________________ CM . . . . Volume XX Number 19. . . .January 17, 2014


The Tree of Story. (The Perilous Realm, Bk. 3).

Thomas Wharton.
Toronto, ON: Doubleday Canada, 2013.
416 pp., hardcover & epub, $22.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-0-385-66459-2 (hc.), ISBN 978-0-385-68083-7 (epub).

Grades 7 and up / Ages 12 and up.

Review by Ronald Hore.

*** /4



The young man stopped near the truck. He nodded to the woman at the fire and smiled at the little boy and girl, who stared at him without expression. He addressed the man working under the hood.

Can I help?” he asked.

The man glanced up, a scowl on his grease-smeared face.

“You carry a spare engine?”

“Not today,” the young man said.

no, you can’t help,” the man said, and went back to his work.

“Do you have anything to eat?” the little boy asked.

The young man shook his head and the boy’s gaze moved past him as though he were no longer there. The girl standing in the road gave him a brief unwelcoming glance and turned her back.

“I do have something that might be useful,” the young man said.

“What is it? The little girl asked.



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.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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