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I am an education consultant who works for state government in the area of curriculum. Prior to my current job, I taught American and world history at a number of colleges and universities in California, Georgia, and South Carolina. I started writing fiction in graduate school. In addition to my novels and short works, I have written a lot of serialized fantasy fiction that has been posted on the Story Hour forum at the Dungeons & Dragons fan site EnWorld.org, including stories placed in the Forgotten Realms, Shackled City, and Rappan Athuk settings. These stories have collectively received over two thousand reader posts and three hundred thousand page views. I am also an active member of the player community for the multiplayer computer game Neverwinter Nights, and have released over two dozen modules for that game on the Neverwinter Vault Web site. My doctorate is in European history, and I live with my wife, who is an attorney, in Sacramento, California.
on Sep. 14, 2010 :
Although reading 'of Spells and Demons' unoficial world primer "The Labyrinth" is not necessary, I'd recommend it as the main character takes on added depth, and the story itself is compelling.
Standalone or not, this books brings the reader into a world that quickly feels alive with small details that tell us that the author has worked out all the little things, whether it be a system of magic or the weather conditions of this part of the continent. I state that early because so many authors leave these things out, and as you read along it quickly becomes apparant that the details count.
'of Spells...' is largely an action fantasy, yet the story does not suffer for it.
Overall there's a bit of intrigue, excellent combat, and the author's trademark character development. I'm hoping this story leads into further adventures in this rich and interesting world.
I'd recommend this story to anyone who is a fan of character driven stories, of fast-paced action combat and just plain page-turning story telling.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)