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A truly good book, I believe, is a very rare thing indeed. It amazes me just how many people can rave on and on about a book that to me is at worst just drivel, or at best completely underwhelming. For years I've carried on reading book after book searching in vain for something that would really grab me. Well, I finally found it; The Stormcaller by Tom Lloyd.
The book follows the story of Isak, a young White-eye living a relatively normal life as a wagon brat with a father who despises him, as he is chosen by the gods as their next in line to Lord Bahl, the current Lord of the Farlan, and thrust into a very different way of life. We see Isak having to learn the ways and politics of his new world, become a man, learn to harness and control his powers, and even lead an army into battle.
This is not an easy read by any means, and it does take your full attention to fully grasp everything that's going on. Lloyd uses lots of descriptive language which paints vivid images of the world he has created and the people and places within it, but he does so without ever over-explaining or becoming boring. Each character is well thought out, and we get regular insights into their backgrounds and thoughts, learning more about them throughout the book, so they seem like real people rather than 2-dimensional characters.
Whilst this book is in the fantasy genre, it's of the more realistic type. By this I mean there are no wizards turning people into rats, shooting thunderbolts from their fingers, or any of the usual clichéd fantasy characters or silliness. It's all presented in a very realistic and 'mature' manner. I'm a big fan of the fantasy genre as a whole, but rarely do I find a book that really captures my interest and holds it. This one achieved that instantly. Once I'd got past the first few pages I really didn't want to stop reading, which is a very rare occurrence for me.
This is not a particularly intellectual read, but some of the language used does mean that some people would find it a chore, and maybe even a bore to read. If you have a limited vocabulary or an inability to adapt to the use of words from imagined languages then it could prove quite perplexing and I'd advise against attempting to read it, as you will simply not be able to appreciate the book for the excellent read that it is.
The only negative point I could find in this stunningly well-written, imaginative, captivating read was the fact that a few typos seemed to have slipped through the proof-reading net. This always annoys me with any book, but in this case the mistakes are few and far between, and the book's that good that it really didn't bother me.
All in all, this is a brilliant read for fantasy fans and non-fans alike. There was not a moment in the book that didn't capture my full attention, and I can't wait to read more by the same author. Available from little over £4 on Amazon, it also represents excellent value for money. I could not recommend this book highly enough.