In the first book of his new series, Wind Castle, author Brian Hammar has given us a wondrous new world of imagination. Think of Oz, Narnia, and Middle-Earth, with all their glorious strangeness, and yet their perils and lurking dangers.
In this magical land, many of the creatures of mythology and legend reside: griffins, dragons, unicorns, trolls, even Sasquatches. The land itself is alive, giving sustenance and healing. But of course, there is something wrong in this world that must itself be healed-- before it destroys the land and all that dwell within.
On orders from his boss, George Severe goes looking for this rumored place, and finds it-- and finds a lot more than he ever could imagine. Aided by his crusty, folksy, guide Annie, he's soon embroiled in a battle for the soul of the land and its people. A war is brewing, and George must aid a peaceful, embattled folk who know little of defense or aggression. But George is no warrior-- he must find other means to stop the spreading violence of a charismatic, power-seeking madman.
George falls in love with this marvelous magical place, but he's torn by thoughts of his family left behind. We're with him in this conflict, and want him to succeed, but what will he decide? Will he lose himself in saving others?
There is much to enjoy in this debut novel. We are constantly reminded that we're not in Kansas, that this is a place where different rules apply. It is a fully-fleshed-out fantasy world, and one you might like to visit.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)