Wednesday, January 21, 2009

CSFF Tour - More on The Book of Names

The tour continues, focusing on D. Barkely Briggs' first book in the Karac Tor series, The Book of Names.

I want to mention first how impressive his website is. Most authors are going to have a site anymore, but I believe his is used exceptionally well to support his work. He obviously has spent a lot of time building an interesting back story creating his alternative realms. There are well done maps, character drawings, and tidbits of legends from Karac Tor. It drew me into his story and intrigued me. This alone made me wish I had been able to read his book for the tour. Thankfully he has a download available for the first three chapters, which I'll discuss below.

One more item on his site. He has a page with numerous links of myth and lore. It is clear he's done a lot of research and is a true fantasy fan. There's plenty here to keep one occupied for a while.

As far as the first three chapters, he sets a credible stage for his story. Yesterday I mentioned how Briggs started this story by telling it to his boys in the tragic loss of his wife/their mother. The book starts with the oldest of four brothers, Hadyn, clearing a bramble field in their new house. He discovers a mysterious rune stone in the brush with his next brother Ewan, while trying to avoid the curious eyes of the 9 year old twins.

Briggs sets up sympathetic characters that are well-rounded, yet distinguished from one another. He introduces the mystery early and keeps a measure of suspense developing. The language is descriptive, for the most part offering quality mental images. Sometimes he adds phrases for clarification that actually seem excessive, but it is a minor point. I'm probably only picking up on this because I am only judging three chapters. It appears to be, from the onset, an interesting YA fantasy fiction that should at least appeal to boys and girls who are fantasy fans. I'm not sure what female characters are ahead that may provide broader female appeal.

I'm glad to highlight this book. It appears that Briggs has taken a tragedy and made something beautiful from it, a work that should entertain and offer hope to others who may have had similar experiences. I will be looking to pick this up at sometime to read more.

Be sure to see Becky Miller's page, as she highlights those who have posted for the tour, to get more insight into The Book of Names.


1 comment:

  1. Anonymous4:48 PM

    Jason, I'm tellin' ya, us girl types, we don't need no female protag to keep us interested. ;-)

    Seriously, one of our bloggers gave the book to his ten-year-old niece who loved it. I think the most positive reviews have come from women (and a couple of the most negative, but those weren't really what I'd call negative reviews). At the same time, the guys love the book, with one exception that I recall.

    I wish you'd have done this tour, too, because I'd have loved to know your thoughts.