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Well of Sorrows

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An epic tale of a continent on the brink of war, and a deadly magic that waits to be unleashed on an unsuspecting world.

Colin Harten and his parents had fled across the ocean to escape the Family wars in Andover. But trouble followed them and their fellow refugees to this new land, forcing them to abandon the settled areas and head into unexplored territory-the sacred grounds of a race of underground dwellers and warriors. It was here that they would meet their doom. Driven to ...

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Overview

An epic tale of a continent on the brink of war, and a deadly magic that waits to be unleashed on an unsuspecting world.

Colin Harten and his parents had fled across the ocean to escape the Family wars in Andover. But trouble followed them and their fellow refugees to this new land, forcing them to abandon the settled areas and head into unexplored territory-the sacred grounds of a race of underground dwellers and warriors. It was here that they would meet their doom. Driven to the borders of a dark forest, they were attacked by mysterious Shadow creatures who fed on life force. Only Colin survived to find his way to the Well of Sorrows-and to a destiny that might prove the last hope for peace in this troubled land.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Gina Bowling
After fleeing their homeland, Colin and his family escape to a new world where they are second-class citizens at best. Colin runs into trouble with the ruler's son, and in order to save Colin from unjust punishment, his father agrees to lead an expedition into unknown territory. When the group is attacked, only Colin survives, aided by the Faelehgre, mysterious shadow-beings. Colin comes to learn of the struggle that has taken place for hundreds of years between humans, the Dwarren, and the Alvritshai. With the special powers he now possesses, he alone may have a chance to bring peace to this war-torn land. Benjamin Tate's debut novel is fantasy reminiscent of classics like J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy (Houghton Mifflin, 1994) with its other-world and fantastical peoples. The shadows of Light and Dark also call to mind the mysterious black shadow on the popular television series Lost. Colin is a strong protagonist who refuses to be bullied, and the secondary characters are developed well enough that readers come to know them. There is a touch of romance, but overall, this is a story of finding one's strength to survive in spite of hardship and great loss, and giving of oneself to right the wrongs of generations past. While the sheer volume of this tome will intimidate some, fantasy readers will be drawn in and likely make quick work of this debut work, pleased to learn that a sequel is hinted at in the final pages. Reviewer: Gina Bowling
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780756406028
  • Publisher: DAW Trade
  • Publication date: 5/4/2010
  • Pages: 528
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Benjamin Tate was born in North-Central Pennsylvania and is currently a college professor living near Endicott, New York.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

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(4)

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 2, 2011

    A breath of fresh air

    A great tale about realistic characters with genuine inner struggles. The descriptions, unique customs, and histories really flesh this world out. I thoroughly liked the magic system, including its limitations and costs. No spells or wands here.

    The action was great and never seemed gratuitous. I really liked how the protagonist resolves the final conflict. I won't say how, but it was a breath of fresh air for the genre.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 28, 2010

    Very solid epic fantasy opener

    With so much urban fantasy saturating the market these days, it's really nice to see that a good ol' fashioned fantasy novel can still show up on the shelves. Like, say, Benjamin Tate's Well of Sorrows.

    Well of Sorrows tells the story of Colin, a boy who's come with his parents across the sea to a new country, fleeing war in their homeland--only to discover that the city where they've settled has no use whatsoever for the influx of refugees. Violence eventually ensues, and Colin's father must lead a group of their people out to try to found a new settlement. But there are strange and dangerous things out in the plains, things which have caused previous settlers to never be seen again.

    Colin's family's group of course finds these dangerous things. And Colin's life is irretrievably changed.

    I could go on from there, but that would be significant spoilerage. I will however say that this is only really the first stretch of the book; the main storyline is what happens long after these events. And I can add that the worldbuilding is the primary thing that appealed to me about Tate's work. The idea of an overseas colony, complete with strife between it and the motherland, is not new to fantasy to be sure. But it's handled well here and with a nice balance between a realistic feel and just enough magic to remind you that oh yeah, this is in fact a fantasy novel--not to mention that there are two non-human races that initially will probably strike most readers as thinly disguised elves and dwarves. Tate's names for them, the Alvritshai and the dwarren, do not exactly dispel that impression. (That said, the dwarren are not miners, which helps a lot.)

    Much of the book hinges upon the volatile relations between the humans, the Alvritshai, and the dwarren, and this is really where it shone for me. I was less invested in Colin's acquisition of magical powers that enabled him to be the prime person to stop the blossoming warfare, mostly because his acquisition of them is primarily off-camera and so I had to adjust hard to jump from "Colin as youth" to "Colin as man with magical ability". Aeren, one of the lords of the Alvritshai, becomes a more accessible character in the latter stretches of the book.

    Lastly, I'll note that Tate had a bit too much "as you know Bob" type dialogue in various conversations, such as an Alvritshai character using a given term and then immediately following it with the term's definition--in conversation to another Alvritshai. But that was pretty much the only issue I had with any of the writing at all, and I'll definitely be coming back for the next book in the series. 'Cause this ain't done, not by a long shot. And I do need to know what happens next! Four stars.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 8, 2010

    Not your typical fantasy world

    The humans are Feuding and many try to escape by emigrating across the sea. The ones who first settled there are contemptuous of the newcomers and show it. Colin is used to blackmail his father into leading an expedition away from the coastal settlements in the ruling family's attempt to lay claim to more land.

    The land is old, and the dwarren have lived there for many generations. The Alvritshai live in the mountains to the north, but their land has shown signs of a coming ice age and they have moved into the edges of the dwarren lands. The forest has a city so old that the people who lived there are no longer recognizable as people of any known race.

    There is magic in the world, but not the wand-waving, spell-speaking sort. The water in the well will change you if you drink it. And Colin drank some. It's what let him survive after the wagon train was destroyed.

    If you want to find out how Colin was changed and how that affects the world, you will have to read it yourself.

    Great world-building and plausible politics along with not re-using standard fantasy races made this a book I had a hard time putting down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 28, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Fans will enjoy this strong fantasy thriller while anticipating the next installment

    In the landof Andover, the Twelve Families of the Court prepare for a Feud that will eventually be an all out war tearing apart the country. Citizens from each of the Families travel on ships across the Arduon Ocean to escape the fighting and to settle on land promised to them. Colin Harten and his parents travel to Portstown, which belongs to House Carente, who does not welcome the refugees from the Twelve Families war or their allies.

    The Hartens, who belong to the Bontari Family, are forced to live in a city where they cannot find work. The situation gets so bad that the Proprietor ruler of the establishment plans to destroy the Lean-to city where the refugees live. He tells the residents that they can go on a wagon train to begin a new settlement trying to be created by the Family and the Church. Colin's dad leads the wagon train knowing no one who left for the Plains ever returned. They encounter the Alvritshi warriors who warn them to go back. However, the refugees decide to continue though afraid as they have nothing to return to. The Dwarren hate humans who betrayed treaties with them attack them while the dark forest contains Shadows who kill without leaving a trace. Colin barely survives but the Faelehgre spirits of light get him the drink of Life Blood from the Well of Sorrows. He stays there for several years and is no longer human. After six decades he returns to human lands and realizes there is no place for him but he is needed.

    This is a huge fantasy in which the above paragraphs fails to even come close to what is going on as the details are extraordinary. Colin obviously plays a critical role in the Colonies now called Provinces. Using the colonization of the Americas as a background, Benjamin Tate builds his own fantasized world that seems real and most critical the three prime species seem genuine. Mindful of Kate Elliot and, Terry Goodkind. Fans will enjoy this strong thriller while anticipating the next installment.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted December 5, 2010

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    Posted April 17, 2012

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    Posted February 1, 2012

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