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 Beyond
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
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.
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 Thief
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 Casebook of Doakes and Haig
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.
© 2005 by Molly Martin