Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Review of FROM A FAR LAND (JABEN'S RIFT) by G. David Walker

5 of 5 stars

Whenever a book starts out with the sentence, “The others will not know,” I am immediately intrigued.  Not know what? Who are the others? FROM A FAR LAND sets up this premise to draw the reader in, and boy, was I drawn into this story. The protagonist, Jason Bennett, is an 18-year-old American visiting his relatives in Scotland.  Bored with the conversation around the dinner table about his ancestors, he goes off on his own to explore the countryside. What he finds, however, will change his life forever.  Buried deep within an ancient stone building on his great-uncle’s property, a light shines in a doorway and draws Jason to it.  When he steps through, everything changes and he finds out that he is a pawn in a centuries-old battle between supreme beings in the Land of Teleria.

The author does a fantastic job of keeping the action moving. Just when I thought I had figured everything out, another plot twist is thrown into the mix.  We learn about Reyga, the Emerald Loremaster, and Jason’s guide in this strange land, the other Loremasters of the High Council, magical powers called dimsai, a Shanthi girl named Lenai, strange warrior beings and an event called The Devastation that somehow helped create the supreme beings.

Through half-truths and misunderstandings, Jason is plunged into a battle of words and wits between the High Council and the strange outcast Bodann. He must somehow make sense of each side’s accusations about the other before it is too late and Teleria is catapulted into a full-scale war. Who is telling the truth? Which side should he trust?  Lenai does her best to guide and instruct Jason, but even she is not immune to the effects of the conflict between the supreme beings. To make matters even more complicated, Jason finds out that the High Council believes him to be Jaben, the one cited in an ancient prophesy; the being who has the power to either save or destroy Teleria.  Not too much pressure for an eighteen-year-old.

The characters are well fleshed out, the action is non-stop, magical mysteries abound and there is a great battle. Really, what else would you expect from one of the best fantasies I’ve read this year.  Highly Recommended.