2013; ?? pages, but the file size is a hefty 1,728 KB. New Author? : No. Book 5 of The Norothian Cycle series. Genre : Epic Fantasy. Overall Rating : 9*/10.
Gunnak dragons are coming! Well
actually, they’re sending their proxy Martan humans to do battle with the
beings under the influence of the old, Great Dragons. John the Red, née John Deskata, leads the
crack Martan legion that is spearheading the invasion.
but our heroes, Zeb and Tilda, are about to have a child. And running
a profitable import/export business, plus a joint venture with a fishing
enterprise is time-demanding. Surely some other heroes can
deal with John.
What’s To Like...
series keeps getting bigger and better with each volume.
There is a nice balance here between action (fighting and magic) and drama (character
development). We meet some
new species – halflings, dwarves, and gnolls (the gnolls are probably not new, but it's been a while)
– as well as one of the Great Dragons of the Land. It’s always kewl to meet a dragon.
Edward McNally once again expands the Norothian universe – which means he had
to develop more maps and we get to meet a bunch of new people. To boot, ANAICT he catches us up on all the
old characters (with
even a passing mention of dear Miss Horn), so unless you’ve just
gotten done with the first four books, you might want to make a list of Who’s
Who. The author does give a brief
backstory as each person steps onto the stage, but really, this isn’t a
structure of The Channel War reminds me of
Book 1, The Sable City. For a while, it’s mostly slash and flash, and
I started to wonder how much progress would be made in the “grand story”. But not to worry, several major issues get
resolved in the final section (Part 3). The book
ends nicely – the first phase of the Martan invasion is done. But the ending also sets up Book 6, with the promise
of revenge, retribution, and even broader horizons for at least one of our
Kewlest New Word…
: Crazy; Insane; Eccentric. (Britishism). A corruption of “Balmy” which, as a Britishism,
means the same thing.
foolish young wyrms may sack a castle or seize coins only for aggrandizement,
but the Greats have long known there are better ways. The Great Dragons do not raid and ransack in
search of wealth. They use the greed and
pettiness and stupidity of men and nations to gather wealth to themselves. That is how they measure their power against
that of their fellows.” (loc.
The riders had reached the edge of the
sandy depression where they stopped, all three archers training their aim on
Allison at the maximum pull for their short bows.
“Hey!” Allison shouted, and tried to find
some appropriate words in her limited store of Martan. Harmouf
The six Martan men only exchanged glances.
“You said sheep combers,” Rully said, now standing as closely behind Allison as
he could without putting his face in her backside. “You meant hfeshada.”
All three archers loosed their shots. (loc. 2530)
The Channel War sells for $4.99 at Amazon, as do Books
2-4 of the series. Book 1, The Sable City, is free. You can’t beat that, so what are you waiting
“There is always a pretext that will move men toward war, it is
just a matter of finding the right one.” (loc. 1862)
So what separates this epic fantasy series
from the hundreds of other ones available for your Kindle? For me, it is the complexity of the conflict
and the “grayness” of the characters.
Conflict-wise, the young dragons have pitted themselves against the
older dragons. Neither group is exactly
heroic. Their human minions don’t just
line up loyally behind them. There are national
grudges that often override the Dragons’ agenda. Even our knights in shining armor – the
Codian Empire – make some terrible misassumptions that lead to needless and
costly strife. I like it when things
there is the third force - the Devils.
Just because they’re demonic doesn’t mean they have to be the black
hats. Frankly, their strategy against
the Gunnak menace makes the most sense to me.
And when that’s the case, you can pretty much expect to get hit with
some major plot twists in the next book.
There is a short-but-enlightening afterword from M. Edward McNally at
the conclusion of The Channel War. It’s
much better than the ones Stephen King and Piers Anthony write. Be sure to read it; it gives useful insight
into where this series is going. 9 Stars.