CM . . .
. Volume XX Number 19. . . .January 17, 2014
The Tree of Story is the third volume in “The Perilous Realm” trilogy. The other two books are The Shadow of Malabron and The Fathomless Fire. The book opens with a brief author biography followed by three pages listing the cast of characters and three pages giving a brief synopsis of the first two books. These sections and other additional information at the end are useful for anyone who has forgotten the previous plot details or who is starting with this volume. The 416 page book is broken into 25 chapters and ends with a four page glossary of terms used, a page showing the cover illustrations from the first two in the series, and two pages of acknowledgments.
The story is told from the point of view of several characters, usually using the device of presenting them in separate chapters which simplifies following along. The main characters are Will, a youth from our own world, and Rowan, a mysterious girl from out of the World of Story. They have two main tasks: to rescue her grandfather, the loremaster Nicholas Pendrake, and to stop the evil Malabron from destroying Rowan’s world and turning it into the Shadow Realm. The hosts of good and evil gather before the city of Fable where the final battle will be fought. While the armies of the good set up camp outside the walls of Fable to prepare for the war, inside, a rival to Pendrake, devious Ammon Brax, has set himself up as Marshall of Fable, planning to take the city for himself.
This world is inhabited by all sorts of strange characters and creatures, both good and bad. Will and Rowan are accompanied by Shade, a talking giant wolf who is gradually falling under Malabron’s spell. It is a tale with magic and adventure. The final chapters revolve around the battle and the tying up of the loose plot ends.
Well-written, with good use of language, The Tree of Story should hold the interest of the reader who enjoys daring tales of good vs evil set in a fantastic world. While this book is enjoyable on its own, read with the previous volumes makes for a more well-rounded experience that can be enjoyed by fans of the fantastic of all ages.
Ronald Hore, a member of several writing groups, pens medieval-style fantasy and fantasy detective stories in Winnipeg, MB.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.