By Jessica Veter
Having fled the destruction of
by the Horde, the witch Evelyn searches out her brother and discovers he has
created a weapon which should never have been made. Attacked by evil witches,
Evelyn’s brother is killed and Evelyn flings herself and the weapon into the
forbidden Jericho . Ten years later, her daughter,
Sophia, returns to the city of her birth, a dangerous impulse as witches are
outlawed and actively hunted there. Sea of Dreams
The Witches of Jericho is the first book in the Edenwitch series, following Sophia as she attempts to discover the fate of her mother and her own true purpose.
What a treat to read an SP fantasy novel that actually pays careful attention to the details of scene. Here we have a writer who knows that a pretty map at the beginning is no substitute to actual written description. The reader is placed directly beside the characters as they move through this world, and for the first time in a long time, I did not feel like I was going along with blinders on. Hallelujah.
I also found myself intrigued by the bad guys in this story. Too often antagonists justify their antagonism by being, simply, bad. They are given little or no motivation and as such are shallow, cardboard cut-out figures. Interestingly, the ‘Dark One’ (I’ll vent about unimaginative names for bad guys some other time), while he does seem to be ‘bad because he’s bad’, adds this fascinating piece of information: he does not know his own motivation. He has been this way for so long that he no longer remembers his own reasons. This is extremely cool. I do hope it’s not dropped in books two and three. Also great fun are the bonded witches
and Claire. They hate one another and hate their bond, but their disparate methods
of dealing with this, while clichéd, make them much more interesting characters
than any of the good guys are. Regina
At least, I think they are the good guys. Not having been given any reason why witches are being exterminated, I can’t be sure. The Horde sounds bad, but maybe they’re just misunderstood? You know, like coyotes are. Or teenagers.
I am aware that the tens of dollars authors earn puts a real damper on hiring an editor, which is why SP authors need to be rigorous self-editors. Clauses such as: ‘men, women and children were drug into the waters and drowned out of their last remaining breaths’ should not make it into the published version of any text. At all. Ever.
Sam Hammack lives in the Horde-free zone somewhere between the endless cow pastures of
Kansasand the rolling green hills of . He spends most of his time with his wife and their beautiful baby daughter and the rest of his eccentric family, which of course includes Roxy the Rottweiler. He will never turn down a game of pool or Clue, but is very difficult to reach during baseball season. He has written many novellas, short stories, and some poetry, but this is his first published full length novel. Check him out on Goodreads. Missouri
About the Reviewer - Jessica Veter is a novelist raised in rural
. Having escaped to Ontario Toronto,
she spent the 90’s over-educating herself at York
University and then the . Once she accepted that there
were never going to be any job listings in The Globe and Mail headed “Medievalist Wanted”, Jessica went to University of Toronto Japan. There, she met her husband
and they lived in England
before returning to Canada
with a son and a greyhound. Now in rural Flamborough, Jessica and her husband raise 3
boys, 6 chickens and are owned by 1 dog. You are welcome to visit her at www.jessicaveter.com.