Publisher: Orbit an imprint of Time Warner Books UK
Copyright © Jim Czajkowski 1998
Author Website: www.jamesclemens.com
496 Pages, Paperback
This is the first in a five book fantasy series set in Alasea. It tells of a world that is bereft of magic powerful enough to combat the evil of the Dark Lord of Gul'gotha and his minions. For 500 years Alasea and its people have been under the rule of the Gul'gothan hoards, unable to break free, until finally they did not even remember that life had been different to how it was now. That is except for the whispered stories told as fables and legends of the last Mages and their final sacrifice.
Elena, a thirteen year old girl just becoming a woman, is the hope of Alasea though no one but the Dark Lord is aware of it. The story tells of her flight from evil, her loss, her fear and her courage. It tells of the people she meets, sent to help or to hinder. And it tells of the difficult choices that will be hers alone.
I started this book thinking, "Another quest, another battle between good and evil, let's see how it pans out". Well I was impressed. It was James Clemens' first novel and although the plot could have been a well worn rehash of many others, I thought it was well thought out and fresh. Many of the magical aspects of the plot were original and inventive, and strangely enough for a fantasy novel, believable.
I especially liked the characterisation. There are many figures in this story and what I particularly liked was that the evil ones were not always knowingly wicked, and the good not always to be trusted. The relationships were also very well written, so much so that I felt as if I was there with the people, sympathising with or reviling their motives as I came to know them better.
I enjoyed this story so I'm looking forward to continuing the adventure in the next book, and hopefully learning more about the history of Alasea and the different races.
Book 1 – Wit'ch Fire
Book 2 – Wit'ch Storm
Book 3 – Wit'ch War
Book 4 – Wit'ch Gate
Book 5 – Wit'ch Star