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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Earthbow - volumes 1 & 2: A Review

Relocating to Huntsville, AL wasn't on my to-do list for 2011. Those pesky employers always have other plans though. Fortunately, God has a plan for our family; and wouldn't you know it includes us living in Huntsville? Although I'm seriously missing my family while we work through all the relocation issues, there is one silver lining to my lonely time...I get to read!

Between family, church, work, TV, Internet and on and on and on, there are a host of things that have kept me from reading as much as I'd like. But living up here by myself, in a home with no TV and no Internet means I can catch up on some reading (and hopefully writing, too).

The novel I completed today is nothing short of stupendous. If you have even a passing interest in reading epic series in the fantasy genre, you simply must read Earthbow.

With thanks to Amazon for letting me borrow the cover art...

Sherry Thompson burst onto the literary scene a few years ago with her debut novel, Seabird, the first of the Narentan Tumults. Earthbow - divided into volumes 1 and 2 - chronicles the second Tumult.

Reading Seabird first would help acclimate you to Narenta but it's not mandatory for you to enjoy the amazing story of Xander, Coris, Renea, Harone and what feels like a cast of thousands.

I picked up the Kindle version which includes both volumes and downloaded it to my HP TouchPad. Since I had read Seabird, I was on fairly familar ground with Earthbow but only because I had an introduction to Narenta. Earthbow is a stunning, stand-alone novel that is full of adventure, magic, intrigue and danger. It will take the reader on an emotional roller-coaster ride and as you get farther and farther along - just like on any great roller-coaster - you will not want to get off.

Earthbow revolves around the story of Harone na Hithe, a young enchanter initiate, and Xander, the Outworlder of the second Tumult. Coris na Cathel, freshly knighted into the service of the self-styled Lord of Latimus - Cenoc - is also a major player. Xander, whose sister Cara was the featured Outworlder in the first Tumult (see Seabird), arrives in Latimus with no clue regarding what, exactly, he is supposed to do to save Narenta from the second Tumult. There's a lot of talk about him using the Earthbow, an enchanted bow that he carries (but has no idea how to use), and some chatter about stones and Shadow Lords and all.

The storyline of Earthbow is complex but Thompson weaves it expertly, blending multi-dimensonal characters and an array of plotlines mixed with dark and light enchantment that is easily the equal of that boy wizard story you may have heard of. But make no mistake, this is not Harry Potter stuff. If I had to categorize the Narentan Tumults at all, I would definitely lean more toward The Chronicles of Narnia or The Lord of the Rings. And I only say that because of the sheer scope of Thompson's vision and the depth with which she has created her world and characters.

I could go on and on but I don't want to give away anything; Earthbow deserves to be read - and enjoyed - so that you can see what a fantastic new world Sherry Thompson has wrought for us to inhabit. With all of the turmoil in the book industry these days, it's easy to overlook major new talents - especially those who don't have the might of major publishing houses behind them. However, don't make the mistake of overlooking Earthbow and the other Tumults as they come; you will be less for the missing.

Earthbow is published by the small but rich house of Gryphonwood Press.


  1. Hi Xanthorpe,
    Having read both Seabird and Earthbow, I can only concur with your review. Sherry creates and amazing world, deep characters, and weaves the various storylines together and apart in ways that kept me guessing, kept me wondering, and certainly kept me reading! I'm a big fan of her writing. Thank you for the well-written review!

  2. Glad to know you hve more time to read now. My problem has not been having enough time to read but enough time on the computer. This is why I am just now getting around to replying to this. As you know, I did two reviews of Earhtbow, one for each volume, and that they focussed on 1.How Harone needed the influence of Cara to do his mission and 2. how Sandy's nonheroic nature was needed for him to do his ultra-easy mission.


  3. Brandon and Forrest, thank you for coming by and taking the time to comment. It's much nicer to have actual comments to respond to as opposed to deciphering Google Analytics to lend confidence that there are those who actually read my blog!



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