22 January, 2010

Review: The Stormcaller by Tom Lloyd

As part of my November 2009 Reading Challenge I read the first volume in the Twilight Reign series. So far three books are available and books four and five will both be published in 2010. I speak about The Stormcaller (2006, 493 p.) [US][UK], by Tom Loyd. Not to forget that this is Tom Lloyd's debut novel.
As you see the novel has been published first in 2006. A time where I still read books in German. That means I still have a backlog. When you remember that year there was a hype around other books like The Lies of Locke Lamorra by Scott Lynch (which is on my TBR pile)and The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie (I read the German edition). Maybe that is one of the reasons why I and also other people did not really recognize The Stormcaller. But that would be not fair because you would miss an enthralling read....

The Setup
"Our future always lies ahead of us, but sometimes it stops and turns around to look us in the face.All things have their time" [p. 472
]Young Isaak is different. He is stronger, faster and larger than any normal inhabitant of The Land (Don't get confused. The name the land is The Land). In combination with his blind rage he is feared and shunned at once. Isaak is a white-eye like Lord Bahlan, the leader of the Farlan tribe. Nartis, god of storms, is the patron deity of the Farlan. And he choose Isaak to be the heir of Bahl. Isaak's life changes completely. Dark nightmares badger him and dark forces resurrect.....

My Take in Brief

I must admit I was not quite sure what to expect from The Stormcaller after reading the official blurb. In some parts The Stormcaller is challenging. There are a lot of characters and threads which may confuse you in the beginning. It is like a jigsaw. But by the end of the book you have put together some larger parts of it which are loosely connected... Don't worry there are four more books to come....

The story shows you things which seems familiar on first sight but you discover soon that they are different. Gods, immortals, vampires, elves, trolls and human beings are an unusual mix.
But it works fine and none of these beings appear as you are used to know from other books.
Tom Lloyd did a great job with the characterization of people. The characters are well pegged into the intricate story.

Isak is far beyond either to be the average teen or the invincible super hero.
He a character who is believeable and understandable. I don't want to give much away of the story. But can you imagine how you would feel to be guilty of your mothers death, to grow up as someone who is clearly different compared to the people surrounding him. I found it quite easily to connect to him and to some other characters.

Did I mention that there is magic in the book? Tom Lloyd has a talent to depict the use of magic in detail without fully explain them. Awesome!

All in all Tom Lloyd has created a very promising debut with stunning characterizations and an intricate story settled in a harsh world. Give it a try. Maybe you have to read the beginning twice but you won't regret it.

Bona Fide's Book Oracle

What is Bona Fide's Book Oracle? To keep it short. It is a palaver about the reviewed book held by ediFanoB and his alter ego Bona Fide. And I am the keeper of the minutes. Now read my minutes.

Bona: “Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz ? My friends all drive Porsches,...“ Fide: “Hey, that's a song from last century! Are you sure that there are people who know Janis Joplin?“ Bona: “I thought that is the appropriate start for our battle of words about The StormcallerFide: “You're nuts! What is the relation between "Mercedes-Benz" by Janis Joplin and The Stormcaller?“ Bona: “You simpleton! Lord is just another word for god. And who plays an obscure role in The Stormcaller?“ Fide[abashed]:Gods.“ Bona: “Unbelievable! You really read The Stormcaller!“ Fide: “When you repeat the title of the book one more time, I will call some Elves.“ Bona: “But I must repeat it often because people will forget so fast that we talk about The Stormcaller. But I promise this was the last time. And if you call the elves I will call the trolls.“ Fide: “In the end we both know that neither elves nor trolls like human beings.“ Bona: “And we should be aware of vampires and immortals!“ Fide: “That's true. What an unusual mix: Human beings, trolls, elves, vampires, immortals and gods who all follow their own plans and prophecies.“ Bona: “And we only know as much as young Isak. I can't wait to read The Twilight Herald.“ Fide: “I like Isak. He is a well developed character like a lot of other characters. That makes them so alive.“ Bona: “Don't forget the powerful depiction of fights, magic and country.“ Fide: “That is a must read for people who can cope with a story which enfolds slowly but surely.“ Bona: “For me it was like I have been thrown into a foreign town where I have to start a new job by not have full knowledge about my abilities.“ Fide: “Yeah, a very promising anacrusis to a new series. Highly recommended if you like intense stories, convincing characters and a well depicted world.“ Bona: “That's it for today.“ Fide: “You're right. If people want to get more information then they should buy and read The Stormcaller.“ Bona: “You did it again. But this time I agree because I'm sure the keeper of the minute forgot to note the title of the book.“ Fide: “Wake up keeper of the minutes. And keep in mind that we won't come back if you fail to write down properly what we told about the book.“

I'm the keeper of the minutes. Read The Stormcaller. Share your life with Isak. Why?Intense and dark story, well developed characters, beings as familiar as different – forget your Lord of the Rings image of elves.

More Tom Lloyds

For more information about the author you can use following links: Tom Lloyd's website, Tom Lloyds Livejournal,

Origin of the copy

I bought the copy of The Stormcaller which I read and used for this review.