James Enge, This Crooked Way Reviews

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“After his failures and defeat (see BLOOD OF AMBROSE)...”

★★★★★

written by Harriet Klausner on 10/10/2009

After his failures and defeat (see BLOOD OF AMBROSE) enchanter Morlock Ambosius flees on his horse Velox; he hopes to buy time to regroup and try again. Instead a stone beast attacks the enchanter and his steed. Morlock survives, but Velox vanishes.

Morlock searches for his horse while heading to Sarkunden where he runs into the Sorcerer Slash who says to call him Charis before pleadings with Morlock to help him; the enchanter reluctantly agrees to do so. On his quest he meets new allies, who initially fear the legend, but as they get to know him befriend him.

This is an exciting fantasy that focuses on the meandering travels and dialogue of an exiled enchanter and the associates he meets on his crooked trek towards and into the Kirach Kund where the Khroi rule by killing outsiders. Those people the protagonist meets on his dangerous journey tell much of the tale as they relate their initial fear and dread of the aloof unflustered enchanter but become friends with him once they discover his human flaws make him more like them than the frightening superior being they expected to encounter. Thus his quest is clearly humanized by the secondary cast. Although the climax is relatively smaller and much diminished in comparison to the roar of THE BLOOD OF AMBROSE, fans will relish the second saga as the well written character driven THIS CROOKED WAY comes across as a deeper look into the lives of wizards, sorcerers, and one particular enchanter.

Harriet Klausner

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