Lorwyn (Book one of the Lorwyn cycle) by Cory J. Henderson and Scott McGough
Reece is a rather popular name in South Africa. Most people spell it the way I just have. In fact, I know only one person who spells it the old way - Rhys. Why am I telling you this? Because an elf named Rhys is the main character in Lorwyn, and in my experience, when most people see 'Rhys' they don't know what to dow ith it. Perhaps that is why so many people use the new age spelling.
We all know what elves are. Professor Tolkien told us, and we all believed him. But his version of elves is not quite what the ancient Teutons and Celts believed in. Sure elves were elegant, beautiful beings. But they were also capricious and fickle. They were often selfish. And sometimes they were downright murderous. The came from the otherworld, and our rules and morals did not apply to them. This is the inspiration for the elves of Lorwyn. And the faeries (fey, by the way, means the same thing as capricious). And, to a lesser degree, the boggarts, who here are a species of goblin.
But there is another difference. The elves in Lorwyn have hooves and horns. Yes, they look like fauns. Think Mr Tumnus from Narnia.
And the final piece of the puzzle is the obsession of todays society with evolutio. survival of the fittest. Lorwyn is all about survival of the fittest, with one difference. The elves decide who is fit to survive. Yes, the capricious, fickle elves. And you think your government is opressive.
So, cool setting. The characters are cool too. There's even a cool overarching storyline about why the world never has night (which I assumed is resolved in the third book, Eventide). but what about this book? Well, it doesn't quite live up to expectations. I'm beginning to suspect this is a trend in Magic books - cool setting, characters and storyline, but the book doesn't quite live up to the rest of it.
Don't get me wrong, I really really enjoyed the book, and Rhys and Ashling, the other major character, are written well. I love how the flavour of Welsh mythology shines through. But it meanders a bit in the middle, as if they're treading water, trying to streach out a one- or two-book storyline into a trilogy. And so many mysteries are set up, but not one of them is resolved here. Sure, I'm all for keeping secrets for the next book, but Lorwyn treads dangerously close to incomprehensiblity, which I'm certain will scare people off. It's good, but it has the potential to be so much better.
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