2nd DNF book this week for me This is my first Janny Wurts book and I m really disappointed I think I just picked the wrong book to start with This one starts out interesting on the slave galley where the two main characters are trying to escape, but then it just ended up being a bunch of short story adventures that get and outrageous There s no plot really I got about halfway through and quit This book reminds me of playing an MMO and just reading a bunch of quest text The main hero goes from one improbable scenario to the next It just wasn t for me at all That being said, I m not giving up on Wurts, I have too many friends here that rave about her books, so I think I just need to choose something that s like a novel and not a bunch of short stories. Korendir S Name Was The Stuff Of Legend Man Of Mystery Deadly Mercenary Obsessed Adventurer From A Life Of Misery, Chained As A Galley Slave Under The Whips Of The Marauding Mhurgai, Korendir Contrived An Escape Against Impossible Odds, Only To Gamble His Hard Won Freedom Against The World S Most Dangerous Threats Even Haldeth, Fellow Captive At The Oar And His Only Accepted Friend, Can Not Understand What Drives Korendir To Repeated Risk But The Hazardous Tasks Serve A Madman S Hope, To Build An Unbreachable Citadel Yet, Can Any Fortress Wall Be Enough To Disarm The Inner Nightmares That Ride The Master Of Whitestorm With The Cruelty Of A Death Wish As Master of Whitestorm starts off, Haldeth, a blacksmith turned galley slave, gets involved in an escape attempt by his mysterious and silent bench mate a man who quickly proves to have surprising skills and hidden depths The two companions strike out together after their escape The mysterious man, whose name is Korendir, takes on a number of mercenary missions It quickly becomes clear that Korendir is, to put it mildly, very focused on gathering enough money to build an impregnable fortress on the cliffs of Whitestorm Master of Whitestorm, a standalone novel that has just been released in ebook format after being out of print for years, is an excellent example of Janny Wurts gorgeous prose style and impressive storytelling skills Initially an episodic story consisting of a number of separate missions Korendir undertakes, the novel gradually reveals an underlying thread that explains Korendir s distinctive personality think Lethal Weapon in a complex fantasy setting and builds up to an impressive climax and a moving conclusion.Read the entire review on my site Far Beyond Reality 3.5 stars for this stand alone epic fantasy complete with wizards, bloody butchery, and a touch of bittersweet romance I had never read Janny Wurts before, but based on positive reviews, decided to give it a go She s a whiz with words, that s perfectly clear A masterful writer She also crafts some very clever plots particularly the tricks the hero Korendir uses to defeat various ber powerful banes Most of the book portrays Korendir fighting various evils that imperil the eleven kingdoms Especially memorable are the tricks he used on the weather elemental Cyondide at White Storm Cliff, and the subterfuge employed to reel in the Demons of Mathcek.In some sense, this fantasy while grim and dark has a happy ending, but by no means should a reader expect a feel good story of conviviality among comrades And even though there is a heartfelt love affair, this doesn t read like a love story.Quibbles For me, there s not enough character development or relationship development Various heroic, highly intelligent endeavors against wereleopards, witches, demons, dragons, etc carry the book, not the characters It took too long to get to know and love the heartbroken, compassionate hero Master of Whitestorm He transformed overnight from galley slave to brilliant strategist and sword fighter did he learn that at home, before getting enslaved at age 17 But I did eventually care about him, and I liked the heroine, Lady Ithariel the Enchantress I gradually lost interest in the blacksmith, Heldrith His role in the story diminishes midway through the book I felt the relationship development between Korendir and Ithariel was rushed So, bottom line, I wasn t especially moved by this book When bad things happened to various good people, I cared a little, but I didn t shed a tear I liked the scene at Whitestorm Fortress, when all the wizards came knocking Good narration by Simon Prebbles, but he employed a gruff tone of voice for the hero that compounded with his accent was hard to understand. This was a good, stand alone fantasy novel The hero is complex very tough The descriptions of horses especially sailing scenes are especially well done The author s obvious familiarity with these two subjects shines through.The story line is excellent While not indicated by sections, there are distinct parts to the hero s life, each one building to a climax logically leading to the next The suspense never ends in a world that is complex dangerous.The cover art was excellent done by the author A very talented lady You can see it on her web site highly recommend it. I was introduced to Janny Wurts by first reading The Curse of the Mistwraith and totally loving it, so was hooked Being my compulsive self, I couldn t stop reading until I finished that series before working my way backward through her earlier works This book tells the story of Korendir, first introduced as a galley slave He s a typical Wurts hero in that he s tough, defended, smart, prickly extremely , and underneath it all, a total cream puff Having been introduced to this sort in the Mistwraith series, I was therefore patient with him and enjoyed the ride through his adventures early in the book As events unfold, we finally learn the reasons for his behavior, and he becomes human This slow uncovering is also a Wurts hallmark, and one that I totally enjoy While I was sure that would happen, other plot twists are less predictable and we are served up the climax with psychological depth and deep understanding another Wurts characteristic, which is only one of the things I enjoy so much about her writing.This is a standalone novel and a good introduction to the writing of Janny Wurts The writing style is less complex than the style of the Mistwraith series, and so it s an easier read, for those who would like to dip their toe into the work of this outstanding author.REREAD I listened to the new audio edition of this book and couldn t believe how rich the narration of it is Simon Prebble s voice and interpretation is magnificent He pours emotion into his reading that is rare in other books I ve listened to him read I was sobbing at the end Beautiful. Janny Wurts is one of my favorite authors Her stories are always interesting and her voice refreshing Master of Whitestorm was no different I had been spoiled by the Empire Series, as I consider it to be one of the best SciFi Fantasy series I ve ever read, but that aside, Master of Whitestorm delivered a solid read The protagonist, Korendir, was a solid, if perhaps too typical character In a sense he was predictable to where you knew what he would do, and yet, he was a strong enough character that you willingly followed him through each trial What I found lacking in the book was a definitive plot It was like a series of tests, sort of like the twelve labors of Hercules, where the protagonist went from one to another with not much in between It left little room for other characters to develop And I guess now that I ve said that, the lack of strong secondary characters might be the biggest lack for me I was so impressed with the secondary characters in Empire that I think I expected them here Even so, Master of Whitestorm was a good read It was entertaining, and there s not much you can ask for in a good read. This is a refreshing fantasy book featuring a complex adult main protagonist dealing with his fears and an original, psychological story crafted with the trademark rhythm and style of Janny Wurts.At the beginning of the story both Korendir and Haldeth, the other main character, end up as slave oarsmen in the same nightmarish pirate galley that have captured them, but over the course of the book they evolve very differently Haldeth, the eldest, reveals his painful experience while Korendir, little than a teenager, dumbly reacts with voiceless fury to any human stimulus or mistreatment The two forge a deep friendship and relate with each other, but eventually take very different paths in reaction to their inner demons, and the reader confronts with almost opposite ways of dealing with life and fear The story unfolds like a reverse spiral, in each episode the reader is confronted with new hints about the past and the motivations of the hero, and as the circles widen some of the mysteries are finally revealed, all the little initial seemingly patternless clues begin to show their importance and Korendir is displayed in all his complexity His motivations are not easy to guess, but from the beginning, a character so honest, determined, angry, can only be the result of a personal tragedy of epic proportions.During the first adventures, which are of episodic nature varied, engaging and further challenging , the enormous talents of Korendir are evident, but it also emerges his sense of fallibility, the darker shadow of fear that chases him His quest, pursued with stubbornness and integrity, is to build the safest stronghold, an impenetrable fortress able to sunder him from the violence of men and the power of wizards Towards this end, Korendir relentlessly studies ancient texts of lore and history and begins working as a mercenary, and with his growing reputation, he accepts increasingly burdensome assignments.Yet, whilst his dream of security is in need of money, what moves him is clearly something deeper, as it is shown in the episode of the wereleopards or of the South Englas princess, and the reader is left to wonder and ponder on the clues For some time, Korendir continues his mercenary activity, and his sparseness of words, his refusal to justify his actions even when wrongly accused, his superficial impassivity turn him into an unsolvable mystery for those who try to interact with him but his talent is undeniable, and his services highly sought after even if his mien scares the most daring of employers Howbeit, Korendir, as quick with the sword as with his wits, and quiet connoisseur of humanity, is not perfect, and his fear of repeating tragedies, his cold manners, give the outer appearance of impenetrability but just below the surface he is conflicted and fragile and his actions are clearly not those of a madman, even if Korendir teeters dangerously close to the precipice.After the mission in the exotic city of the Sultan, he seems to break, to abandon any reserve, and starts accepting assignments of very different nature and motivation from the previous ones, what moves him seems to change With pain, the friend Haldeth points out that his behavior has turned his addition to risk and violence toward murder , and understandably worries that the violence of his trade has overtaken him and despairs somewhere in your quest for protection you ve learned to live just to slaughter To all outer appearances, Korendir walks the thin edge of insanity, but his inner self starts to unveil after the intense meeting with Ithariel at the pinnacle of his path The adventure in Tir Amindel marks the beginning of the second part of the story where the hero s past is revealed, and with all the layers, there are many surprises in store for the reader, and Korendir s reckless actions, his courting death on the brink of madness all resolve in their tragic inevitability I also liked very much the part where the White Circle takes stage and the mystery of the origins of the hero thickens, branches, and the threads converge as the plots unravels.The end is intense, and many plot twists are still in for the characters and for the reader, who is involved in a crescendo of emotions in the depth of the events, following Koredir shaping his fate I personally related to the various characters as I avidly turned page after page and I was very satisfied by the denouement, heartwrenching and full of hope at the same time.The scenes at sea, in the mountains, in the wilderness are all carefully tended to detail and extreme realism by the artistic hand of the author, who always manages to keep the balance between showing and letting the reader s mind wander The various dangers and obstacles, the missions faced by Korendir are fascinating and at times brutal the battle with the Dathei, the incredible confrontations with the elementals, the game with the witch AntheiThe wordbuliding is very solid, the world of Aerith and his Eleven Kingdoms are a living element in which the characters move and the magic system is complex and interesting Ithariel is a disruptive character, of incredible strength, quiet but relentless, also plagued by a tragedy of which she was helpless victim, but she struggles to overcome her fears, too, and only thanks to her Korendir can try to come to terms with his inner fragility.The writing style is lyrical, poetic and rich The sheer elegance of the prose adds indefinitely to the story, a style that I have come to love after reading White Storm and To Ride Hell s Chasm, two very different novels with the common ground of bravura storytelling, careful worldbuilding and deep character development It is always a matter of taste of course, but for me it s a win win.I highly recommend this book, a classic fantasy of refreshing and original quality, I simply found awesome all the conundrums Korendir solves with wit and knowledge first, fighting prowess second.Soon, I will start the Light and Shadow series with The Curse of the Mistwraith, I cannot get enough of Janny Wurts highly evocative style, carefully layered characters and very original plots After two fantasy standalones, both quick paced and with strong adult lead characters I absolutely want to discover the heights and depths of her longer series.High fantasy at its best, with ageless grace, lyrical authenticity of detail, poignant story and round characters Look no further. This standalone fantasy had the all the building blocks for a good story The world building was good, the plot was interesting, and the characters were intriguing and far from perfect Unfortunately Janny Wurts writing seemed a bit distant to me and as a result I failed to engage on an emotional level with the plight of the characters or any of the happenings A shame really as this had the potential to be a great read Korendir spent years in silence chained as a galley slave under the brutal whips of the marauding Mhurgai The first words his bench mate heard him speak was his intent to escape A tall task as no galley slave had ever escaped from Mhurgai chains Korendir does the impossible and escapes with Haldeth in tow It is merely the first of many impossible tasks undertaken by the newly free mercenary as he seeks to fund his own dream of building an impenetrable fortress As Korendir flings himself into all sorts of suicidal missions his friend Haldeth is left to fear that no walls will ever by high enough to make the Master of Whitestorm feel secure from the demons of his memory I really wish I had enjoyed this as Korendir should have been a fantastic anti hero and his inventive methods of defeating everything from dragons to water elementals should have been exciting This is not my first Janny Wurts read and it is probably time to admit that while I do like her ideas I just do not fully gel with her writing Rating 3 stars Audio Note Simon Prebble did an excellent job with the audio.
Janny Wurts is the author of War of Light and Shadow series, and To Ride Hell s Chasm Her eighteen published titles include a trilogy in audio, a short story collection, as well as the internationally best selling Empire trilogy, co authored with Raymond E Feist, with works translated into fifteen languages worldwide Her latest title in the Wars of Light and Shadow series, Destiny s Conflict, c
- 413 pages
- The Master of White Storm
- Janny Wurts
- 20 August 2018 Janny Wurts