M T Fairhurst
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)