Molly's Reviews

Rogue ThiefBrendell, RogueThief
Patrick Welch
Double Dragon eBooks

Entertaining Read ... Highly Recommended ... 5 stars

The narrative opens in Hannis Bay where Brendell is breaking into the Thief Guild offices. Brendell intends to right the wrong played upon his father. It was not a rogue thief, but a contract through the guild that caused a thief to steal everything Brendell had sent to his father,money, mementos, everything. After sending warning letters to each of his siblings Brendell set out to become a security consultant and prevent the guild from carrying out its contracts. The contract on Galus Norr in Banikís Cove is Brendellís first destination. A run in with members of the Assassins Guild, capture and the puzzlement deepens before an invitation to join the Assassins Guild comes as a bit of a surprise. Brendell meets Guild master Garoff Cistonarov, receives his first assignment and begins a ride to Houff. More danger, more problems and capture by the Thief Guild follow. A surprise meeting with an old crony, carping among the guilds, and Brendell thrown into a dungeon; what more could possibly take place? Brendell will soon discover he does not want to know the answer.

In this exciting sequel to "Brendell, Apprentice Thief" Writer Welch has crafted a well-written, intricate account overflowing with zestful deception, potent emotions, and precarious stratagem all ingeniously interwoven to grant the reader a spine tingling journey from opening page to ending paragraph. Welchís invariably busy, creative mind offers a fast paced work filled with engaging characters, snappy dialogue and absorbing yarn all set against a framework of staggering spectacle and reverberation, fragrance and ambiance sure to draw the reader straight into the tale and hold interest fast to the end. The reader is caught up in the action, we breathe the smoke of campfires, experience Brendellís heart pounding attempts to escape and shiver at each re-capture. Brendellís torment following the perfidiousness of his Guild is predictable, comprehensible and quite plausible. Infuriated and feeling forsaken by his guild Brendellís determination to exact retribution is something the reader can fully understand. Conflict abounds. Exhilarative accomplishments, well fleshed characters, a splendidly masterminded storyline: writer Welch proffers a razor sharp, focused narrative with drollery and eclat in this thrill packed work.

"Brendell, RogueThief" is a banner book for the home pleasure library as well as the upper middle grades through high school reading list. Readers will relish reading "Brendell, RogueThief" equally before ablazing winter fire, or as a way to enjoyably pass a long summer afternoon spent sipping iced tea and reading out on the porch.

Enjoyed the read, very happy to recommend.

Before and BeyondBefore and Beyond
Patrick Welch
Double Dragon eBooks

Something for Everyone ... Highly Recommended ... 5 Stars

The opening story Demon in a Box appeared first in Twilight Times. It is a good strong commencement piece for the complete volume. Demon Ahibhenzen has been given to mage Cylydar by chief demon Fhennezel. Ahibenzen does not understand or like the new situation much. Bingo is a family pet with a mind of his own, his family's decisions may not be the best. Ghosts of Dawn is a tale starring my favorite Criminal Consultants: Doakes and Haig. The Cage Within with its enemy of the state preparing for trial is a stark presentation. Setting off for exile the prisoner is already plotting his return. Professor Prumpe plays an integral part in A Frozen Moment. Prumpe utters his immortal line 'a niche in stein saves time.'

Writer Welch has gathered an aggregation of certain of his best short works into one delightful offering. This acclaimed author's compositions have appeared in well-known periodicals: The Orphic, Chronicle, Jackhammer, Pegasus Online, Titan, Dark Muse and other works.

Welch as always presents the reader with judiciously interwoven scenarios, engrossing characters, and generously drawn environments. In his foreward Welch states he has rearranged the tales so that the Science Fiction-Fantasy are kept together. Excellent choice. This master storyteller cleverly presents each of the well-written tales showcased in this work. The one change I might suggest would be a table of contents per se so that the reader with limited time available can quickly choose one tale to read and not have to hunt for one.

From demons to Pandora, to criminal consultants or funny cliches Writer Welch hones his shrewd forte for knowing unequivocally what will keep the reader absorbed and turning the page. Each tale is fully developed in itself, with each presenting well engineered characters, appealing scenarios and effective colloquy. The tales are long enough to satisfy, short enough to be read 'on the fly' so to speak.

Enjoyed the read, happy to recommend.

CynnadorCynnador
Patrick Welch
Twilight Times Books

Interesting read ... Recommended ... 5 Stars

The thriving community of Cynnador spreads across the vast Istoghian Plain. Those who would attack the affluent community to plunder the riches there find their plans mysteriously thwarted. Something is protecting Cynnador. Merchants come and go in the community. The evil, mendacious and dishonest need not apply. Lady Aethia controls the only major industry in the area with an iron first. Down in the catacombs something resides. Maybe it is demons,
maybe it is magic. Whenever those who would cheat in the market attempt to ply their nefarious wares strange things begin to happen, their profits are non existent and confusion reigns. It is not long before the treacherous pull up stakes and move on to more conducive locales.

Breen the thief is taken into the catacombs with Master Magician Wyxham, Pa'ak, Oido, Pfannig, Coricoco and Bhruhan. Not all of them will return. Why Lady Aethia insisted Breen accompany the group will become painfully clear. Deep inside the mountain the group comes upon something shocking. Something that has nothing to do with magic or demons.

Writer Welch has again taken an intriguing premise and has produced a pleasantly puzzling tale around the notion. In Cynnador Welch ponders what might happen if a space ship were to crash into the soil and remain intact enough that the protective systems continue to function? Deep in the catacombs below the city Welch's space ship has been entombed for years. Cynnador is indeed protected by something but it is neither magic nor demon.

"Cynnador" is a gripping tale drawing the reader into the narrative from the outset as we travel in the catacombs with Magician Wyxham. Writer Welch's skillful writing technique keeps the reader on the edge of the seat, in this ingeniously convoluted yarn filled with twists and turns, noteworthy characters and extraordinary situations. We see the sights and smell the scents of the market, feel the terror of the oppressed, traipse along on the journey deep into the catacombs searching for the elusive answer to our questions.

The mystery of the catacombs is presented in exemplary fashion by this master storyteller. Writer Welch's attention to spine tingling action, extraordinary dialogue and engaging suspense are carried out against an environment filled with profuse discord aptly resolved. Welch's nicely defined society portrayed in "Cynnador" is well thought out, believable and crafted with an eye to detail. Welch deftly captures all the variances found in communities whether on this world, or in another.

Another excellent read from an extraordinary writer. Enjoyed the read. Happy to recommend.


Brendell Apprentice ThiefBrendell Apprentice Thief
Patrick Welch
Double Dragon E Books
Entertaining read ... recommended

"Brendell Apprentice Thief" is a book of a dozen separate episodes plus an introduction and an epilogue. Episodes chart the travails of Brendell; one of the more inept members of the Thief Guild. This young apprentice muddles, stumbles and bumbles his way through assignments and mostly comes out okay at the end. Episodes in this book include Slipped Disk, Contract Flaw, Rites of Tenure, Statute of Limitations, Thief of Hearts, Scepter Fidelis, Diary case, Symbol Logic, Tiny Losses, Guardian Angle, The claws of the Dragon, and Far Site. My personal favorite was The Claws of the Dragon.

Brendell has been sent by the Guild to discover why Guild members have been disappearing after arriving at the domain of Lord Bandikane. Bandikane has been said to have come into possession of dragon claws. Apprentice Thieves such as Brendell must work from contract with only an occasional thievery to help fill their purse. Master Thieves of course are not required to follow this rule and Alanzac decided to take the claws for himself. He did not return, nor did Master Thief Wysoc or the Journeyman sent to inquire after them. Brendell now finds himself working in the Lord's kitchen and hoping find both the claws and some information regarding the lost Guild members. Some sticky moments arise before Brendell unravels the mystery of the claws and makes his escape. Upon his return to Port Challort Brendell is gratified to learn he has accomplished what had seemed impossible. Brendell is now a Journeyman Thief.

"Brendell Apprentice Thief" is the second book I have read by writer Patrick Welch. The first The Casebook of Doakes and Haig was also written in this episode fashion, and I found the technique to be very effective in both works. I enjoyed reading about Brendell and his less than stellar feats as he endeavors to please his superiors and prove himself worthy. Writer Welch has crafted a highly readable and enjoyable work filled with interesting characters.

"Brendell Apprentice Thief" is told in first person by Brendell himself, and this is not an easy technique to carry off. Author Welch has done a very credible job for himself. Brendell and his human frailties only add to the enjoyment of the reader.

This is a book that will have appeal to women, teens and even many die hard fantasy readers.

Enjoyed the read!

The CasebookThe Casebook of Doakes and Haig
Patrick Welch
Twilight Times books
Highly Recommended

The Casebook of Doakes & Haig is an anthology of an incredible pair of 'English' detectives living in an alternate universe. This alternate world created by writer Welch is an English colonial empire where neither automobiles nor airplanes have yet appeared.

The local London citizenry has enjoyed cooking with leprechaun Haig's sweetener; which the less than hand size tall fellow has been stirring up in Doakes' kitchen for years. The recipe includes suet, wintergreen, lavender and a number of other yummy ingredients. Sean Doakes, human, is a shop owner hawking the sweetner created by his sprite cohort Haig. In the narrative 'A Small Matter of Murder' Haig who as been passed from father to son for generations 'like a family heirloom' and Doakes become 'Criminal Consultants' when they work to solve the peculiar circumstances surrounding the killing of one of their best liked customers. Mrs. McLeary has been killed, and Doakes and Haig smell a rat. The six short yarns offered in the book include as well 'Savage Customs,' 'Murderous Obligations,' 'Fatal Impressions,' 'Cat's Moon Rising,' and 'Golden Talons.' Each is as delightful reading as is the first.

Author Welch is a talented writer whose writing is reminiscent of the hilarity found in the words of Walker Joe Jackson another 'tongue-in-cheek' novelist. Criminal Consultants Doakes and Haig find themselves unraveling a puzzle in 'Savage Customs' when they work to solve a murder by tomahawk involving an Indian from the American colonies. 'Murderous Obligations' sends the duo into action to untangle a man's homicide before it takes place. More killing and a determination to create problems in the Colonies provide increased opportunity for the twosome to hone their 'Criminal Consultant' skills. 'Cat's Moon Rising' is a fascinating tale in which Egyptian Maus suddenly go missing all over London. Haig wants no part of the catnapping until he realizes exactly the type of cat that is being kidnapped. The leprechaun is galvanized into action and Sean Doakes is soon embroiled in one of his strangest mysteries. The work finishes up with the narrative 'Golden Talons' when Doakes and Haig travel to the colonies and set out on a quest for The Lost City of Gold.

Writer Welch has produced a marvelous group of entertaining anecdotes in his The Casebook of Doakes and Haig. Welch and his penchant for tongue-in-cheek has created a delightful group of characters in his fast paced narratives. This is a fun read for a lazy afternoon. I look forward to reading more of Doakes and Haig soon.

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© 2005 by Molly Martin