Wednesday 16 February 2011

Fantasy and History Spring to Life: A Review of The Ash Spear

My Book Review of The Ash Spear by G.R. Grove:

The Ash Spear by G. R. Grove is an entertaining fantasy novel with a lyrical, engaging narrative; it is a spirited book with a strong voice. The book is the third entry in the author’s Storyteller series (Storyteller and Flight of the Hawk being the others). I haven’t read the other books, but I found this novel stands on its own without confusing the reader on what went before.

The Ash Spear is set in sixth century Britain and tells of the continuing adventures of the bard-in-training Gwernin as he encounters kings, politics, war and hardship. I was impressed with the setting and background; the author did impeccable research and the history is brought to life with magnificent detail.

Written in the first person, the tale is spun with an effective tone, well flavoured in nuance and the right inflections. The narrating character is a genuine portrayal, coming across as a three-dimensional person with flaws. He was at various times amusing, heroic, irritating and unsympathetic, but always interesting. The book also does a nice job in depicting other characters and having them interact as a whole.

The Ash Spear does have a few problems, with occasional lapses in grammar and some poorly compiled sentence structure in the beginning of the novel. Also, the author ended the chapters with the same sentence, which I found quite annoying and repetitive. The novel, perhaps, could have benefitted from a shorter length as well; while beautifully written, some of the scenes had expansive descriptive passages which caused the pace to meander a bit.

Still, it was an enjoyable novel to read and appealing enough for me to consider reading the rest of the series.

The Ash Spear is available through Smashwords
and Amazon:

Bonus Review:

My Book Review of Storyteller Songs by G. R. Grove:

Storyteller Songs by G. R. Grove is a unique mix of bardic style poetry and book excerpts. It is more of an introduction to the form and flavor of the author than a book of poetry, as the book consists of various poetic selections from the author’s Storyteller series, and a few passages of text. It basically gives a quick sampling of the novels without excessively spoiling their plotlines.

I enjoyed the poetry; it is excellent, nicely crafted, lyrical, and captures the essence of ancient Celtic culture. There is a graceful, evocative quality to the poems and it isn’t hard to imagine sitting in an archaic feasting hall listening to the words. Also, the surrounding prose that accompanies the verses is a tantalizing tease that piqued my interest in the books.

The book was a pleasant short read, and I think it makes a nice companion volume for the Storyteller series.

Storyteller Songs is available at Smashwords

and Amazon:

1 comment:

Sheila Deeth said...

Sounds perfect for me. I grew up on Rosemary Sutcliffe and love stories set in ancient Britain.

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