Writer Welch has crafted a fast paced, absorbing fantasy set in a harsh land filled with savageness, inexorable inhabitants and near hopeless situations ... Excellent read.
This novel attempts what few modern works do: it attempts to account for evil in a sane way and operates in a universe not yet bankrupt of rational, ethical discourse. If offered a choice between a Stephen King work and this one by Patrick Welch, unhesitantingly and with alacrity, I would choose Welch's The Thirteenth Magician.
If all eBooks are of this high quality, then I foresee that area of publishing gaining more acceptance soon. I hope that one day The Thirteenth Magician will also be in print, but don't wait for that day to read it.
Welch's characterization and story are well crafted and a (comparatively) fast read. Very few of his characters are two dimensional throw-aways. There is enough background to provide a backdrop without being oppressive and there is very little (or none--take your pick) excess wordage.
"The Thirteenth Magician" is a much darker tale than I expected from Mr. Welch. Woven in the adventure/fantasy is a subtle allegorical tale of power, and a tale for today... Highly recommended.
Patrick Welch received a B.A. and M.A. in English from Bowling Green State University. Proving the value of a liberal education, he has worked variously as a musician, dock worker, insurance salesman, full-time and substitute teacher, free-lance writer and assistant store manager.
He has published more than forty stories in e-zines and the small press. Currently, he also has five books available from Twilight Times Books, Cynnador, The Casebook of Doakes and Haig, The Thirteenth Magician, Thorne and Usurper.
Westchester Station (a fantasy novel) is available from Double Dragon Ebook. Other completed books include The Body Shop, Before/Beyond (an anthology of science fiction and fantasy stories) and Brendell; Apprentice Thief.