Thursday, January 25, 2018

Book Review: 'Revelations' by Samuel Alexander

Bermuda author Samuel Alexander has published nine books to date. He is also a musician, a poet and a composer. To read his blog posts produces a sense of longing to bolster the aspirations of this obviously gifted artist. He is immersed in his calling to write and it is time for his work to enjoy a wider readership.

Classifying Samuel genre for this new series depends on the entry point in the readers mind. The writing is fluid, richly painted and full of exotic concepts. There is a sense of an epic: the Book 1 merely introduces us to a strange and fascinating realm that doubtless will become more and more familiar with each new entry in the series.

The story soars the imagination, in part because the writing is so lush. To point, the Prologue offers seductive tones that act as a magnet to keep the pages turning: ‘“Tell me why should I, Sailor, goddess of all, grant you this request? Who are you to deem yourself worthy of the favor of the gods?” Aorta, a boy of eighteen, looked up at Sailor and couldn’t believe his twist of fate. Had he travelled leagues across land and sea, had he braved the turning of winter for nothing? And now after trekking up the mountain of the gods—the pass of Gain’s—a feat that had killed many a man, he was faced with this. He was even stopped from using his last bit of strength to vault himself from the top of the mountain in an act of self-sacrifice. All this he had done to save his mother, and now he was being denied. He was stopped from killing himself only so that she could taunt him. Laugh at him as he took his dying breaths. Could the gods really be that cruel? Even still, he came at his mother’s orders, and he’d come too far even for the mother of all to deny him. As long as he breathed, he would fight for his own mother’s life. “In strength, when I was broken, in faith though doubt was certain, in hope against hope, I believed against all odds that I could save her. Even if it meant the taking of my own life.” Sailor seemed appeased by this, yet chose not to help regardless. “If I told you that even life sacrifice wouldn’t ensure your mother’s life, what would you do?” “My mother, Ronal’s, is a great seamstress. Let her make you a dress worthy of the gods. If it is not, then my whole family’s fate is at your hands.” Sailor nodded as if to say that was reasonable before replying, “She shall use the fabric of the gods and make the dress for my daughter.” It has been said that the gods can only sew the material of the gods. By setting this task, Sailor was sealing Aorta’s family to a fate of death. Aorta, for his part, showed no hint that it could not be done. So on top of the Margarine Mountains, home of the gods, the deal was struck. Then Aorta went home to his dying mother. The goddess temporarily healed Aorta’s mother to allow her to do the best work she could. And she got to work immediately. On the fourth day, she produced the impossible: a gown so beautiful that Sailor decreed that anything too beautiful for words was equally comparable to Ronal’s’ gift. Ronal’s not only gave her the dress, but also supplied two more gifts, which showcased the skills of hunting, craftsmanship, and weaponry that she had taught her children. And so it began. The province from which the family came was named Toroth after Aorta. From there, Ronal’s and her three children formed an underground alliance to overthrow the magician rule. But first, she had to kill the magician who accidentally poisoned her and refused to rectify the mistake by healing her. Blessed with a new resistance to magic, it was a fair battle.’

A Prologue, this, and the story has yet to begin. But to attempt to condense this epic is almost unfair to the potential reader. Sailor is a fantasy land of peasants and magicians, the land of Atorathians, Keldonians and Mironians. Here Danais and Leo, both orphans, search for truth, and grow into love for each other that grows beyond the years as mature, becoming more than partners in life and love as they struggle against evil using magic powers. Those they encounter are sorceresses, spirits, passion, lust, and a fervent desire to overcome the odds that threaten them.

Recommendation? Read this novel and follow this young author closely. All the seeds are here, waiting to fully bloom. Grady Harp, January 18

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.