Liviu's Reviews > The Riddler's Gift

The Riddler's Gift by Greg Hamerton
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's review
Nov 10, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: genre-fantasy, 2008_release_read
Read in November, 2008

Excellent fantasy debut set in an alternate Earthlike domain called Eyri which was isolated and hidden with strong magic from the rest of the planet by a cabal of 8 wizards called the Gyre.

The Gyre is facing the most powerful Chaos wizard ever Ametheus who brought destruction and misery to the rest of the planet, but they are not strong enough to fight him directly.

Setting up Eyri and introducing a magical artifact and an wizard observer/adviser, they hope to nurture new wizard blood away from Ametheus' interference, so while Eyri is a relatively peaceful medieval like land with an order of magicians of light - lightgifters, there is also a hidden counterpart of the magicians of dark - shadowcasters to ensure conflict.

A new wizard will emerge only when a person can master both the dark essence and the light essence and across several hundred years, nobody has succeeded yet.

Tabitha Serannon is a talented singer daughter of a lightgifter mother and while working at an inn and entering in a local contest to represent her local town to a singing festival in the capital of Eyri in front of the king, she attracts the wrong attention from a shadowcaster Kirjath Arkell who has his own plans of accumulating power and independence from the ubber-shadowcaster Cabal, the dark master of the forces of the night.

Luckily the Eyri sword master Glavenor - a sort of chief constable of the kingdom with a magic sword - is at hand to save the day, but Arkell escapes and is set on revenge.

When tragedy strikes, Tabitha escapes with a strange ring and with help from the funny looking "Riddler" Twardy Zarost, she decides to become a lightgifter like her mother and find the powerful wizard the ring is destined for and give it to him/her so protecting it from the shadowcasters.

Of course things are not so simple and Tabitha is soon involved in intrigue, the struggle between the forces of light and dark and of course the big picture hangs over the whole of Eyri.

While The Riddler's Gift starts as a reasonably standard epic fantasy, it is a novel with a lot of energy that makes you keep turning page after page to see what happens. Slowly the characters start growing on you and you do not want to put the book down until done.

The ending is excellent wrapping up all the threads of the novel, though as usual with the first book in a series the big picture is only now start to impinge on our characters.

Though longish at about 640 pages, the book reads very fast and I finished it in two sittings since I was really absorbed by it after I got into its flow.

Highly, highly recommended.

Published originally in South Africa in 2007 and recently in the UK, this novel deserves a wide audience in the epic fantasy world.

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Benjamin Have your read Erikson or Jordan or even Martin? This series is hardly excellent.

message 2: by Liviu (last edited Sep 03, 2014 03:59AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Liviu I find both Erikson and Jordan unreadable, while Martin is in a class of his own but these days he seems to be overwhelmed by writing his mangum opus.

Regarding Riddler's Gift, who knows if I would read it today after tons of other fantasies read from 2008 till today but at the time (2008) it read fresh as this was before the wave of independently published books rose and the love of the author for his world showed

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