White Mountain (The Darkling Chronicles Book One)
by Sophie Tallis
Available on Amazon
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Amongst our modern world lies another, an archaic and hidden world of tradition, sorcery and magic.
As dark demons awaken from our past, the last remaining wizards are being hunted and murdered by a changeling of terrifying strength.
Attacked and drained of most of his powers, a dying sorcerer must race against time to save himself, and the fate of all, from an enemy intent on cleansing the planet of humanity...
Darkness spreads as friendships, betrayals and horrifying truths await...
My Review: White Mountain chronicles the journey of an aged wizard and his entourage as they seek to destroy a powerful enemy. The wizard, Mr. Agyk, brings with him a loyal dragon named Gralen and Wendya, a young witch.
The characters in this book were well-formed and likable. Mr. Agyk's dilemma is the catalyst for story, so we are introduced to him first. He's a mix between Gandalf and Dumbledore, a wise, kindly old man most readers will enjoy and root for. Gralen, the loyal but sometimes impulsive dragon, vows to help Mr. Agyk whether he likes it or not. Gralen brings childlike wonder and bold bravery to the tale. Wendya, the young witch, is a character the female readers will identify with. She's experienced great loss in her life, but is willing to sacrifice everything she has for the greater good. Our villian, Morreck, threatens not only the world of Wizards, mages, and dragons, but the world as a whole.
Tallis has created a world within our world, a world inhabited by the bravest of warriors and the foulest of creatures. From the mountains to the jungle to underground caverns, the fast-paced story takes us places we can envision so clearly we feel as if we could step into the scenery. Every scene is detailed to perfection. Every sense is engaged.
In a way, this is a typical high-fantasy quest story, but that's where 'typical' ends. This is probably the best fantasy tale I've read in a long time. It truly exceeded my expectations, and trust me, my expectations are high when it comes to fantasy. I really think this book (and series) has a ton of potential and widespread appeal if non-fantasy readers will give it a chance. It's easier to read than LOTR with characters as 'fun' and engaging as those in Harry Potter. The stakes are high and I was breathless with anticipation several times during this story. I wish I could share the ending with you because it was so unexpected and incredible, but I'm afraid Gralen might come after me. So, you'll have to read it for yourself.