Sunday, February 4, 2018

Book Review: 'Talon' by Amanda Greenslade

Australian author Amanda Greenslade lives in Queensland, is the Managing Director of Australian eBook Publisher, a self-publishing service, and is a multi-skilled communicator and designer. She has knowledge and experience in writing, editing, publishing, graphic design, book layout, web design and marketing.

She has written a children’s book series ‘Myra and the Magic Motorcycle’, and EBook series ‘Insert Your Name Interactive’, and now an epic fantasy series for YA/adults ‘The Astor Chronicles’ about ‘a Kriite man named Talon, whose gifts have marked him as a target for religious fanatics. Among the Kriites some people have extraordinary telepathic abilities, can bond with an animal or a weapon, even shape shift. The Zeikas, who worship the fire-god Zeidarb, wield sorcerous powers like wards and magic fire. Some can conjure or summon beasts to fight for them. It’s going to take a united effort for Talon and the Kriite nations to defeat the Zeikas.’

There is magic in Amanda’s command of writing, a trait that assures us this series as an epic fantasy will succeed. Her opening words stand as evidence: ‘Light. Glorious, blue prisms of light sparkled off every leaf and branch. Thick, powdery sap burbled slowly inside the crystalline structures. The Great Sapphire Tree of Jaria was one of only a few hundred sapphire trees that were still known to exist. Its leaves were hard and thick as sapphires, its branches like iron bars. Such trees were rare, most having been harvested for the mineral sapphite long ago.’ Poetic, and able to create illusions with words.

Book 1, Talon, is summarized as follows: ‘Talon is learning his people's magic. Due to his bloodline and abilities, Talon is both the greatest threat and the greatest boon to the Zeika’s god-given mission to enslave or kill all Kriites. Talon’s actions and faith will make all the difference between the two. This epic fantasy kicks off a series of eight books featuring religious fanatics, telepathy, shape changing, dragons and a war against invading sorcerers. A group of zealots from a distant island is making a move on Jaria, where a group of Kriites with animal bond-mates live. It will soon be up to Talon to find a way to fight back. With a newly awakened icetiger for his companion, Talon is finally learning the magic of his people, including telepathy and shape changing. Talon is a nineteen-year-old Kriite man who follows the wolf-god, Sy-tre. For this, he and his people are hunted by slavers who worship the jealous fire-god, Zeidarb. After Jaria is attacked by the Zeikas, Talon embarks on a mission to seek help. Before Talon even understands the power within him, there are demon summoners after him. He is horrified to learn that the Zeika leader plans use Talon’s body and mind to further his ambition for power.’

Beautiful language, extraordinary character creations, telepathy, shape shifting – think of every aspect of fantasy and you find it here – and more. This is an eloquent work, well worthy of following as the series develops. Grady Harp, July 16

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.