Book one in The War for the North.
WAR IS DESCENDING UPON SECOND EARTH. Red winds howl. Monstrous armies march. Foul powers from the past rise……… In Druintir, ancient city of the Fiannar, a dashing young Ambassador from the Erelian Republic finds himself embroiled in both the preparations for war and the fiery heart of a beautiful Fiannian Shield Maiden. From Druintir three legendary heroes are selected. WAR IS DESCENDING UPON SECOND EARTH. Red winds howl. Monstrous armies march. Foul powers from the past rise……… In Druintir, ancient city of the Fiannar, a dashing young Ambassador from the Erelian Republic finds himself embroiled in both the preparations for war and the fiery heart of a beautiful Fiannian Shield Maiden. From Druintir three legendary heroes are selected and sent on a final desperate quest of destruction. Upon Druintir marches the torrential tide of the Blood King’s army; at its head the horrid demonic creatures called Waif and Urchin, the formidable Halflord and his indomitable Bloodspawn…….. Beneath banners bright and beautiful, and aided by allies old and new, the doughty yet dwindled Fiannar ready for a war they know may very well be their last………. Drawing from history, mythology, philosophy and theology, the story is exquisitely layered, extremely well-written, with strong plot, sub-plot and character developments. Humour, horror and heroism abound, and the places, people and relationships are compellingly believable and captivating. Comparisons to classics like Lord of the Rings and to modern popular fantasy epics such as Game of Thrones are inevitable, but the author has certainly carved his own distinct niche between the two with his unique style and fearless deviation from the standard tried and true formulaic fantasy tale. Brilliantly done
5 /5 Stars
This book is one of those lovely surprises I receive occasionally in my book reading travels. No hyped publicity telling me how wonderful this book is and I must buy it, no author’s face / cover art all over my media feed. This book and it’s author came to my attention through friends and I believe that can be the best way to discover new things.
Sean Rodden writes in a lyrical almost old fashioned style. There is lots of wonderful imagery and the author is a very competent with his play of language. As it says in the synopsis there is definitely LOTR comparisons but the author has his own unique style and his creation of Second Earth is all his own. The history and mythology are detailed and well constructed. The quotes and verse at the beginning of each chapter are an extra treat. There are horror elements, written deftly, subtly, but still dark and shocking. There are places and people of magic and beauty shimmering amongst the demonic forces destroying their world. Multiple layers of secrets, both political and personal to intrigue the reader. And there is great humour, droll and dry just the way I like it.
But the characters are the stars of this book. Axennus & Bronnus Teagh, the Erelian brothers, Ambassador and Captain, leaders of the North March Mounted Reserve. The interactions between these two had me chuckling as I read. Teji Nashi the Dice man healer who is so much more. Runningwolf the Rheln man, outcast and spirit warrior. The other members of the North March Mounted Reserve. The majestic Fiannar. The unyielding Daradur. The Athair Sun Knights. Kor ben Dor leader of the Bloodspawn and his Black Shield warriors. There are so many more. All well fleshed, compelling and well written characters.
I will finish with this quote from Chapter 7.
“Few are the sorrows that surpass
that of a good tale gone untold”
Old Erelian Toast
There is no sorrow, the good tale is told.
SEAN RODDEN : PROFILE & INTERVIEW.
Sean Rodden is a native of Ontario. He shares his home with one cat, two dogs, five turtles and three children. When he isn’t writing Sean runs a Specialty Steel Business, enjoys the great outdoors and follows the Toronto Maple Leaf Hockey Team. He collects Belleek Pottery from Ireland, likes his food Hot ( extra sauce on Double Suicide Wings) and his music to be in the Melodic Metal and Hard Rock genres. His favourite band is ACCEPT. He has happily found a near perfect work, writing, leisure formula that is envied by many.
SR: I was always an avid reader, so I suppose it was only a matter of time before I started writing. My first real effort came in the second half of grade eight. My best buddy and I were so far ahead of the rest of the Language Arts class that the teacher suggested we each use the time to write a story. Mine was a mythological fantasy set in post-Iliad ancient Greece called ‘The Aster’ (yeah, I was a little nerdy). As I remember, it was quite the tale, but the teacher failed to return the story, and she quit teaching at the end of the year (because our class was just THAT bad), so the story is long lost now. Since that time I’ve written several short and long stories, hundreds of poems, and a few abandoned efforts at novels, until finally completing ‘Whispers of War’. So yeah, writing has been with me most of my life.
BCN: Are there any books or authors in particular that you find inspirational?
SR: My inspiration comes from all over – mythology, history, life experience – but I often feel pumped to write after reading a good book, especially good epic fantasy. The great Canadian writers Guy Gavriel Kay, R. Scott Bakker and Steven Erikson often leave me drooling to write. And, of course, anything Tolkien can cause me to make a mad dash for the pen or ‘puter.
BCN: Where do you find your characters? Do you use people, personalities you like/loath you see or know? Or see something on TV or other places? Or do they appear as the story unfolds?
SR: I tend to take the easy road and write about things I know. The story creates the characters, but the writer gives them their personalities. I often apply aspects of personalities of people I know or with whom I am familiar, and exaggerate or downplay these as necessary. I usually have a good sense of each character beforehand, but sometimes I feel the need to go back and adjust somewhat as the story fills itself out on the page. And yeah, I’ve even been known to slip myself in there a time or two…
BCN: Do you have a writing routine? Or is it something that when inspiration strikes you write non stop till you have it all out?
SR: I have absolutely no writing routine whatsoever. It comes when it comes, and when inspiration strikes, it tends not to last very long – an hour or two, tops. I usually write one to three pages at a go, then leave it for a least a day, usually more. If I try to force it, it turns out like shit, only worse. I don’t control it, it controls me.
BCN: I know I liked the fantasy aspects in Whispers of War, do you think there is a move away from traditional fantasy by authors and readers ?
SR: Yeah, and I don’t like it. But to each his or her own. I prefer classic epic fantasy with a strong poetic foundation. I do find the drift into graphic sex and violence, and especially pedophelia, in modern fantasy to be very disturbing. I believe the author has a responsibility to his reader. Apparently, the traditional publishing world and some of its most successful writers disagree. Oh well.
BCN: What is next for your readers? I know I am looking forward to the next book Roars of War.
SR: ‘Roars of War’ is coming along nicely…shooting for early 2016. Following the release of ROW there will be larger single volume version of ‘The War for the North’, which will include WOW, ROW, a related short story or two, and an expanded glossary of sorts. Should make for one big-ass book!
BCN: What is your favourite cake?
SR: Well, before this it would have been cherry cheesecake – I always asked for cheesecake for my birthday when I was a kid ( just another reason for my friends to think me weird)…but now I guess it has to be Bloody Cake! Just hope it doesn’t have too many calories…the old metabolism isn’t what it once was…
Thank you Sean for your time and the confectionery flattery.
By Leanne Ellis
Sean Rodden can be contacted through facebook https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=806265726&fref=ts
and has profiles on both Goodreads and Amazon.