A classic --, March 1, 2004
Reviewer: Pearl Prynne "Hellion" (United States)
It always astounds me to find out that Hambly fans aren't aware of or haven't gotten to the Windrose Chronicles. This is her best work by far, and some of the best fantasy out there, period.
Our heroine, Joanna, finds herself transported across a terrifying Void from enchantment-free Los Angeles (circa the 1980s) to Ferryth, a medieval kingdom on another world, in the company of an actual wizard (Antryg Windrose) and hunted by sundry and all as she makes her way in a morass of treachery and a central mystery that reveals itself in snatches - like the periods of grey, hopeless misery that are affecting both worlds, and the shifting loyalties, inexplicable actions, and agendas of the other wizards, the hateful church witchfinders, the king, the prince regent, and the young warrior who swears that Antryg murdered his grandfather in cold blood and opened the Void for terrible reasons of his own.
Any way she looks at it, Antryg is the only one who can send her home. And he seems to be the only person trying to solve the riddle of the larger pattern. Can he be trusted at all? And if Antryg isn't responsible for the horrors and her own abduction - who is?
The characters are quirky, lovable, and all too human, and the unfolding plot keeps you on your toes. This is a great read - see The Silicon Mage for the rest of the tale!
Babara Hambly is an accomplished writer. Vivid, descriptive prose at times hampers the the forward movement of the plot. Unusual and interesting character development. Antreg Windrose is a compelling, kind, compassionate, non judgemental wizard who is sure to win your heart. The descriptive language used often to describe odoriferous and obnoxious creatures or features may be enjoyed by middle school boys, but I skipped those parts. So...with the above mentioned criticisms in mind,the book is unusual and extremely well written. I enjoyed it and was so curious about the future adventures of Antryg that I am reading the two sequels.
Barbara Hambly is one of my favorite authors, and one terrific storyteller, no matter what genre she turns her hand to. She manages plot, character, and writing style effortlessly, and always manages to pull me into yet one more series. Here she has created a wonderfully believable female lead and an interesting culture torn between magic and a powerful church. Escapist, yes, but nicely done.
Jan K. reviewed The Silent Tower (Windrose Chronicles, Book 1) on
As always, Barbara Hambly, whether writing about 1800's New Orleans or a fantasy world in alternative universe, writes well, creates characters with whom the reader can identify and sets up situations that are "real" no matter the setting. This is an older book but an interesting read for anyone who enjoys the fantasy genre. It is followed by Silicone Mage which I intend to read next.
Excellent fantasy and world-building from Barbara Hambly. Antryg Windrose is a very appealing character, even more so than Joanna although the story is told mostly from her POV. Hambly does great "you are there" descriptions of her world, solid underpinnings for the magical system, and her usual fight between church and magic.
Someone was crossing the forbidding void between the universes. In San Serano, Joanna felt the terror strike before dark hands were seizing her to kidnap her and take her - elsewhere. In the empire of Ferryth, Casis watched a wizard murdered by a figure that vanished into a tunnel of darkness. And abominations were crossing through the weakening fabric of the void.
Only Antryg and the Dark Mage had understood the void and the Archmage had been executed for his evil twenty five years before.
Antryg was helpless - or was he?
Someone was crossing the forbidding Void between the universes. In San Serano, Joanna felt the terror strike before dark hands were seizing her to kidnap her and take her elsewhere. In the Empire of Ferryth, Caris watched a wizard murdered by a figure that vanished into a tunnel of darkness. And abominations were crossing through the weakening fabric of the Void.
Someone was crossing the forbidding Void between the universises. In San Serano, Joanna felt the terror strike, before dark hands were seizing her to kidnap her and take her....elsewhere. In the Empire of Ferryth, Caris watched a wizard murdered by a figure that vanished into a tunnel of darkness. And abominations were crossing through the weakening fabric of the Void.
And in the Silent Tower, where every stone was sealed and spelled against all magic, Antryg Windrose, student of the Dark Mage, was supposed to be going mad.
Only Antryg and the Dark Mage had understood the Void, the Archmage claimed. yet the Dark mage had been executed for his evil twenty-five years before. And Antryg was helpless. Or was he?