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I was one of those kids who daydreamed his way through school. All the little adventures I'd concoct in my mind were far more interesting than math or tests or sport. Somehow, I passed the important bits (art and english) and moved on, but always with a creative perspective to my life.
It was around 1992 when the magic of reading really sunk into me, for it was then I discovered fantasy novels. Feist, Salvatore & Eddings showed me worlds that fired my imagination, and from that point on I knew I wanted to write the stories that flitted around the recesses of my imagination.
Unfortunately, I spent most of the next fifteen years dealing with poor health, including resultant chronic fatigue syndrome which interfered with my life immeasurably, but gave me ample time for thought. An abortive attempt to create a story happened around 1996, but I look back on such things as stepping stones on the road to where I wanted to be.
My first complete novel was actually done back in '03, but it was a derivative work based on elements from other stories, something I didn't realise until after I'd written it. The mind can do funny things if you don't keep it on a tight leash! Still, there were some unique points to the story I kept, so I scrapped the rest and began a completely new for Neverwinter Nights, that RPG video game thing you may or may not have heard of.
The story was so successful (filled with rich, creamy character development) that I lamented that only people playing the game would ever see it. In 2009, with my health improving, I resolved to novelize the stories I'd written, in addition to developing the world in which they exist as the basis for a new fantasy series.
I consider those stories to be merely the first iteration of the saga, for my novels have evolved far beyond the original scope, in terms of detail, plot and character building. Looking back on it now, I can see my style has evolved a very long way from those humble beginnings indeed.
Oh, I also paint. You can expect to see more cover art with each title, becoming more technically sophisticated each time.
John H. Carroll
on Dec. 21, 2013 :
"Legacies of Fire and Steel" is the culmination of the events in the first three books. The world is on the brink of destruction from an indomitable enemy that has no human emotion or mercy for fate of others. Aiden and Pacian are back together, along with newcomers while others have left, some in tragic circumstances. New characters fill the vacancies nicely along with the core. A few from books past also make appearances.
Dark happenings have had difficult effects on the characters. Past events weigh heavily on some members while others have become stronger in spite of them. The author weaves the different threads of each individual with a deftness that Fate would envy.
Moral dilemmas and the quandaries of what is right and what is wrong are considered and argued by the characters. This is one of my favorite things to do as a writer. I like having characters discuss issues and their feelings about it, even argue about it. It's an excellent way at looking at problems. I've learned a great deal from writing such things, and throughout my life by reading such things. I find a good book to be one that makes you a little smarter just by reading it.
These conflicts could very well doom the mission and the very fate of the world. Various entities our heroes meet along the way have their own agendas and goals to follow that prevent the quest from carrying on.
Then of course there are dragons, sandstorms, barbarians, armies, giant bad guys without weaknesses, priests, criminals and countless others who would like to interfere with the saving of the world.
Do they save the world? Hmmmm . . . With Stephen's books you never know . . .
(reviewed 5 months after purchase)
on Oct. 15, 2013 :
Been waiting for this for a very long time. And now, having read it, I'm going to have to wait a very long time for the next one :(
Other than the wait, which I can weather out, this book is an awesome continuation of the series and the ending leaves me in suspense for the heroes. No spoilers...Although his site pretty much spoils it I think.
(reviewed 36 days after purchase)