Customer Reviews for

The Knights of the Cornerstone

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  • Posted April 27, 2009

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    Blaylock Departs From a Proven Formula

    James Blaylock's latest work "Knights of the Cornerstone" is set at odds with his earlier tongue-in-cheek young-adult works such as "The Land of Dreams" or "The Magic Spectacles", being more in line with "Night Relics" as a sort of surreal-slash-horror genre. Those expecting light-hearted pokes at contemporary life-styles will be rewarded with all-too-brief flashes of traditional Blaylock, but the majority of the work is altogether of a much darker nature.

    The hero of the work is Calvin Bryson, an unhappily idle would-be cartoonist living on the proceeds of an inheritance who receives a strangely timed request to visit his Aunt and Uncle in a small mythical town in the Four-Corners area. It soon transpires that his role as a courier for a family artifact is merely a smoke-screen; he is to be wooed as a possible candidate for a Templar-like organization - the "Knights of the Cornerstone" alluded to in the book's title.

    While the book does include strangely incongruous bits of local color (Blaylock's specialty), it rarely engages the reader with either dread or humor. Blaylock is clearly feeling his way into a new genre, and should not be despised for straying from a proven formula.

    That said, the villain is both despicable and sufficiently evil to merit his ultimate comeuppance, but his venal greed and stupidity rob him of some of the necessary menace one would credit a worthy antagonist. This tends to suggest that a new adversary will be invented for the next work (the hooks into a possible sequel are blatant and forgivable), but in so doing the author sheds some of the essential audience identification with both the plot and the primary characters.

    Despite these short-comings, Blaylock is no amateur at the writing game. The "Knights of the Cornerstone" has the necessary heroism, death-defying action/drama, romance and character development you'd expect from authors more accustomed to this style. Only the emotional distance of the protagonist from the impending death of his aunt and uncle, the love of his new-found girl-friend and even the villainy of the bad guy and his cadre of brain-dead evil-doers robs the work of its poignancy. [If the hero doesn't care viscerally about the outcome, why should we?]

    I'd still recommend this volume if for no other reason that it clearly defines a transitional work for Blaylock. Subsequent books in this genre will no doubt be tighter, more engaging, and less wedded to intellectual abstractions which have only tenuous ties to plot-development. Read this book first - it will almost certainly heighten your appreciation of whatever follows from this prolific and beloved author.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 30, 2010

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    This book is terrif!

    I read this book in a single sitting, which is rare for me to do with a novel. But it grabbed me from the first page, and kept me riveted throughout. This shouldn't have been a surprise, since it was written by James Blaylock. Great small-town setting, fascinating secrets, and some wonderful, off beat characters make this book a definite winner.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 2, 2010

    A good Blaylock story, but not one of his best

    For some reasons, I found myself comparing this to "The Last Coin", another story where a character is slowly drawn into a full understanding that a great deal more is going on in the world then they imagined. But, I found the characters in "The Last Coin" and the overall story much more compelling. This was a fun read, recommended for any Blaylock fan, but not top 5 Blaylock story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 18, 2009

    Terrible Book

    This book is REALLY terrible. The characters are boring and lifeless. The plot is really lame. The author appears to switch from the 3rd person to the 1st person unexpectedly and disconcertingly several times. <BR/><BR/>In short, it is not a good story; it has no "likable" characters, and is somewhat poorly written.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted January 18, 2011

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    Posted March 26, 2009

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    Posted March 30, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2010

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