About Me

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I write and live with my beautiful wife, Sandra, and sons (Solstice, Finnegan and Brahms) in a little-big house on a dirt road in a valley in the hills. My secret identity struggles through the grind of teaching high school English to the denizens of Vermont's Northeast Kingdom.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Review of Wolf in Shadow by David Gemmell

Perusing a used book store (one of my favorite places on Earth) I stumbled upon a series of books by David Gemmell. I had seen his name before, but as I do not have any personal friends that are fantasy readers I had no idea who he was. I purchased this first in the series about Jon Shannow, and I have to tell you, I experienced that magical euphoria you get when you discover a brilliant writer for the first time. Looking him up on wikipedia, I was downcast to learn he passed away while writing in 2006. Then I got really excited when I learned that in twenty years he turned out thirty novels.

I know I'll be scanning the G section of all the bookstores I frequent from now on.

I loved, loved, loved Wolf in Shadow. This novel will haunt my imagination now for the rest of my life. What a mix of western action, post-apocalyptic fantasy, and thoughtful philosophy! Jon Shannow, the Jerusalem man, is a lonely and somewhat insane drifter who stumbles across bandits, Atlantis, secret societies, love, and a nation of blood thirsty Satan worshippers. There are so many twists that I cannot begin to spoil the action or suspense for you (nor would I want to). At first I was worried that this would be a cheap and strange imitation of the Dark Tower series. As much as I love Stephen King, I loved Jon Shannow's character for its complexity and confused nobility much more than I did Roland, the Gunslinger.

This novel is perfect. I feel like an explorer who has just set his feet in a wondrously strange and entertaining land. I so look forward to reading the many series and novels from this man who I guess to be the ultimate master of late-twentieth century fantasy.

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