Go to Homepage   Carolyn Kephart: Wysard

  Crescent Blues Book Views

Three and one half moon gifSterlingHouse Publisher, Inc. (Trade Paperback), ISBN 1-56315-144-8
Ah, something new and different in the world of fantasy: a book not based on Celtic, Norse, or Greek mythology. 

Book: Carolyn Kephart, WysardA well-written, intelligent fantasy with a beautifully crafted world, Wysard, features the young (counting in wizard years, which are different than world years) Ryel, a wizard born. Removed from his family by his presumed uncle, Ryel studies healing as well as the Art (his magic). But a portent makes Ryel realize that he must leave the magical city of Markul to save his mother's life.  

One thing leads to another and soon Ryel, originally from the Inner Steppes, travels to the capital city to cast out a demon and save a princess's life. Other forces, evil forces, enter the conflict and Ryel finds he must embark on a journey into the Void and free his kinsman's spirit. To do so, he must reverse a powerful curse cast by the evil sorcerer, Dagar. Complication falls on top of complication in the intricate weaving of the plot. Following his seeings, he discovers Dagar intends to rule Markul -- which Ryel must prevent at all costs. But can he? That I don't know. The first book of a two-book series, this volume raises many questions but only answers a few. 

A book to ponder, savor, contemplate but not rush through at breakneck speed, Wysard adds new dimensions to the fantasy genre by adding new concepts, or by looking at old concepts in a fresh manner. Concise but lyric, the prose complements the tale. The characters, with the exception of Ryel, seem a bit sketchy, but Ryel clearly dominates the tale so the secondary characters need not emerge fully fleshed. 

Although Wysard starts slowly -- probably to include all the backstory -- it does build momentum, interest and excitement as it unfolds. Don't give up too soon and miss a good read. 

Patricia White

Patricia White is the Sapphire Award-winning author of A Wizard Scorned. Her current book, the contemporary PS, I've Taken a Lover, is available from Lionhearted Books . The Wandering Troll, an electronic magazine, began serializing her novel Prophecy Be Damned in April 2000.

Click here to share your views.