Book cover art by Jason Pedersen
To my readers: As you know from my book reviews, I am trying to broaden my horizons by reading more outside my genre of Fiction>Drama, and Murder Mystery. I joined a book club for this reason, but this month they are reading “The God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins and that was a bit heavy for me. I have been pleasantly and delightfully entertained by Charles Yallowitz on his blog, Legends of Windemere, so I decided to read and review his book “Beginning of a Hero” instead.
The “Beginning of a Hero” presents the compelling and intriguing story arc of the Legends of Windemere series. The Prologue of this book was shocking to me. I don’t often read fantasy but love fantasy movies. It was gripping and horrific. I almost had to set the book down because I had a very visceral reaction to the brutality. I knew right away that this was not simple “Hobbit” fiction. It is set in centuries past, in another world, where the undead and the living are vested with magical powers.
I continued reading. Written in the present tense, third person, it was unusual for me but I quickly adapted and found myself really enjoying the visual reality of the read. After the introduction, I was immediately transported to the fairyland enchanted and magical Visindor Forest with pixies, ladybugs, deer and squirrels. The imagery that the author conjures is fantastic. It became very obvious to me why the introduction had been so brutal. Something very evil, sinister, wicked and demonic would be necessary to destroy the beauty of it.
The places the author takes you, like Visindor Forest, Hamilton Military Academy, and Caster Swamp become very real. His cast of colorful characters and creatures, both good and bad, is varied and well developed. The Gods and Goddesses have many friends and foes in this literary work. Half elves are the protectors and defenders of honor. The protagonist, Luke Callindor, a youth, is growing into his manhood as he learns to be the hero that he expects of himself. I adored Stiletto, Nimby, Fritz, Aedyn, and Fizzle, his faithful companions. I loathed the Lich, the Hellfire Elf, and the vast Army of otherworldly creatures who did their bidding.
The plot was solid and the pace steady with many minor quests for Luke and his friends before the climactic battle on a killing field. While the work came off as a bit sophomoric to me, I am attributing that to the genre not the author. I thoroughly enjoyed the read and would highly recommend it. I am looking forward to seeing how both the author and the protagonist mature with the next book in the series. I would give five stars for a worthy read and the awesome introduction to a new genre for me.