Threatening clouds and fierce storms besiege the city of Tyroc. More frequent and powerful than ordinary storms, young Elowyn, a weaver’s daughter living in the outskirts of the city, senses something disturbing and unnatural about them. She soon realizes that the storms are but a warning sign of much more frightening things yet to come.
Terrifying wolf-like creatures emerge from the depths of the wilderness at the bidding of a dark master. His name found only among the crumbling pages of ancient texts, the re-appearance of Alazoth and his Hounds is a dark omen for the people of Tyroc and beyond. Only legends remain of the heroes and prophets whose blood was shed ages ago to banish him into the abyss, which should have remained his prison for all time. How he has been released is a mystery, but all the old stories agree that death and destruction are sure to follow.
With the Hounds inching closer each day, the city of Tyroc caught up in religious and political turmoil, and her home life no less turbulent, Elowyn has nothing left to rely on but her meager courage and a budding faith in Aviad, the Creator. She and her sister, Morganne, set out on a remarkable journey that challenges everything they have ever known about themselves, the world, and the path that Aviad has laid out for them.
Journey to Aviad is an eloquent and richly written story of Elowyn & Morganne, simple weaver’s daughters set within a dark fantasy world, buzzing with adventure and strong undertones of faith. There is a real feel of the medieval in this story’s voice, action and environment, which believe Reid was aiming for in this story and I enjoyed.
Like many good fantasy hero/heroine’s Elowyn starts out a little unabashed, but still unsure of inner herself and her place in the world. However, as events progress she builds up in character and conviction. Her elder sister Morganne starts off somewhat frail, a thrall under their mother’s aggressive rule, but grows in strength and confidence as they set out into the world together and begin on their journey.
In Journey to Aviad you get some good traditional fantasy elements, strangers who become a friends, belief in a loving and protecting God, dark forces who want nothing more than to destroy and a long journey of discovery. All of which are well presented and lead the reader on a well defined path.
There are a few confronting elements for Elowyn & Morganne as they come to terms with the reality of the world they live in and the journey they much take. Dark hounds, finding out that a great evil is real and returned to the world as well as breaking free from the tyrannical rule of their mother. Each hurtle is a stepping stone to the development of the character and drawing the reader in.
There is a feel of Tad Williams’ Memory, Sorrow and Thorn Trilogy in this story and if you are a fan of medieval fantasy and journeys of discovery, you will enjoy this book.
An interview with the author Allison Reid will be available tomorrow.