Enter the world of Windemere with 11 action adventure short stories featuring a man who is out to make an honest living.
Some heroes seek fame. Some seek fortune. Others simply want to save the world. Ichabod Brooks only wants to put food on the table for his family.
Known and respected as the man who can get any job done, Ichabod has seen his share of adventure. Most of which have been highly exaggerated by bards. Still, the man has his famous reputation for a reason. Whether it be climbing a temperamental mountain for eggs or escorting orphans to their new homes, Ichabod takes every job seriously and makes sure he is as prepared as he can be. Not that it helps since things always take a turn for the worse.
Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
I’ve been a devout follower of the Legends of Windemere series so when I saw a spin-off of sorts, I knew I had to read it.
Ichabod Brooks is a man who’s a mercenary for hire and he’s always up for a new adventure. If you need a magical item or need some help rescuing orphans, Ichabod is your man. His wife handles the contracts and is the brain behind the business, which I loved. He’s just out having adventures and trying to play down his exploits. Oh, and he can bake, too. These are the stories along with a one sentence synopsis:
Ichabod Brooks & the Starwind Egg – Every ten years, the birds lay starwind eggs and it’s up to Ichabod to snag one for his client but this time, his luck might just be up.
Ichabod Brooks & the Phantom Archer – Ichabod is judging an archery contest but when the contestants get killed, Ichabod must take on the challenger for himself.
Ichabod Brooks & the King of Nowhere – An emerging cult wants to unite the kingdoms under the banner of lawlessness and the only one who can save everyone is a man knows as the King of Nowhere.
Ichabod Brooks & the Island of Mirrors – Waking up on an island of mirrors is disturbing enough but Ichabod must work together with an old enemy or wind up worse off than death. (My favorite story!)
Ichabod Brooks & the Yellow Ogres – With the wife away, Ichabod is relishing in time spent alone but when a band of yellow ogres start stealing shamans, he must figure out how to stop them before his wife returns.
Ichabod Brooks & the Resurrection Bowl – Of all the gin joints … Ichabod wishes he could pass on this adventure but he doesn’t have a choice so off he goes in search of an ancient artifact that can resurrect the dead.
Ichabod Brooks & Toy Tower – Ichabod must defeat a tower of traps created by a crazy toymaker in order to receive the grand prize at the finish line but has his luck just run out?
Ichabod Brooks & the Jester Flute – A bard has stolen a cursed flute and now Ichabod’s reality is anything but. (My second favorite story!)
Ichabod Brooks & the Orphan’s Shadow – Hired to escort orphans to their new homes, Ichabod is caught off-guard when the orphans suddenly fall ill and death is right around the corner unless Ichabod can figure out what’s going on.
Ichabod Brooks & Zaria’s Kiss – Ichabod and friends are on an adventure to recover the Purity Goddess’s relics from the sea but before they know it, something appears to s-s-strike them down.
Ichabod Brooks & the Vixen of Errenshar – Olivia Thorne has been a seductive enemy, thwarting Ichabod’s every move but this time, she might have the upper hand.
If you’re looking for adventurous short stories with character depth, a solid plot and colorful dialogue, pick up The Life and Times of Ichabod Brooks today. Yallowitz’s writing style is quick-witted, full of adventurous fun and original. Highly recommend!
Favorite Character/Quote: “They also don’t have your wife making deals that you can’t say no to. She mentioned that you’re getting three times the usual pay because this baby is going to be prepared for Duke Solomon’s wedding. Personally, I’m looking forward to your wife’s cooking after this. Surprised your gut isn’t huge considering that woman can make a pot roast even the gods would praise. Did you happen to bring some of her dishes for the road?”
Eleven diverse, and cleverly composed, adventures of my favourite Hero, each one worthy of being a separate book in their own right. Charles constantly amazes me with the care and thought he puts into each and every tale, characters and aspects of the world they live in. Brilliantly immersive tales.
This is a well-written collection of stories, which I found to be both creative and entertaining. I love the character of Ichabod, and found joining him on more of his adventures to be an enjoyable experience.
Charles Yallowitz is not only a prolific writer but also very entertaining. He has created a world that contains every imaginable permutation of a fantasy character. One of my favorites is Ichabod Brooks. Ichabod is a mercenary, or perhaps it is more accurate to say problem solver for hire. You see Ichabod is a business man who makes sure all his jobs are back up with a contract. I have a suspicion that his wife was responsible for the due diligence that led to the need for a written agreement. Ichabod would go along on the adventure just to have an adventure, and I think the little woman put her foot down hard on the side of getting paid for each job.
This collection of stories will give the reader additional insight into Ichabod’s character and personality. Each story is a different situation, and each tests Ichabod’s resolve and skill. The great part about this book is the reader can get lost in a story, read it to a conclusion and then know there is another waiting. Of course, the last carry the remorse of having finished them all, but up until that occurs, these adventures are there waiting for consumption. In the first sentence, I mentioned that Chares Yallowitz is entertaining. His Ichabod stories have intrigue, suspense, action, and humor. The plots are clever and endings designed for complete reader satisfaction.
I would recommend this collection of short stories to anyone who likes action and a well-told tale. You do not have to be a fantasy fan to enjoy what Mr. Yallowitz has served up in the Life and Times of Ichabod Brooks.
"Some heroes seek fame. Some seek fortune. Others want to save the world. Ichabod Brooks only wants to put food on the table for his family." Through the 11 stories of this collection, he does just that. With uncommon humility, he attempts to discourage the ever-present bards who seek to make their own reputations by telling exaggerated tales of his exploits.
The stories are set in the same world as Yallowitz's main series, Legends of Windermere, so many things will be familiar to anyone who has read the other books. For those unfamiliar, it's similar to a certain role-playing game we all know and love. Ichabod rubs shoulders with races such as Halflings and Dwarves, plus a few new one like Calicos (cat people) and Chaos Elves.
The author does a good job capturing the free-wheeling feel of those role-playing sessions where spells are flying and every character has a bizarre collection of enchanted boots, weapons, cloaks, rings, necklaces, etc., etc. He keeps things moving with an almost-cartoonish combat style and plenty of humor.
Although Ichabod is joined by a few recurring friends, the action is mostly his. Each story contains a unique challenge and setting, so they don't become redundant. There's even an impressive sea serpent for those who need their daily dose of dragons.
Writing fantasy short stories is not easy, as witnessed by the fact that so few of them have been written. The fact that Yallowitz has done such a great job with Ichabod Brooks explains why he has become one of my favorite authors. He combines incredibly detailed fantastical worlds with realistic characters, suspending my disbelief to the point where I'm actually wondering what I'd do if, say, a sexy Calico was determined to have her way with me or a bunch of skeleton priests wanted to kill me for trespassing.
Ichabod's stories take place in Windemere but he never comes across any of the heroes of his Legends of Windemere series (although there's a brief cameo by one of the villains). For me, it was the perfect companion to Legends, as it added even more mesmerizing detail to an already rich world. I savored every page and can't recommend it enough to fantasy fans. A must-read.