Nightwalker: The Warlocks of Talverdin, Book 1by K.V. Johansen
After his guardian dies, Maurey is reduced from student to unpaid servant at his grammar school and bullied because of his black hair and eyes, which make him look as if he is related to the sorcerers who once inhabited the island. When it is discovered that Maurey is indeed a descendent of one of those sorcerers, or Nightwalkers, he is sentenced to be burned alive… See more details below
After his guardian dies, Maurey is reduced from student to unpaid servant at his grammar school and bullied because of his black hair and eyes, which make him look as if he is related to the sorcerers who once inhabited the island. When it is discovered that Maurey is indeed a descendent of one of those sorcerers, or Nightwalkers, he is sentenced to be burned alive. He and his young rescuer flee for the Nightwalkers' hidden kingdom. Any reader who enjoys otherworld fantasy, or just a good adventure story, will not be able to put this book down.
On the isle of Eswiland, wizards are called "Night-eyes," or "Nightwalkers," because of their dark features and magical powers that allow them to travel safe and unseen through shadowy places. However, these powers didn't stop "Good King Hallow," a historical hero to the human population, from practically wiping them out. His weapons were propaganda and "philosopher's fire," which burned only Nightwalkers. Two generations and a lot of tedious family histories and expository conversation later, a suspiciously dark-eyed boy and a displaced duchess escape the current human king's court and make for the magically fortified mountain of the wizards. Along the way, Johansen includes a couple of funny scenes involving, for example, pigs charging the throne room. Unfortunately, she also throws off the pacing and misses the opportunity for character development by focusing on the action scenes while glossing over the getting-to-know-you parts of the journey. This causes real problems toward the end, where she stages a change-of-heart-and-reconciliation scene that isn't a bit believable. Johansen cites Tolkien as an influence, and is at her best when writing about war councils and political intrigues. This book might entertain readers who are waiting for the next book by Megan Whalen Turner or Diana Wynne Jones, but it won't leave a lasting impression.
Emily R. BrownCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Read an Excerpt
"Wait!" Chancellor Holden cried, and fast as a striking hawk he swooped forward and dragged me up by the front of my tunic.
Even as he swooped, I realized that in the fall, my mother's rings had tumbled out the neck of my shirt. I clutched at them, but too late. Chancellor Holden jerked the heavy chain over my head and held it swinging before them all.
Meet the Author
K.V. Johansen has Master's Degrees in Medieval Studies and in English. Her main scholarly interests are ancient and medieval history and languages, and the history of children's fantasy literature. She held the 2001 Eileen Wallace Research Fellowship in Children's Literature from the Eileen Wallace Collection at the University of New Brunswick. She also received the 2004 Frances E. Russell Award for research in children's literature from the Canadian section of IBBY, the International Board on Books for Young People. Johansen received the Canadian Authors' Association 2006 Lilla Stirling Award; she has had fiction titles nominated for the Silver Birch Award, the Diamond Willow Award, shortlisted for the Canadian Association of Children's Librarians Book of the Year for Children Award, and included on the Ontario Library Association's "Best Bets Top Ten List" and Voya's "Best Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror" list. Her adult non-fiction book Quests and Kingdoms: A Grown-Up's Guide to Children's Fantasy Literature, has been highly praised internationally and was shortlisted for the 2006 Harvey Darton Award in the UK.
She has an arboretum in her backyard, grows exotic trees indoors, watches a lot of anime, and should probably have been an eighteenth-century landscape gardener. Visit her website: www.pippin.ca.
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