Saturday, June 06, 2015

The Dark Thorn is a "Heliwr" of a Good Read

I couldn't resist the pun - sorry.  But you have to read the book to get the pun.

Anyway, Shawn Speakman was one of the many authors at Miscon 29.  And after the first panel I sat in on he was a member of, I was hooked.  Shawn (I will be so forward) is personable and funny.  I throughly enjoyed listening to him speak-the information he imparted was done with a great deal of humor.  If you ever have a chance to see him in person, please do so, he is a really nice person. Thus, when I found out the title of the book he wrote, I went home and downloaded the audio version.

photo from Grim Oak Press


You see, I had this notion, with all the sewing, knitting and crocheting I had to do, I would listen to the book and get through it eventually.  It is 17 hours of listening, after all.

I put Lady K down for the evening after our drive back from Missoula that evening, downloaded the book and threw a Lush bath bomb into the tub for a bit of relaxation.  I thought maybe a few pages and then hit the sack.

As the cliche goes..."the best laid plans of mice and men...".  

I have found myself over the past week taking walks, driving around, doing almost anything where I can listen to this book.  And regretting I don't have a paper version (which is on my wish list now).  
I will spring for it (or hopefully get a copy for my birthday) just so I can actually 'read' how Shawn writes.  This is one of the first books where I have been struck by the way a phrase is turned and I need to see it in black and white.  He writes descriptions that make my mouth water like a piece of good dark chocolate is dangling in front of my face.  He doesn't just have shadows, he has 'deep shadows' and windows without glass 'are gaping maws of mystery'.  And that's just in the first three paragraphs. 

The Dark Thorn starts with Richard McAllister who has been watching and guarding the portal in Seattle between our world and that of Anwnn, where the fey now reside.  He is aided by his ability to call forth the sword of Lancelot, Arondight.  Unfortunately, a young man, Bran, has stumbled into his world and is also being called to protect both this world and the world of Anwnn, something Richard warns him against becoming involved in.

Then you have the Vatican who is also involved, charged with the seven knights who protect the seven portals.  And the Cardinal Vicar has his own plans for what looks like a coming war between the outside world and the fey.

On the other side of the portals, Philip Plantagenet, the son of Henry II, rules and has plans to leave Anwnn and return to this world, bringing his army with him.

There is a triangle of men seeking to stop or start a war.  There is a triangle of love between Richard, Bran, the young man, and a young lady of Anwnn.  There are fairies and other fey, each more dangerous than the other.

Oh, and ancient relics.  All those Arthurian artifacts aren't just tales, they are real! I had to take a nap after the big battle scene I was so exhausted, it is that engrossing.

The BIG downside to this book?  The story continues and the book isn't out yet!  So I guess I'll just have to keep replaying the audio book until it does.


NOTE:  Savvy is really hard to embarrass with her theater background.  I can do just about anything and it doesn't faze her.  However, at Miscon on Sunday, Shawn and his wife were leaving and were right behind us on the hotel sidewalk.  I turned and said, "I have to let you know I really enjoyed you in my bathtub last night."  Needless to say, everyone came to an immediate halt.  Savvy is ready to throttle me and is going, "Mom, his wife is giving you the eye."  When I explained I had downloaded the audio book and started it last night while in the tub, his wife proved she has as good sense of humor as her husband and let me know, "I think I'm ok with that."  Savvy has stated we are going to review con etiquette before the next con I'm allowed to attend.



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