Gol

Adult
Rated 4.36/5 based on 36 reviews
Gol is book one in an epic fantasy series titled Legends of Ansu. The story thread focuses on two lovers torn apart by cruel fate. Lissane - baron's daughter, and dreamer Erun Cade. These two strive to save their war torn lands from imminent destruction, but the gods have other ideas. Gol fuses myth and magic with tough dialogue and gritty action. It wil appeal to Tolkien and Game of Thrones fans. More
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About JW Webb

Lost In the Woods
An Author’s Wayward Path
I was born near Doncaster England in 1961 but later moved south to Sussex, where I lived for many years. One of my (several schools) was at Battle, a small town named after that historic conflict in 1066. You know the one, it culminated with poor Harold getting that arrow in his eye and those rude Normans invading our green and pleasant land. Growing up so close to that scene of ancient carnage awarded me a fascination for all things Dark Age.
I am also victim to a weird and random imagination, resulting in a love of epic stories and epic story telling. This affliction prompted me to delve deep into the worlds of Tolkien, Peake, Eddison and Moorcock. Also about this time I commenced drawing imaginary maps and inventing stories about wonderfully nasty folk, doing wonderfully nasty things, whilst pent up in gloomy unpleasant places.
Then at 18 years daft, I found myself thrust deep into the Queen’s Housold Cavalry. How I arrived there I cannot quite recall. The result was a sharp dose of reality. But not a cure – the affliction ran deep. I left the regiment, and for a time wandered hazy through life hitting nails with hammers, sailing brigantines through southern waters, drinking venomous concoctions with venomous companions, and yes, reading lots more ghastly fantasy books.
At 27 years I became to a degree sensible. I married Rae, a watercolour artist and passionate Celt, and got a helter skelter career hauling trucks around the British countryside. The trouble with hauling trucks around the British countryside is that it lets the mind ramble, when not being tortured by local radio. The result of that rambling was more stories flittering around inside this trucker’s spacious head.
Then, during one dark winter night back in 1993, whilst parked forlorn outside a dreary inn, something profound happened. I stumbled into Corin an Fol: a moody, difficult individual mooching about in a deep tangled wood (my imagination). That wood grew in to a world (not as hard as it sounds when you write fantasy stuff). The world became Ansu, home to all manner of mismatched mortals and grumpy gods. Years later a plot appeared through the murky trees. It found Corin lost and wandering and introduced him to some other unruly types, resulting in The Shattered Crown. This epic debut was scrawled out with biro ink on paper and still lurks somewhere close. I’m too scared to read it.
But The Shattered Crown couldn’t contain its characters. These were (and still are) a very rough lot. They demanded a sequel. Instead (just to show who the boss was,) I focussed on a prequel, Fall of Gol being the result. But still the characters would not leave me alone. And so started The Legends of Ansu a forthcoming series of otherworldly tales, mostly involving Corin.
In late 2012 Rae lost her battle with cancer. I had always promised her a Cornish ghost story based on one of her evocative paintings. And so was born a novella called The Haven. A spooky yarn blending mystery and suspense with past and present. I hope that she likes it. We both loved Cornwall where we lived for many years. During our time there I met with Roger Garland the Tolkien Illustrator, who kindly consented to creating some images and illustrations for my work.
During 2013 I left the world of big wheels behind and focussed instead on writing full time. I also moved to Georgia, married my lovely Joanne who I’ve known for nearly 30 years. Now at long last I am ready to unleash the first two legends: Gol and The Shattered Crown. The third legend: The Lost Prince will be available later this year and the forth: The Glass Throne in 2016. JWW.

Reviews

Review by: BenjiHammond on Feb. 21, 2016 :
This book has it all. Demons, mortals, wizards, a budding romance, family drama, humor,
Lots of ‘wtf’ moments, and tons of action and adventure. Exciting and interesting and different all rolled into one. Great story line and incredible detail throughout. One thing I noticed that was different about this book as opposed to others in the genre I’ve read, was that in this one it didn’t feel ‘safe’…. I never had the feeling that everything was going to be just fine, and it certainly wasn’t. It was this heightened tension that was believable—not contrived—that really sold it to me. The novel “Gol” is comprised of 2 books really, and while they are part of the same overall story, each had its own distinct feel. Not better or worse—just different. To be honest, I’m not sure what to make of the ending and if I’m okay with it… but the whole experience overall was definitely one worth having. Just downloaded the second in the series and already wish I could do the same for the third! Best suited for mature readers probably
(reviewed 87 days after purchase)
Review by: MaxGgg on Feb. 17, 2016 :
As I read this book by J.W. Webb and I found myself completely taken away from my ‘real life’ and transported to another world, completely forgetting where I was (for better or worse). An epic fantasy novel with more tangents and sub plots than many others I’ve read, with a large cast of characters each of whom have their own stories to tell and conflicts to overcome. Gritty, honest, deep, intense, disturbing, shocking, uplifting and empowering… Way too much to delve into here, but this is a book I won’t soon forget, and if you are looking for a unique take on action/fantasy with a literary vibe, look no further. Perfect editing and formatting which is a nice bonus!
(reviewed 4 months after purchase)
Review by: Carla Biggins on Feb. 17, 2016 :
I almost feel like I just read 5 different books instead of just one – SO much happens, it would be impossible to sum up (I don’t do that anyways). And based on just the description, I think I expected something different… I think I expected more of a romance, and while that aspect is definitely there, it takes a side seat to the bigger picture. However, overall this book felt a bit flat to me as I never felt as connected to the characters as I would have liked. There seemed to be an emotional disconnect that would’ve made us feel more sympathetic towards them. We are always kept at arm’s length, watching the characters go through the steps and sequences of events, but I didn’t really feel the emotional investment that I like to while reading. But there is some great world building and terrific action, fight scenes and some really creative storylines with the Elementals and with Ashmale. So overall a decent book that will appeal to fans of high fantasy, and is probably most appropriate for adults as there is some sex, language, and violent scenes, as to be expected.
(reviewed 4 months after purchase)
Review by: Cale Owens on Feb. 14, 2016 :
4.5 stars
Fast-paced, well written and creative, “Gol” (Legends of Ansu book 1) from J.W. Webb is an absolute must-read for fans of novels such as Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, Merlin, Mists of Avalon, etc. “Gol” holds its own with the top-notch writing and plot structure, and an exciting, varied cast of colorful characters and plenty of magic and thrills to go around. There are some familiar tropes here (as with most fantasy), however, I feel Mr. Webb did a great job of bringing in a unique voice and making the story wholly his own, and giving it a fresh feel. I didn’t feel like I’ve read this million times before. A few things, I thought at times there was way too much “telling” instead of showing. Not too bad, but some parts dragged toward the middle. But an engrossing story with near perfect editing, and I’m ready for the next one!
(reviewed 88 days after purchase)
Review by: James Masters on Feb. 14, 2016 :
I read a lot of fantasy and mythology books, so this is a genre I’m familiar with. Having read another of J.W. Webb’s books recently – “The Haven” and really enjoying it, I was curious to see how he would deliver in this one “Gol – The Legends of Ansu”. Mr. Webb is unarguably a very talented writer, but more than that he genuinely impressed me with his thorough world-building and sheer creativeness on many levels. All too often I read works that feel clearly derivative of other books, and although I appreciate literary influences (as is felt here as well), when something this original comes along it is a refreshing change of pace! Some of the writing was downright lyrical in the simple elegance of the prose, and other times I was nearly breathless from the intensity and violent passion. For such a long book I finished it in less than a week, and went through so many highs and lows, it felt like a rollercoaster. I was hoping for a different ending, but it was bittersweet (and more powerful this way) nonetheless. A must read for fans of high fantasy.
(reviewed 88 days after purchase)
Review by: April Dawn on Feb. 2, 2016 :
I like how simply and effortlessly J.W. Webb can tell this addicting, multi-layered story with well-developed world building and still manage to make a fantasy novel so fresh! A less talented author would probably over-write or over-dramatize to the point of being totally unbelievable. But even with the fantastical storyline we are all in, hooked on every scene, as the world building always follows its rules which is so important in books like this. At first it took me some time to acclimate and get the feel of the characters and their backstory… was confused on a few things, but stuck with it and it all became clear. A fun read all through to the end, even though some parts are heart wrenching and you will definitely be upset more than once. Can’t wait to read more from J.W. Webb!
(reviewed 68 days after purchase)
Review by: CamJones on Feb. 2, 2016 :
"Gol” is a great book that felt familiar, but still original and unique in its own way. Author J.W. Webb creates a wonderful world that once we visit, we don’t want to leave anytime soon! Some of the best characters (and creatures) I’ve encountered in a long time, anywhere, and I thought the descriptions and characters were wonderful, and could picture everything happening perfectly. I think the story as a whole could have benefitted from some tightening, and at times it seemed to lose some focus. But the battle/fight scenes were so dramatic and paced well – usually I skip those because they are repetitive or poorly written (or in an unbelievable manner) but these really added to the plot and character development- especially with Erun. Was satisfied, if not a bit saddened, with the ending. A worthy addition to the high-fantasy genre and a recommend read for adults.
(reviewed 67 days after purchase)
Review by: Cory Banyan on Feb. 1, 2016 :
I really enjoyed “Gol” by author J.W. Webb, even though “epic” fantasy isn’t usually one of my more preferred genres (don’t dislike it, just don’t generally gravitate). But I recently read another book by this author, “the Haven” , and I like watching “Game of Thrones” so I gave it a shot. I was really impressed! I really liked the drawings (and the map), and thought that Mr. Webb did such a wonderful job with the descriptions of the world and the different characters. There are SO many of them it’s hard to keep track (there is a useful guide at the end), but I did fall in love with Lissane and Erun and was so shocked at some things that happened. Emotionally engaging and with lots of action. Some language, especially towards the last half (book 2) but other than that it feels pretty suitable for mature teens on up. I had a great time reading this!
(reviewed 67 days after purchase)
Review by: Sophia Renee on Feb. 1, 2016 :
"Gol” is the second novel I’ve read from this author, J.W. Webb and it’s safe to say I’m officially a fan! So imagine my utter delight when I saw how many other books he’s written (claps hands). I can’t wait to get started! But first, this one. Oh my, where to begin…seriously, this is a super hard book to just sum up in a few sentences. Well, I read it in one week if that’s any indicator, and it’s over 500 pages and I have extremely limited reading time. But who needs sleep? This author writes in such a way that we just get pulled in and lost in the story right away, and see everything unfold around us. It’s a slow building explosion of unpredictable events and unique characters that are totally amazing and literally out of this world. I only have one gripe seemed weirdly anticlimactic to me for some reason, like the emotion was sucked out of the ending even though it was the most dramatic. And it felt so “summed up” at the end. But the narrative is tight and focused, and thankfully error free! It’s clear Mr. Webb has a great editor, and I for one am ready for more “Legends”.
(reviewed 67 days after purchase)
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