Pelmen hates being a tanner, but that’s all he would ever be, thanks to the rigid caste system amongst his people, the hevelens. Then he meets Master Galn Boisencroix and his family. The master carpenter opens up a world of archery to young Pelmen, who excels at his newfound skill. But Pelmen’s intractable father will have none of it, and tries to force Pelmen to stay in the tannery.
One day, however, Pelmen’s best friend and Master Galn’s son, Teleg, disappears. Lured away by the prospect of untold riches through mining amberrock, the most precious substance in the world, Teleg finds himself a prisoner of the Nylevs, fierce fire-wielding worshippers of the god of destruction.
Now Pelmen must leave all he knows behind, overcome his fears and travel across the land, in search of his childhood friend. Along the way, he will ally himself with strange and fantastic beings: a shaman who controls the Breath of Aoles, or the power of the wind, a krongos, a creature of the mineral realm who can become living rock, and a malian, adept at water magic.
About the Author
Alan Spade worked for eight years for the press, reviewing video games. In his youth, he acquainted himself with the classic French authors, while immersing himself in the works of H. P. Lovecraft, Isaac Asimov, J. R. R. Tolkien and Stephen King.
That wide range of influences is reflected in his style, simultaneously approachable, visually evocative and imaginative.
Alan likes to say that "a good book is like a good old pair of shoes: you feel at ease inside, comfortable."
The Breath of Aoles is his third book: previously, he wrote a fantasy novel for two years, between 2001 and 2003, but after submitting it to publishers, he decided the story wasn't good enough. He didn't try to publish it anymore. Then he wrote a Science Fiction short stories collection, and then, for six years, The Breath of Aoles.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Its not worth the stars awarded
I got this book from the author in exchange for a review. I wasn't sure about this one early on, the world its set in is a bit different, and the author didn't necessarily take a lot of time describing it in great detail. At first this was perplexing but then I realized it was probably done on purpose, with the idea that you'll pick it up as you go along, and I did. Once I came to terms with the slow trickle of explanations regarding the peoples, places, and animals within this marvelous world I started to enjoy the book more! The first third of the book wasn't my favorite, but towards the middle I started to like it a lot and found it difficult to stop reading. The last third in particular is really good. The characters are interesting, and I must say its refreshing the have a fantasy novel that isn't just populated by a race that's merely something humanish. There are other races represented in this series, and they're really incredibly interesting! I couldn't help but to wonder what this series might look like as movies directed by Guillermo del Toro, and whoever he used to design the creatures in Pan's Labyrinth or in Hellboy. I look forward to reading the rest of this series, the first book hooked me solidly. The main character might be young but this isn't typical YA or typical coming of age storytelling, this is just an interesting fantasy series about a planet with two moons and has peoples on it that are strange and unique. Its not just another Tolkien or GRRM inspired tale with boring typical humans at its center.
First of all, I'd like to thank Mr. Alan Spade for giving me an electronic copy of this book to read. I'm sorry that my review of the book was so long in coming, and now I'd like to express my thoughts. The book was a very satisfying read. In my opinion, the magic system of the shamans and magicians was fairly well developed, and it helped build up both the characters who had recourse to the powers as well as those who did not. And speaking of the characters, they were realistic to the point that it was easy to feel human emotion towards them, something that not all books make easy to do. The main character (Pelmen) in particular, was easy to support and very well written. The plot was very well imagined, and the world building was indeed very satisfying. While this book isn't filled to the brim with action or combat, anyone who is a fan of a good story should be able to get behind Mr.Spade's believable characters and original plot. In that sense, I'm glad to own a copy of this book, and I'd recommend it to fans of fantasy and good literature in general. An excellent first book, and I'll be waiting eagerly for the next one. So to anyone who hasn't picked this up, you should. It's well written, well developed, and it's story should give you a new book to talk about, and maybe pass along. My verdict is simple: Read this, and you should be satisfied.