Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Three of Swords


Cover art by Ivan Gusev.

Borgo Press -- a Wildside Press Imprint.


Writers have two secret fears we seldom mention.

The first revolves around having our work read by someone we respect and admire: our fear is we will disappoint them, deeply. The second is the reverse.

Yesterday, Amazon delivered to my door the three books of the Talera Cycle by Charles Allen Gramlich.

I galloped through the first last night.

~pounds knees~

Oh geeze, it's a great read.

Acutely visual, exciting.

The back blurb describes the the tale as "A grand adventure in the tradition of Edgar Rice Burroughs and Robert E. Howard" -- and that's exactly what it is.

Without, I might add, certain ponderousities and asides of that tradition's style which now strike our more modern ears as awkward.

And with those casual details such as mention of storm lines on sailing ships, of voice of command, of certain items regarding weaponry and the use of it -- all which reassure the reader that the writer knows what he's talking about, and which please me, vastly.

And with, I noted in dear delight, instances of layered imagery and evocative description.

In the jungle sweat blooms on a man like a fungus. It leaves him stinking and slick, and cold when the wind blows. In such a jungle we found ourselves, a land choked with vines and seldom silent.

And: blood...the stench of it like copper and fate.

One of the reasons I am fond of sword 'n sorcery is the assertion, without apology, of a certain idealism, of nobility, of qualities such as honour, loyalty, valour and duty.

Thank you, Charles.

34 comments:

Leigh Russell said...

It is quite terrifying that people I see every day may read my book. Friends and family do not seem so daunting as hopefully they'll be kind (?) As for work colleagues... Oh help! What am I letting myself in for?

ChristineEldin said...

What a terrific review!!
I have one, which is on my summer read list back home. I'll get the other two to complete it.

I love the passage you chose. Evocative and masterful

BernardL said...

Thanks for the recommendation. I too am a huge sword and sorcery fan for exactly the reasons you list. It is near impossible to find books truly in the style of Edgar Rice Burroughs and Robert E. Howard. The guardians of the publishing gates block pulp fiction as if it were a virus they fear will pollute the populace. :)

Bernita said...

Leigh, it's a little known fact that writers spend a portion of their time huddled in a corner, their arms clasped around their head, rocking and moaning.

And Chris, there are lots of others!

Bernita said...

Bernard, then you will love this set.

Robyn said...

My husband will go insane. He LOVES this stuff. Thanks for the heads up!

Bernita said...

An ideal present for him, Robyn!

writtenwyrdd said...

I've got so many books in the tbr stack I haven't gotten these yet. Now I have to.

And quite rocking and moaning and get back to writing, you wimp! LOL, just kidding. Rocking and moaning seems more useful than my process which is to yell and kick the file cabinet. It's painful when you forget you're barefoot.

Bernita said...

Hee, Written!
Am in "stand-by" mode at the moment.
I hope reading the next two in the set will kick me out of it.

sex scenes at starbucks said...

My first short story was about violent homosexual changelings.

'nuff said.

sex scenes at starbucks said...

Also, thanks for the recommendation. I love "typical fantasy", too, all the pagentry and "my lords" and armoring up for battle. Can't get enough of it.

Bernita said...

SS, I'm also very fond of fantasy, high or otherwise.

Charles Gramlich said...

Wow, Bernita, this made my day. Thanks very much for your kind words, and I'm so glad you enjoyed it. It's so good to know that the effort I put into it was appreciated.

Bernardl, you're so right and I know there are a lot of folks out there who feel like you and I do but the big publishers just won't listen. That's why I had to go with a small press.

Bernita said...

The last paragraph of Book One reads thus:
In the pink dawn the warship of the Emperor of Nysphal turned its raptor prow toward its home island, and I was aboard with the woman I loved and many friends.

Many friends, Charles.

Gabriele C. said...

Argh, that sounds so cool and Amazon.de doesn't list it.

raine said...

Leigh, it's a little known fact that writers spend a portion of their time huddled in a corner, their arms clasped around their head, rocking and moaning.

Or hiding under the covers in bed...

One of the reasons I am fond of sword 'n sorcery is the assertion, without apology, of a certain idealism, of nobility, of qualities such as honour, loyalty, valour and duty.

Agree wholeheartedly.
Great review, love the tone of the excerpts. May just have to pick it up! ;)

Bernita said...

A pity, Gabriele, has some very nice mano a manos.

Thank you, Raine.
It's so nice to read about characters whose conduct is determined by their sense of ethics rather than their current emotional angst.

Jaye Wells said...

High praise, indeed. Also, thanks for giving me something else to worry about. ;)

Bernita said...

Don't think you have to worry, Jaye.

SzélsőFa said...

It's a nice review and a great expert, too!
Should it ever come to Hungary and/or in Hungarian, I will look after the series!

Bernita said...

It's a tale well told, Szelsofa.

StarvingWriteNow said...

Wow. Sounds like a groovy read! And thanks for your comments to my post of yesterday. Youall are keeping me afloat!

Shauna Roberts said...

I had never analyzed why I like sword and sorcery, but your reasons seem spot on. Thanks also for the excerpts so that I could enjoy them again.

Bernita said...

You're swimming very nicely, WriteNow. We just cheer you on.

There's a splendid simplicity, Shauna.

Travis Erwin said...

I too read Swords of talera and currnetly I am awaiting books two and three to come inso I can jumop back in to the trilogy.

Bernita said...

Travis, I'm part way through Book Two. If anything, it gets better.

Ello said...

I bought Talera a few months back and have yet to crack it open what with life! I plan to rectify this asap! This was a great review!

Bernita said...

Get at it, Ello!

Steve Malley said...

Book Two gets even better!

Charles has a real gift for pace; I think of it as 'rollicking adventure'...

Bernita said...

I agree, Steve - just finished it.

Sam said...

Sounds like such fun!!
I really want to read this!!

Bernita said...

Sam, the set is terrific!
No let down in Books II and III.

Josephine Damian said...

Three fears, Bernita.

That Josie D. will read (or rather stop reading) your book. :-)

Great review. Not a genre I read, but I'll give it a try.

Bernita said...

Tastes vary, Josephine.
If you are unfamiliar with the sub-genre, you may not recognize the skill involved.