I enjoyed the tale - totally readable. The gripping prologue introduces the reader to the main protagonist, Gavin Cutter, an artist who stops painting...moreI enjoyed the tale - totally readable. The gripping prologue introduces the reader to the main protagonist, Gavin Cutter, an artist who stops painting to watch an old sailing ship, bent on self-destruction, sail apparently rudderless, onto a nearby reef.
Cutter, races across the dunes towards the ship. He is the first to board the stricken vessel, and is followed by a group of fishermen. The warm galley stove and burnt out soup pot both evoke eyrie thoughts of the ancient ship Mary Celeste as Cutter searches this ship for its absent crew. He finds only one living creature – a limping dog – that he rescues and takes home.
Of course, this lands the reader with a long list of questions which John Lindermuth's well drawn characters are left to answer. The following chapters do not disappoint. The answers come in as the bodies drop.
As usual for a J.R. Lindermuth book the characters, settings and dialogue all have an air of authenticity. His strong and believable plot kept me turning the pages right the way through to a satisfying conclusion. I rate this book 5 out of 5. (less)
The Unhewn Stone is a fantasy tale about a young man, Stefan Gessler who returns to the time of hi...more2nd September 2011
The Unhewn Stone by Wendy Laharnar
The Unhewn Stone is a fantasy tale about a young man, Stefan Gessler who returns to the time of his ancestors in the 14th Century. His primary task is to restore honour to his family name, destroyed by the William Tell legend, and secondly to learn how to change base metals into gold. Starting off as a callow youth, Stefan grows with the story to become an accomplished man.
Fantasy is not my preferred genre, but once I started this story I became drawn in to the plight of Stefan, as a modern young man, disfigured in looks, suffering from unrequited love, and bereft at the death of his dog. As the story progresses we venture into fantasy land, I continued to read, caught by the adventures of the 14th C. Stefan and his ancient family. One fascinating aspect is that Stefan retains his 21st C. outlook which at times contrasts sharply with those of his 14th C. cousins. I enjoyed his comparisons. I found the magical elements were written convincingly enough that I had no trouble suspending my disbelief.
Stefan remains very human with his faults, his sometimes overbearing attitude getting him into more trouble than necessary. He grows with the plot. He builds a good relationship with his distant cousin Rolf and various friends. The tale is sweetened by the love of Rolf and Eva Tell. It kept me reading as it bounded from one adventure after another with Stefan and Rolf fleeing their enemies, both human and spiritual in the various guises of a sibyl who is determined to steal Stefan's half of his orb and thus prevent him from returning to his own time.
The ending built up into a page turning climax that satisfied this reader.
‘Chickens, Mules and two old fools’ is the apt title of Victoria Twead’s, autobiographical novel about her...moreAdventures Galore Sent to amazon.com 24.04.10
‘Chickens, Mules and two old fools’ is the apt title of Victoria Twead’s, autobiographical novel about her and her husband Joe’s retirement in Andalucia, Spain. When Vicky first proposed it, Joe was not so sure. The bargain, wrung from a few anxious moments, was they would return to the colder climes of England in five year’s time if it didn’t work out.
I loved the light hearted, amusing atmosphere, the sense of adventure and of beating adversity as the couple moved from their safe, familiar home in Sussex to a broken down house in a village in southern Spain. They set about learning the language and getting to know the remarkable characters that now filled their lives. They populated the orchard with chicken, known as ‘the girls,’ as well as by their more unconventional names. The girls’ antics provided no end of amusement. I wondered what the villagers did for their eggs before The English came along.
Well written, the story flowed smoothly through house renovations and fiestas, beach days and jellyfish, processions and puddings. Peppered in among the text, the stamp sized illustrations added another interest. For those who like recipes with everything, you won’t be disappointed. Neatly ruled off from the main text are a host of Spanish recipes for you to try. I thoroughly enjoyed the read.
I give the book 5 stars for its entertainment value.