Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Cannonball Read #3: Wit'ch Fire by James Clemens

"Wi'tch Fire" is a classic epic fantasy story that must be told over the course of 3 -4 books. Too bad I didn't know that when I started reading. In this book, it is mainly about the "let's get to know all the characters" part of the game. I guess given the length of the book, there was literally only time to take the main character and say, "these are the people that are going to travel with you on your quest". Because of this, the entire book felt extremely unfinished, kind of like I was reading chapters 1 and 2 of the entire story. 
Basically, the book begins in the land of Alasea where they are in the middle of a battle to remain independent from the evil forces of Gul'gotha aka The Black Heart aka the Dark Lord. (and p.s. why are all the evil ones dark and black? Lets get another evil colour representing the enemy forces for once!) Anyway, we meet Er'il who helps his brother Shorkan forge a Book that wille eventually save them. Cut to an unmentioned amount of time later, and we meet Elena who bears the mark of the lost power of her people, ie. a crimson hand. In essence, the usual happens, someone tries to kill her, her power gets away with her and she burns up some stuff thus creating the essential hero's moral dilemma of "my power is destructive I don't want it. but I'm The ONE. Oh what a responsibility!". At the end of the book, her band of merry travellers has found their way to her side, all of them for various and sundry reasons. 
1. Er'il - yes he's still alive hundreds of years later, oops. 
2. a nymphai (tree spirit) the last of her people. 
3   a elv'in who is searching for their long lost king. Guess who it is? (that's right sexist elv'in, your king is a girl)
4 a half shapeshifter half ogre who is on a quest to rid his og're clan of a curse. 
5. A pair of shapeshifter twins, one stuck in human form and the other stuck as a wolf. P.S. the human one is completely craven and whiny on top of everything else.

Blah Blah! Somehow this book had all of the elements of a great story and I found myself struggling through it  and even in writing this review, I don't really care. Somehow Clemens managed to write a book that was both interesting and forgettable at the same time. And did I mention that the plethora of apostrophes in all the names are quite annoying. Like the difference between Gulgothra and Gul'gothra is really all that significant?

I will be taking a break from fantasy from now on and concentrating more on different types of fiction. So next on my list is "Things Fall Apart" by Chinua Achebe. Wish me luck!


  1. I love Things Fall Apart! I think I read that in h.s. or something
    how do you add the links to you "Cannonball Read Books" List

  2. When you go to edit the list, there is a button on the toolbar called link. When you click that, you can just paste the web address of whatever you want to link to and click ok.