Klast, loner, assassin and spy, has no idea that his destiny is linked to the maid he is sent to rescue. Or that both their fates are inescapably bound together to heal the wounds that Earth, source of all life, sustained from the war between Bargia and Catania. But before he can fulfill the role that Earth has set for him, he must wrestle with his own internal demons. He must also assist Lord Gaelen to unmask and bring to justice the traitor who plots to kill Lady Marja and the heir that she bears. Failure of any part of Klast’s journey could upset, even further, the Balance necessary for Earth to support Her people with good harvests, health and peace. Each needs the other.
Even Liethis, true seer, does not fully understand what makes it so imperative that Klast’s bond with Brensa not be broken. But Earth has shown her that Her healing, the future of the people, even the birth of the heir Marja bears, depend on it. Unless Klast completes his destiny, She will not heal, and more catastrophes, like the Red Fever that ravages the population, will follow. Time is short.
About the Author
Yvonne Hertzberger is a native of the Netherlands who immigrated to Canada in 1950. She is married with two grown children, (one married) and resides quietly in Stratford, Ontario with her spouse, Mark in a 130 year old, tiny, brick cottage, where she plans to live out her retirement. She calls herself a jill-of-all-trades and a late bloomer. Her many past paid jobs included banking, day care, residential care for challenged children, hairdressing (her favourite) retail, and customer service. She enjoys gardening, singing, the theatre, decorating and socializing with friends and family Hertzberger is an alumna of The University of Waterloo, first with a B.A. in psychology, then and Hon. B.A. Sociology and stopped ½ a thesis short of an M.A. in Sociology. She has always been an avid student of human behaviour. This, and her personal experiences are what give her the insights she uses to develop the characters in her writing. Hertzberger came to writing late in life, hence the label ‘late bloomer’. Her first Fantasy novel “Back From Chaos: Book One of Earth’s Pendulum” was published in 2009. The second volume in the planned trilogy “Through Kestrel’s Eyes” is available currently and the third book in the trilogy “The Dreamt Child” was published in December 2013.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Back From Chaos (Earth's Pendulum) by Yvonne Hertzberger This is an engrossing story that includes war, espionage, politics, spirituality, and a bit of romance to boot. There are several characters in this book that are listed at the beginning. I found this list intimidating but plowed ahead hoping I could keep up with all of them. The story centers on Gaelen, second son of the King of Bargia, who is thrust into power after the death of the king and his oldest son during a battle at the beginning of the story, and his advisors. As the characters were brought into play, I had no problem keeping up with them and the roles they played. The main characters are all well developed and easily believable. The matters of state which Gaelen had to deal with were tedious to me but essential to the story over all. There are no fantasy creatures in this story; the only magical element was perhaps the spiritual belief that we ourselves affect our environment and the world as a whole. Oh, well, there was a prophetess, a true seer who Gaelen called upon occasionally. If you enjoy the political workings of a society, spy games, mercenaries, and mistresses I believe you will enjoy this story as well. The plot moves along at a nice pace encompassing all matters of this demesne (the term for the land under control of a lord) and those surrounding it. What captivated me was the relationship between Klast, the king’s assassin, and Brensa, a lady in waiting. Both are badly broken souls that need healing and whose futures seem to hold dominion over the prosperity of the kingdom as a whole. I found it fascinating and their journey became very important to me. I do tend to get involved in the emotional aspects of the characters I read; this is where I think any story’s strength lie. Ms. Hertzberger was able to capture and express the emotions of all her characters, be it love or treachery, throughout the entire novel. This books storyline is complete; there were no cliff-hangers to draw you into the next book, although I am very interested to see what happens next. This is a great story on all levels. FYI: British spelling and some ‘Old World’ word usage. Format/Typo Issues: A small number of proofing errors were noted. **Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy. ** Sunday, September 1, 2013
"Earth's Pendulum" is a classic fantasy series. You've got warring nations, political intrigue, criminals, and magic. In this case, much of the magic is Earth-based. The Earth in this world is sentient -- an actual Goddess -- and not only does She feel pain when Her children act against Her wishes, but She has the power to enact retribution on them. Unfortunately, this Divine retaliation often affects people whose actions are only tangentially connected to the wrongdoers. And when a nation goes rogue, much of the planet can be affected. You would think the people would recognize this, and act not in their own self-interest, but in the interest of the whole Earth. Alas, people in this world are just as mean-spirited and pigheaded as on our earth. Which is good in the sense that otherwise there wouldn't be a story here to tell. Book One, Back From Chaos, opens in the aftermath of Bargia's invasion of Catania. Both the Bargian king and his son and heir have been killed in battle, so rule of the newly-united kingdom falls to Gaelen, the second son. As luck (and Earth) would have it, he's intelligent and kind, and much better suited to the job of king than either his father or his brother -- which is a good thing, because among his first acts is to convince only surviving member of Catania's royal family, Princess Marja, to wed him. Gaelen has inherited a number of advisors from his father, and one of the challenges he faces is determining whether all of them will be loyal to him. Among the group is a man named Klast. Politically astute, unassuming, and trained in the deadly arts, Klast is perhaps Gaelen's best friend, as well as his most trusted adviser. Owing to a troubled past, Klast believes he must be a loner -- a belief that's sorely challenged when he rescues Marja's maid, Brensa, after she is mistaken for Marja, kidnapped, and violated. It falls to Klast to teach Brensa to trust again, and perhaps, even, to love. Hertzberger has built a believable world with intriguing characters, whose actions and reactions ring true. Klast, in particular, is a great character. Here's a guy who can hide in plain sight and whose brain is always clicking, always evaluating every nuance of every situation. I was glad he was on our side.
Yvonne Hertzberger has crafted a wonderful fantasy tale full of great characters and plot. The story begins with Gaelen being thrust into an unexpected leadership role when his homeland of Bargia invades Catania. From this exciting beginning, Gaelen is faced with the task of unifying the lands while being undermined by a traitor that may be closer to him than he knows. As he takes his new wife, he must also fight to keep her protected. Klast, a spy/assassin for Gaelen finds himself on a rescue mission for an abducted maiden which leads him to question himself and his way of living in ways he never expected. Klast is forced to deal with these questions as he is faced with unfamiliar feelings of love for the maiden he is sent to rescue while attempting to uncover the plot against Lord Gaelen. This story is filled with action, adventure, romance, political conspiracy, and a dash of mystery. There is an ongoing tension that keeps you turning the pages. I love how the chapters are kept short, giving you plenty of chances to take a break, though you will rarely be able to read just one chapter...or two...or...you get the point The author's world is well-realized and, though fictional, is mainly rooted in a medieval setting. Yvonne Hertzberger has definitely done her research; her world is realistic and believable. The characters feel real, each with a distinct personality. The author has a background in psychology and sociology which is truly shown in the realism of her characters' actions and the intricacies of their personalities. She really delves into the characters' psyches. For example, one character has an extremely traumatizing experience. Where in many fantasy stories, the character would get over the experience quickly(and unrealistically), this character must wrestle with this experience and struggle to overcome it throughout the story. Unlike some fantasy books(which is my preferred genre),these characters act like real people. Back From Chaos stands stong as a great stand-alone novel, though the end hints at things to come in Yvonne Hertzberger's planned trilogy. The second book has already been released and I look forward to learning more about this world in it. If you love fantasy, or just a great adventure in general, you will definitely enjoy Back From Chaos.