Sunday, 15 July 2012

Book review: The Time Weaver.


THE TIME WEAVER
By Thomas A. Knight.

As a child Seth Alkirk was always very taken by his father’s stories of another world, of magic and epic battles. Twenty-five years later Seth has little left of that childhood except scant memories and his father’s old book, which he has never been able to open. He is a software developer with not much of a social life but his thirtieth birthday brings promise of perhaps something more, but on his way to meet friends after work, a car crash hurls Seth into the midst of the very things his father’s stories told of.

On Galadir, the scryers’ discovery of a new Time Weaver promises a saviour, one that can heal the rifts created in their world long before, but those who serve the king are not the only ones to have made the discovery and the race between good and evil forces to claim the Time Weaver for themselves begins.

The king’s wizard, Merek, must retrieve the Time Weaver if he has any hope of saving Galadir from destruction. He dispatches Malia, a highly skilled Swordmage, to cross over to the other world and fetch the Time Weaver. Though the risks and consequences to herself are great, Malia accepts the task and steps through a rift, bringing the reality of another world and another possible future into Seth’s path.

My first impression of The Time Weaver was that the characters were all instantly likeable and so I was pulled immediately into the story and found myself rooting for them as the dangers grew. My second impression was that there is something incredibly unique about it. Nothing that happened was predictable or overly familiar, and nothing I had heard of the book before reading it prepared me for the scale of the story nor of the other world that is on offer in Galadir.

I think the strongest element of the writing here is the voice, which remains consistent throughout, and balances just the right amount of confidence, narrative knowledge and lighter tones to keep the reader interested and empathising with the characters. This leads into another great main strength – the protagonist; I felt he was a good rendition of a modern fantasy hero as he struggled to come to terms with his new life and his abilities having been completely removed from his comfort zone very early on.

Sometimes the traditional fantasy elements – dragons, magic, monsters and so forth – contrasted a little too sharply with the technological and scientific elements for my taste, but this did not detract from a story that was sound in its execution and is more of personal preference than any fault with the story.

The pace of the book is good and there is no lack of action at any point. If anything, occasionally the pace was perhaps too much and I felt pulled from a scene before I had time to fully digest what had happened or reflect upon it. There were a few times when I felt that having a moment to really appreciate the characters’ dilemmas or the consequences of an action would have heightened the depth of the story. Nonetheless this is a thoroughly enjoyable read, a strong introduction to a tale that is in no way lacking in scope or possibility and certainly the start of an epic adventure.

Elloise Hopkins.

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