Aakuta: The Dark Mage
Book 4 of Forgotten
read ... recommended ... 5 stars
The narrative opens as Khador dismounts and gazes toward the mouth of a mighty river. The fertile river delta is to become Khadoratung; the capito lof Khadora. Khador plans to rule his land alone, no travelers other than traders will be allowed to cross mountains. From this beginning the reader is carried along on a quick paced romp including a young Torak soldier who has been chosen to accompany a caravan bound for Chantise. Netura is dismayed when he is told should an attack upon the caravan come he is to take no part in the battle, rather, squad leader Hira insists Netura must hurry and take word of the attack to Lord Marak.
With a view toward wreaking havoc; Jiadin armies have begin to penetrate the Khadoran clans. Vand’s emissary Karnic outlines an audacious plan. Brakas will assemble former Jiadin warriors. Karni will asume a leader in Omunga, Zygor must assume a leadership in the fourth clan. Marak, young lord of the Torak clan, would like nothing more than to live with the Chula and become a great shaman. This is not to be. An ancient scroll, a secret mage training field and the annual Assembly of Lords all figure in Marak’s plans. Although badly outnumbered Lord Marak volunteers his troops to stop the intruders. When Marak approaches the capital in hopes of securing assistance: Marak is dismayed to learn several powerful Khadoran lords are bent on assassinating him. Before long all the Khadoran lords are in league against him. Aakuta, an enigmatic male mage appears in Khadora. It is not long before he and Marak cross paths. Sakovan spies, a Fakaran thief, perfidy, disingenuousness, and plenty of action all accrue before LordMarak makes sense of a tangled web of machination. The Three Sisters Mountains, attack, an escape, and the Vandegar Temple are part of the intrigue. Lords’ Council and the nomination of Lord Marak to an important office round out the narrative.
With "Aakuta: The Dark Mage" writer Tuttle maintains his customary admirable writing in the exhilarative manner readers have come to anticipate. This vibrating tale seizes reader attention from the outset with a keenly focused account. Readers are propelled along on a breathless jaunt filled with first class dialogue, nicely interwoven plots, and a masterfully engineered story line in this narrative of struggle, treacherousness and conspiracy. Conflict abounds and is aptly resolved to reader satisfaction.
In each of his previous works Richard Tuttle’s abundant imagination has carried the reader on many an exciting journey filled with well portrayed, creditable characters, tart dialogue to move the tale forward, and deftly captured environment filled with exciting locations, situations and circumstance. "Aakuta: The Dark Mage" furthers reader enjoyment with people and lands introduced in the work all flourishing under Tuttle’s skillful pen.
"Aakuta: The Dark Mage" is a spine tingling read sure to please those who enjoy a good fantasy complete with quest, hero, magic and divertissement. This is an excellent choice for upper grade youngsters and young adult’s pleasure reading. All who enjoy the genre will find the work more than acceptable.
Enjoyed the read, happy to recommend.
of the Gods
Book 7 of Sword of Heavens
read ... recommended ... 5 stars
As with the other volumes of
the Sword of Heaven series, "Amethyst of the Gods"
opens with a Map detailing the land in which the tale is taken.
A recap of what has taken place to date is included to reacquaint
the reader with some of the action included in the previous works.
The Alcea Rangers Five collapse children Arik, Tedi, Tanya, Nikki
and Fredrik set out to restore the sapphire of the fairies to
the Sword of Heaven thus opening the way for the darkness covering
the land to be broken, light is now restored to the land of Cordonia.
Alex and Jenneva Tork; Garth and Kalina, serve as mentors to
the youngsters in their quest. Two of the young people are children
of the ancient prophecy. Other stones are sought next to complete
the Sword and return the land to its rightful inhabitants. The
Unicorn's Opal, Diamond of Edona, Dwarven Ruby, Emerald of the
Elves, Dragon's onyx all must be located. Wylan, Master Khatama,
King Arik, all figure in the tale. Emperor Hanchi attacks to
find himself facing both Sordoan armies and Melbin guards
Lanoirians breach city wall only
to be repelled, magically tossed away from ladder. Arik is aware
that Dalgar has nine black devils with him and decides that he
will not the magic produced either Tanya or Jenneva's until the
right time. Tanya's offer to weaken axles on siege engines, catapult
arms are quickly accepted by Arik.
The Army of Lanoir is huge, however
Sarac is willing to lose many men in his headlong quest to crush
Tagaret At the Tagaret Sword and Shield inn Alex and Jenneva
meet a spider: a spy and an old comrade.
A siege, a flag of truce, wild
horses and the evil priest of Leda all figure in the tale. The
mountain of death, an ancient bridge, the amethyst, trolls, and
Tanya falling into an abyss are more of the adventure. A door
that will not open, a battle with demons, a plan, love realized,
and a wedding round out the tale.
With "Amethyst of the Gods"
writer Tuttle rounds out the Sword of Heaven series in the same
exciting fashion readers have come to expect. Powerful motivations,
shrewdly interwoven, suspense filled story line, a complicated
yarn of treachery, strife judiciously resolved and a gratifying
culmination are all part of this impressive read.
Richard Tuttle's rich imagination
has carried the reader on an exciting journey from the days when
we first met the Alcea Rangers, suffered in the eternal darkness
and came to dread the evil Sarac to adventure upon adventure
as the various stones needed to complete the Sword of Heaven
and restore the light were located, retrieved and placed into
the handle of the weapon.
Credible characters, well fleshed,
struggling against all odds, colloquy filled with poignancy,
tingle and grit, all perform against an environment of noteworthy
scenes, reverberations and fragrance. The people and land all
come to life under Tuttle's skillful pen.
Exciting read sure to please
those who enjoy a good fantasy complete with quest, hero, magik
and divertissement. Nice addition to the home and school library
where Amethyst of the Gods is sure to be read by the upper grade
youngsters who enjoy the genre.
Book 5 of Sword of Heavens
the read ... highly recommended ... 5 stars
King Arik has been crowned. Lattimer
at the castle of man feels a shudder in the magic field, realizes
Arik is crowned and ponders what will come next. Sarac has been
growing more and more angry, however now he is calm. The dragons'
onyx is the next stone needed to complete the sword of heaven.
Sarac tells Lattimer he knows he has been confused, says his
magic force lifted off when the emerald was fitted into sword.
Sarac learned the spell for darkness from Alutar. Lattimer is
surprised to learn Alutar has tricked Sarac, and once the sword
is complete and the darkness gone Alutar will be returned. Lattimer
has persuaded strongest dragon, Gorga to Sarac's side and not
even Jenneva's powers will thwart Gorga in his determination
to keep the onyx. Black devil Dalgar has replaced Emperor Hanchi,
Sarac want's Hanchi's army to aid in his plan to destroy the
castle of Man, end the prophecy then find and destory Alutar.
Sarac must be killed with the
sword of heaven, Fredrik is practicing with the sword when Master
Mustar arrives to visit camp. Arik and his followers have been
waiting for the emerald to be restored to the sword. Mustar surprises
Fredrik when he says Arik must not be allowed to complete the
sword of heavens. Fredrik is confused because Mustar has come
to stop Arik. Mustar knows Alutar has fooled everyone. They think
Alutar is locked away, however this is not true. The darkness
has not been destroyed, it rolls away, and the darkness is alive
with essence of Alutar when the seventh stone is set in sword
then Alutar will coalesce from the darkness. It is Fredrik's
responsibility to explain Mustar's message to Arik. The onyx
must be retrieved, Arik decides to deal with the greater problem
of Alutar after the onyx is returned to the sword. Dragon Wyka
aids Arik, Gorga has been suffering from dementia for some time.
With the return of the onyx the darkness is rolled back, young
dragons fly after the retreating darkness to see where it has
gone. Wyka is returned to her royal state. And Arik and his followers
are ready for the final quest to find the last stone needed.
Following a recap of the sword
of heavens series to date Writer Tuttle's fertile imagination
again drives him forward. "Dragons' Onyx" is filled
many of the richly drawn series characters we have come to enjoy.
Dialog is fraught with excitement. Settings rich in detail as
Tuttle has filled his previous works continue in this gripping
narrative. Powerful motivations, twists of story line, abundant
conflict all are presented with the same enthusiasm, fervor of
setting and page turning fast paced drama found in the previous
offerings crafted by this talented author. "Dragons' Onyx"
brings the reader further into a land where craftiness and magic
rule. We are again treated to an abiding story peopled with characters
who only improve with each new offering. Victors grow more daring.
Scoundrels are more unscrupulous as they realize power is slipping
away from them. The young and intrepid continue aging, and still
have not lost exuberance or vitality.
"Dragons' Onyx" continues
Tuttle's fervid passion for the genre. Powerful motivations,
cleverly interwoven plot, profusely drawn settings filled with
incertitude are all part of what we have come to expect from
this quick-witted writer. The reader is drawn straight into the
ongoing tale from the opening paragraph of this installment when
we read of Lattimer and his realization that something has happened
in the magic fold of the world and is carried along on through
the exhilarative struggle waged by Arik and his followers. Reader
interest is maintained right down to the last paragraphs when
Wyka praises Arik for accomplishing what he must.
Excellent addition to the home
library for the fantasy enthusiast. Happy to recommend.
Book 4 of Sword of Heavens
the read ... highly recommended ... 5 stars
The saga of the Sword of Heavens
continues as The Alcea Rangers move forward in their mission
to retrieve the objects needed to send the darkness shrouding
the land into oblivion for all time. This particular episode
opens as Arik gazes up at the night sky. Tossing a glass bead
into the fire produces a smoke indicating where the quest will
lead next. The gem stone the group must now find is the Dwarven
Ruby. Tedi is heartened to know that his abducted mother is held
not far from where he and the stalwart Ranger band are encamped.
Master Khatma with the aid of Tanya and Jenneva is restored to
better health. His memory is shaky however the mage is alive.
Setting out with Boris, Nikki and Bin-lu Tedi vows to bring Lara
to safety or die in the attempt. The Rangers face a host of problems
of their own as they once again face goblins, ogres and Sarac's
Ravens. Fire glue, magic, lost memory all play an integral part
in this tale. Prince Midge once more serves as the eyes and ears
for Arik as the heir continues to thwart Sarac and his evil plans.
With the return of the ruby the Darkness is moved further from
the people Sarac has tormented for so long.
Once again Writer Tuttle's fertile
imagination holds him in good stead. "Dwarven Ruby"
is filled with all the calenture, fervor of setting and page
turning fast paced drama found in the previous offerings crafted
by this talented author. "Dwarven Ruby" brings the
reader further into a land where disingenuousness, hegemony and
magic rule. We are treated to an enduring saga peopled with characters
who continue to advance, evolve and improve in detail with each
new offering. Champions have become even more dauntless. Miscreants
are more villainous. The young and intrepid have aged, perhaps
mellowed a bit but have not lost the gallant verve of spirit.
This well written work showcases
Tuttle's fiery passion for the genre. Puissant motivations, propensity
for ingeniously interwoven story line, suspenseful lavishly drawn
settings are all part and parcel of what we have come to expect
from this clever writer. The reader is drawn straight into the
ongoing tale from the opening paragraph of this installment and
is carried along on an exciting scramble past those who are determined
to stop the Prince of Alcea any cost. Interest is sustained right
down to the last line when we find Master Khatma has once again
sustained a collapse.
The One Eyed God
Book 3 of Sword of Heavens
read …… highly recommended…….. 5 stars
The sapphire fitted into the
Sword of Heaven followed by the Unicorn's opal continues the
magical transformation begun in the world of the five collapse
children in the first and second books of this series. Diffusing,
pervading Darkness is almost completely gone now as the Alcea
Rangers continue their quest for the final gem, The Diamond of
Edona, which when added to the sword will push back the Darkness
even more. In this work we learn a bit more about 'Uncle Boris.'
The Warrior Unicorns along with the fairy band we met previously
have joined Arik, Tedi, Alex, Jenneva and Tanya as the quintet
press forward. Black Death, evil mages, pilgrims, and a strange
statue all figure in the tale as The Dark Ones forces endeavor
to keep his power intact. Arik and his band are again beset in
battle with goblins, Sarac's death squad who have already proven
so difficult continue their quest to destroy the heir. The breastplate
of Alcea worn by Arik is recognized as the one worn by King Auric
in days of old.
"Abuud The One Eyed God" is third in this series set
in a mythical land contrived by ingenious writer Richard Tuttle.
Tuttle's inventiveness again serves him well. "Abuud The
One Eyed God" is filled with all the vigorous, engaging
populace we have come to appreciate. Tuttle's unparalleled use
of language coupled with his invariably fecund imaginativeness
come to the fore in this well crafted composition. Writer Tuttle
once more sets hearty, palmary characters against a framework
of phenomenon, timbre and fragrance. Settings are described lush
detail allowing the reader to feel, see, smell and hear the milieu.
Tuttle's characters continue to be beleaguered with many of the
very imperfection and peculiarity as are found in all and it
is those peccadilloes that cause Tuttle wrought population to
be so believable. Hero and villain alike apperceive euphoria,
frustration, calamity, debacle as well as conquest. They all
exhibit about the same conduct as any of might in any given situation.
Of course, it is that eminence of emotion and performance is
precisely that causes Tuttle's books to be a delight to read.
Whether wicked or good, mortal, unicorn, or fairy the reader
is able to easily recognize the situation, the emotion felt by
the character and the behavior exhibited.
Completed with the ardent energy, assiduous course of action
and entertaining dialogue exemplifying each of Tuttle's works;
"Abuud The One Eyed God" is an electrifying read. The
reader is moved along from action to action, situation to situation
as the determined crusaders at last reach their goal. Told in
twenty-eight chapters the tumult continues through the battles,
adventures and the locating of the diamond.
Tuttle again adds a map of the known world, and a recap of the
two previous books of the Sword of Heaven series for those who
have not yet read the books. I enjoyed the read and look forward
to "Dwarven Ruby", the next in the series of seven
of the Fairies
Book 1 of Sword of Heavens
read …… highly recommended…….. 5 stars
Fisherman's Inn in Lorgo is shocked
into action by a woman's early morning screams. Arik Clava the
rabbit peddler has long held a fascination with what the old
world was like before the collapse of the universe. Esta Tern
the innkeeper is in no mood for either screaming women or inquisitive
youngsters. In the old days many merchants traveled from town
to town. Today Arik must make due with the occasional peddler
to help him broaden his understanding of the world in which he
lives. The arrival of Master Khatama signals a change coming
for Arik and his closest friend Tedi.
Meeting the bandit Garth, a gypsy
woman named Kalina and overhearing a chance conversation in a
distant town bring both young men more adventure than they had
dreamed possible living as the sons of fishermen in the little
village where they were born.
"Sapphire of the Fairies"
presents an array of acceptable characters set against an opulent
tapestry of clamor, redolence, liveliness and activity for the
reader to savor as they read through the pages of this well crafted
narrative. The Children of the Ancient Prophecy have managed
to avoid detection over the seventeen years elapsing since the
end of the Targa Tilogy. The baneful forces of Sarac are as busy
in pursuit of them as ever. Sarac is aware that the Children
exist. However no one, not even themselves, realizes which two
of the young travelers are the ones who are the true Children
of Prophecy. The Children join with gypsies to restore the ancient
Sword of Heavens. It is the only thing that can defeat Sarac.
In "Sapphire of the Fairies:
Book one of Sword of Heavens" Writer Tuttle has produced
another humdinger in his delightful first in a series. The enterprise
is filled with the well developed characters, pithy dialogue
and fast paced action we have enjoyed in Tuttle's previous works.
From the opening line where we are drawn into the action with
the screaming of an unseen woman right down to the last paragraph
when we at last understand role of "The Sapphire of the
Fairies" and what it portends for Arik the reader is held
Arik and Tedi are much more than
they might appear when first introduced, the villains are filled
with enough evil to thrill and the champions are heroic in every
sense. Author Tuttle's written output only improves as he continues
producing volume upon volume of excellent work. The twists and
turns of plot are a delight as always. One nice addition to this
manuscript is a full page map of the diversified areas offered
in the various series of works to date.
Enjoyed the read very much.
Book 3 of The Forgotten Legacy
the read ……. Highly Recommended
Because Rej collects teeth from
the sea to earn money for his village he is not present when
the small community is overrun and destroyed. Upon his return
to the hamlet Rej discovers a young woman hiding in the well.
She tells him she is hiding from the Red Riders who destroyed
his home and slew everyone he knew.
It is time for Brontos the trader
to return and Rej and Mistake set out with the old man when he
arrives. Brontos warns Rej that he should not bury the dead;
it will only alert someone or something that there was a survivor
and that can prove to be disastrous.
Rej and Mistake leave Brontos
as they continue on their journey to find the Sage of the Mountain.
The pair meet another youngster, become the property of slavers,
meet the Sage, and begin a new life none of them realized they
Filled with lots of adventure,
excitement, magic and intrigue "Web of Deceit" is the
third in this well developed series produced by writer Richard
Tuttle. "Web of Deceit" is filled with the same admirable
clever writing, collection of appealing characters and well wrought
story line we have come to enjoy in the previous works. Dialogue
is snappy, often tart, and fiduciary as the various characters
interact with one another. Situations are developed in a plausible
manner by writer Tuttle. Battle scenes are filled with enough
magic and stress to please the most discriminating reader of
The reader is drawn right into
the narrative offered in "Web of Deceit" from the opening
scene as we peer down upon the decimated army standing along
the Qu River. Tuttle's excellent descriptive writing keeps the
reader moving on an exciting clash of emotion as Rej and Mistake
meet first one adversity and then another until at last the book
ends on a satisfying, not wholly predictable note.
"Web of Deceit" continues
the excitement we found in Tuttle's Young Lord of Khadora and
Star of Sakova. Those who relish the genre will enjoy Web of
Book 2 of The Forgotten Legacy
read - highly recommended
Following a brutal and horrifying
attack upon The Omunga Academy of Magic young Lyra is one of
the few survivors. Still smarting from the reprimand they have
received by Lyra's mother Rhodella Lyra, Syman and Antello the
young trio hear the sounds of the attack taking place inside
the fortress. The three youngsters hide in the now dry moat until
the sounds of carnage are stilled. Only the dead and dying are
left inside the stronghold when the trio creep inside. Master
Malafar has been taken by the unknown brutes, Rhodella lies dying.
With her mother's enigmatic dying
words ringing in her ears Lyra and her two young companions set
out for her uncle's home. Why she must go to Temkier is something
Lyra does not understand, however her mother's directive propels
her forward. Lyra has learned magic from her father, however
Malafar has long held a repugnance for magic as a weapon. Lyra
is astonished to learn from another survivor that during the
attack her mother Rhodella was herself proved a Master Mage and
fought with skill and vengeance to protect the students and her
What other secrets she may uncover
regarding her parents Lyra cannot imagine as she sets out on
a dangerous cross-country trek for the home of her uncle. The
attackers have planned well, appear to forecast her every move
and before long even the government has joined the quest for
Lyra. She is forced to enter the fearful land of the Sakova filled
with rapacious animals, inexplicable divination and even cannibals.
Sakova is a region that does not look kindly upon interlopers,
however it is the only avenue available to Lyra as she puzzles
why anyone would kill so many people in order to abduct her father.
The answer to that question as well as the secrets of her own
heritage is one that will cause Lyra even more anguish as she
struggles to unravel the enigma.
Come observe an extraordinary
land springing from the fertile mind of Writer Tuttle on the
pages of The Star of Sakova. It is a land where we find a barbarous
people who continue to try to finish the abrogation of a populace
begun long ago, magic spells, governmental machination and a
particularly dastardly form of disingenuousness. The Star of
Sakova is an exciting work continuing the saga begun in Tuttle's
Young Lord of Khadora. Evocative of Linda Suzanne's hard hitting
tumult found among the Insu-ha people of her Eyes of Truth, The
Star of Sakova is a fast paced action packed work occupied with
a rich tapestry of spectacle, timbre, conflict and duplicity.
Writer Tuttle continues his excellent work begun in Young Lord
of Khadora with this second in the series.
The Star of Sakova is a well
crafted tale filled with nicely fleshed out characters along
with excellent plots and plenty of accomplishment meant to capture
the interest of the reader from the outset. The sounds of the
carnage taking place just beyond the sight of the three young
people is made more compelling because writer Tuttle does not
over do the barrage. He gives just enough description to allow
the reader to 'see' the attack before the results of the encounter
are presented. It is a compelling technique used to perfection
for drawing the reader right into the opening paragraphs of the
work. The action never stops as the reader is carried along on
a wild journey filled with everything we have come to expect
from excellent writers of fantasy sci-fi. Tuttle is a fine young
writer to be reckoned with in the genre. The plot, cabal and
just plain good writing fulfills the plan of the writer and leaves
the reader hungry for more.
The Star of Sakova will be followed
by Web of Deceit. I look forward to receiving the next in the
series for review. Tuttle's website has much information regarding
the various fantasy sci-fi series he is writing, and is even
complete with maps of the locales. The Lost Legacy data can be
Lord of Khadora
During ages past the world where
Marak lives was overrun by imposing armies engrossed toward shaping
a new home for themselves wherein the indigenous people become
slaves working for the elite few. A few of the genial native
peoples were successful in running away from the ravaging Khadoran
swarm. Most did not succeed in finding safe hiding places.
Marak is not the usual clan soldier.
His mother is a mage slave to the clan lord, as such Marak is
not allowed to even speak to her. His unknown father is supposed
to be dead. The fearsome Chula cat people have been decimating
the clan lord's slave lumbermen as they work to bring in the
quota of timber from the Stari Valley. Situ soldiers are sent
to protect the lumberman. As a warning to those waiting for the
logs Togi alone is left alive to carry back the shredded bodies.
Following the attack Marak is
sent on a fool's errand against the Chula. What sets Marak apart
from the other soldier slaves is his antipathy for Khadoran civilization.
In Khadoran civilization the mages are most always slaves who
mind fields, soldiers are taught to follow orders without thought
of consequence. The workers on the various clan estates are treated
much as are the actual slaves. The young soldier sets out to
effect near impossible changes by using his military deftness,
penetrating militant mind and even a little of his mother's powers.
Marak does not know how the local
population will relate to his innovative thoughts. However he
is determined to begin a reformation of the society into which
he has been born. It is not long before Marak faces the Chula,
the clan to which he belongs, rival clan lords and what seems
to be near impossible odds against success. Along his journey
the young soldier is astounded to learn his father is not dead,
and his own mantle as slave is not one he will always wear.
Writer Tuttle has a fine start
on a fantasy series based on another world filled with well developed
situations, people, locations and mores. The Young Lord of Khadora
is a fast paced action filled work that reaches out to grab the
reader from the opening scenes when we begin to understand what
this strange and often time dangerous world the land of the Khadoran's
is all about. Tuttle's main character is a likeable young man
torn between his duty as military squad leader and his love for
the only parent he has known.
The Young Lord of Khadora is
filled with gritty scenes and gritty dialogue sure to keep the
reader on the edge of the seat. Marak faces not only the unfairness
of having to pretend his mother is not right before him most
of the time, but his commanding officer wants to cause Marak
a problem that will lead to the youngster becoming a slave as
is his mother. The reader is drawn right into the turmoil by
Tuttle's clever use of language. Before long the reader is cheering
as Marak begins to see his life improving a little.
The Young Lord of Khadora is
a must read for those who enjoy 'other world' and fantastical
characters presented in a plausible manner by a skilful weaver
© 2000 by Molly Martin