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.