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4.6 out of 5 stars
White Mountain
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Showing 1-6 of 6 reviews(Format: Kindle Edition). See all 22 reviews
on 4 October 2015
White Mountain, by Sophie E. Tallis is a traditional fantasy story about the fight between good and evil. It is a story suitable for the young and the more seasoned.

The start and middle of this story takes the reader on an interesting journey to a number of magical places. The world building is reminiscent of Tolkien with the detail of names, places and history, but written in and easy to read and simple style. This is not an easy thing, so well done Ellis.

The characters are really enjoyable to read about. Mr A. Marval, a wizard who takes the main role in the story, is well developed and unique enough to not be too comparable to other wizards in other well known stories. I loved Garlen, how could I not, he's courageous and loyal, and a dragon.
I did not feel any strong emotional connection to the characters, however, until the end. For me, it was hard to do anything more than sympathise for the plight of their journey. I prefer the next level of really having empathy for them, but I guess that can't be helped as it's a very individual thing.

There were times the story dragged a little and perhaps it could have been condensed a little, but that, again, is just my personal opinion. The story is still really good the way it is. The best part of this story for me was the battle scene towards the end. It is very well written and has interesting developments I found really grabbed my attention. The story has an emotional and satisfying ending which leaves it open for the next part of the journey.

Ellis, clearly has a wonderful imagination and the illustrations are incredible. Overall, this story didn't wow me, but it is a very good read and enjoyable. Ellis is certainly a talented writer and there are many who will really enjoy this tale so take a look and definitely give it a read. I look forward to reading more of her stories.
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on 3 August 2015
This novel, the first in a projected series, is set both in our world and alongside it, in the spaces between things, in the lost forests and hidden mountain caverns of an otherworld that’s almost close enough to touch. Three friends, Marvalla Agyk, his dragon companion Gralen, and the young witch Wendya, are drawn into a quest to defeat an evil changeling wizard whose dark sorcery threatens both the supernatural world and the human one. It is predicted that one of them will not survive the encounter…

It’s clear that Sophie Tallis takes great delight both in playing with language and in the natural world. She has said the novel was inspired by nature and landscape and that comes through in her writing, in the descriptions of the world the travellers pass through and the deft turns of phrase that lift this above a standard magical quest. It owes a debt to the the past masters of fantasy, to Tolkien and Lewis, and it’s a book that isn’t afraid to wear its heart on its sleeve. Traditional fantasy, maybe, but with a playful modern touch.

One aspect where the book falls down slightly is the constantly shifting point of view, particularly noticeable in the final climactic battle with the evil Morreck at his semi-living fortress. The author tries to show the perspective of the battle from the point of view of around half-a-dozen different characters, leading to a series of short, very choppy scenes that prevent the reader from becoming fully immersed in the three heroes fight for life, at a time when the story would really benefit from having just one or two viewpoint characters. But hey, I’d rather see an author trying hard and not quite hitting the mark than being lazy and not trying at all, and it’s clear Sophie Tallis has put her all into White Mountain.

The book isn’t marketed as YA, but I think it would suit early teen readers finding their way into fantasy, and anyone who takes delight in clever language and timeless storytelling.
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on 1 April 2015
Tallis' novel will please any fantasy fan. It is rich with a myriad of mythologies which help create a vibrant, believable world of magic that exists beside our own. White Mountain, follows Mr M.Agyk, an elderly Mage, seeking to recapture his powers stolen from him by an ancient and insidious foe. He is joined by Gralen, the last dragon, and Wendya a young witch of mysterious heritage. We see the troop travel from the Arctic to the jungles of the Amazon to the Himalayas in their breathtaking quest, confronting and conquering devious Oracles, nightmare beasts and their own fears. I am excited for the 2nd part of the Darkling Chronicles, as the first one ended on a powerful cliffhanger. A highly recommended read.
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on 18 January 2015
I understand this book has been updated, re editing and republished from its original launch, this time by Grimbold Publishing/Kristell Ink. I have been working through some of their books in their catalogue and find them to be fascinating reads, some exceptional stories. This book White Mountain continues this standard and surpassed my expectations.

I have found it enthralling, even believable, here the main characters for good, wizard, Mr. Marval Agyck, his lifelong friend the green dragon with orange bejewelled belly, Gralen, and young for a witch, Wendya, are all endearing characters. They live in a world alongside the human world, yet hidden from human eyes. The reader travels the quests and trials with these characters through thick and thin. They have wrung all emotions out of me, and I have been both child and adult on this journey of theirs

Then there are evil characters, with one main one, he is power hungry and will take what he wants in pursuit of his aim, regardless of costs, pain, life and/ or death and destruction. Sophie Tallis has created an evil changeling that to be honest attains the worst of traits I have read or that can be compared to in a long while.
The White Witch in the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is not quite in this league. Closer might be Lord Saul in Tolkien's stories. Yet, this story telling, and world she has created stand shoulder to shoulder with other classical story quests where good v evil is fought for in mythological or make believe worlds, worlds as mentioned, but I think this is on a par maybe even better than such as Alan Garner's, The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, or modern examples like, The Flight of the Griffin by C.M. Gray and I adore these books and others previously mentioned.

At first, I thought this was an older children's or YA's book, but as events unfolded I realised that this is one of those exceptional and magical books that is for any and all ages from 10-11 to 100. To me it has all the elements of a quest, fantasy world classic. It has a dark side that is definitely for adults to ponder over.

There is travel throughout the quest, to other magical kingdoms across the globe, Sophie's use of description had me there in the Amazon, in ancient Russian/Siberian forests, in Africa and the Himalayas...her knowledge of geography enriches this story for us the readers.

The linking in of the state of the human world and the human lot as it stands now also made me think. Not always a good place...it added to the feeling of authenticity that such a world really exists.
For countless generations people have talked of dragons, wizards, witches, elves, dwarfs and so on. You will find them all in this wonderful story, though names at times differ, old names like fyrren are used, but Ms Tallis ensures we know that dragons are the same.

It started as if a children's adventure but ends in a very adult place, an apocalyptic battle, aspects of which had tears streaming down my face. Neither is all resolved at the end. The resolution is right for that time and place, but is left open for further adventures that I hope will be written and take place in future works in this created world.

If you like any of the books I mentioned within this review you will also love this too. I have no hesitation but give this 5 stars+, and this is a story I will read over and over again. I highly recommend it.
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on 17 January 2015
I bought a copy of this at a book fair, and thoroughly enjoyed it.

White Mountain is a great new traditional High Fantasy, and ticks all the boxes for lovers of the genre. There’s a flawed and believable hero, a suitably evil enemy, action adventure, pathos, excitement and a dragon. Ms Tallis isn’t scared to kill off characters, even if they have garnered the reader’s sympathy. She writes with a skill and emotional depth that draw the reader into the story from the very start. Her worldbuilding is impeccable and believable, her characters finely drawn and real, and the plot interesting. I particularly enjoyed the scene setting and the locations, which added a realism often missing in this sort of storytelling. A great start to a series, and a great debut.
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on 15 January 2015
Sophie is a remarkable writer, full of imagination and energy. Anyone, young or old, will adore her writing. White Mountain is bursting at the seams with energy, great characters and a fantastical story.
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