Elondel's Reviews > The Riddler's Gift

The Riddler's Gift by Greg Hamerton
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Sep 24, 10

bookshelves: own
Read from September 05 to 24, 2010 — I own a copy, read count: 1

Life isn't fair. When one takes the time to think things over, he can come up with a thousand ways to illustrate this. One of them should be that Greg Hamerton isn't a well known author of fantasy literature, cause he sure deserves to be.
I discovered Hamerton with a little bit of luck. I stumbled upon the Fantasy Book Critic-blog and right around that time, they published a very positive review of his second book. Triggered by that and the positive comments on the first, I purchased both books on Hamerton's site. Something I don't regret at all.

The premise of the book fits the tried and true epic fantasy-recipe. Darkness ahead and beyond and the faith of it all lays in the hand of a little girl who's discovering her powers on the go.
Everything aboard for another epic rehash it seems, but Hamerton handels these ingredients very well and instead of rehashing he is refreshing.

For one, the novel is fast-paced. Little words are wasted on the big descriptions. The setting is translated into words, but only as much as necessary, which is quite a relief cause you never find yourself gaping at a full page dedicated to the beautiful flower with the bright red petals in the mistcovered field where the sheeps are waiting for... You get the picture.
This is also reflected in the buildup of the novel. After a preface, the story kicks in what a bang and tension is never really lowered after that.
The writing skills of Hamerton are alse really fluid and captivating.

The plot is your typical epic fantasy, but there is something to it. Hamerton worked out this magicsystem consisting of axis, Sprites, Motes, song,... which gives everything a vivid touch and prevents the story from moving towards the ovious because of its limits.
Other things, such as the conclusion whole wizardfinding quest, is quite obvious halfway through the book. Whether it was intended or not, it's only a minor issue (if it is an issue at all) for everything that happens around it, is superb. Around page 450, tension rises dramatically as everything seems to fall apart and every step towards the light is countered by an even bigger step towards darkness. Right down till the last couple of pages, things are looking very bad and you can't but savour it all.

The characters are fleshed out very well. You'll love Tabitha and you'll love to hate the baddoers here. Apart from the obviously good and bad, there are these gray characters who's loyalty isn't clear and might influence the good...

An impressive fantasy debut that left me longing for more. Greg Hamerton is definately a name to watch!
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