2013 :
I found this book very interesting in places but it was hard to follow because it skipped around to too many different people's stories and didn't come together quick enough.
(review of free book)