Saturday, 9 January 2010

Eleanor J Cramphorn - The Obsidian Key - Book Review




Mr Ripley's Book Review
This is a great time of the year in which to reflect on books, both past and present, as well as providing an opportunity to look over the bookshelves at forgotten reads. In this particular case this is how I stumbled upon  The Obsidian Key - for some reason this book went un-read . . . . . . until now. 

I was transported to a world of colourful characters, strange lands, and dangerous journeys. All of which have been set against a backdrop of a world fearful of the evil intentions of the militaristic land of Wintermark, and its Prince Regent Sigvard. The book is steeped in historical fantasy; transporting the reader to a magical place in the Orient. It is a breathtaking read, perhaps this is due it being incredibly well written. It is exciting, funny and yet still moving.

The story follows the quest of a teenage boy, Takeshi or Tackers as he is referred to by some of his friends later on, to avenge the death of his family by the evil Sigvard of Wintermark. Along the way we meet all sorts of interesting characters - my favourite by far being Vincent Di Luna, also known as 'Midnight' (a gentleman by day and thief by night). The book has so many levels to it that I think it would appeal to all ages; there's magic, battles, relationships and much much more.

The only downside to this book is that it ends on a cliffhanger, and with no sequel insight! I'm presuming that this is due to it being published by the small, but wonderful, publishing company Pen Press. So the question is, will we see the next book in the sequel to rival this great start and resolve the cliffhanger that I find myself left with?

An excellent book by a brilliant new author; I was very surprised to find such an amazing gem. This is one of the best debut books you will read - if you can still track down a copy, you will not be disappointed. For those who particularly loved Liam Hearn's series of books 'Tales of Otori', I think you will enjoy this book.


Book Synopsis
A cruel and powerful prince with ice-blue eyes and the voice of a dagger sheathed in silk - Sigvard of Wintermark will stop at nothing in his quest to find the Key...But to become immortal, unstoppable, unconquerable, he now needs to find the Lock of Animus. A peaceful, idyllic island off Okoku is savagely invaded and only Takeshi Senshi survives - the rest of his family and the island's inhabitants are brutally murdered. Now Takeshi, the boy with the unusual keyhole-shaped eyes, seeks revenge. Swordfights and sorcerers - this is a gripping story of good versus evil, courage and fear, love and hate.
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