Title: Enchanters: Glys of Myradelle
Author: David Bryan Russell
Publisher: Freya Publishing
Genre: New adult contemporary fantasy/adventure
Enchanters: Glys of Myradelle is an imaginative story with beautiful imagery and an important underlying theme. In many ways, it’s a kind of a fairy story for grown ups, with pleasant, wise fairies, not the snarky, self-serving kind we see so often. The bad guys are the Noctivoll, demonic races or crude and cruel ones like the trolls.
While holidaying in Norway, Glys Erlendson encounters an eerie woman deep in the forest. Thereafter she is plagued by frightening visions, which no one can explain. After a terrifying experience, Glys discovers that she is not human, and belongs to a secretive race known as Enchanters. Fearful of her destiny, yet unable to remain in the human world, Glys is stalked by a host of sinister creatures who identify her as a future opponent. A grim warrior-magician named Tarune is sent to guide her safely to Myradelle, an Enchanter domain. But danger lurks at every step; in order to survive, Glys must embrace Mystiir, the limitless power of nature. To do so she must abandon her human shell, and accept what lies underneath. Aided by powerful companions, Glys’ transformative journey leads her through a dreamlike, prismatic Enchanter realms, a human city dominated by murderous Changelings, and into the terrifying Noctivoll Underworld, where her ultimate destiny – and that of the entire world – is finally revealed.
Enchanters: Glys of Myradelle comprises two stories about Glys. One is the story of her induction into the world of the Enchanters, the other takes place a year later. The first is a simple, elegant story written in clear, immediate prose, but it lacks an obvious antagonist until flowers are stolen and Glys goes after the thief. At that point, the plot clarifies and the story moves along at a satisfying pace to an excellent conclusion. There’s a slow build up in the beginning, but it gives us time to get to know Glys, who is an easy to relate to character. The world descriptions are rich and sometimes a little excessive, but that’s personal taste, if you like to linger on details, you’ll enjoy this. For me, it’s a bit like licking honey, a little is delightfully sweet, too much is sickly. The descriptions of Glys’s altered states of consciousness are extremely well done in that they draw you into the experience.
The second story, I could not fault. It’s tightly written, and well constructed and paced. The beginning takes us somewhere else entirely, and until Glys reappears a little way in, I thought it was a separate book, but, no, we are simply introduced to another character, Adam Bates. Adam is a human, an investigative reporter who cannot see the hidden world yet, since surviving a mine collapse where he thought he saw monster-like creatures, feels there is more to the world than we know. He is about to find out just how true his instincts are.
This story is as gritty as the first is sweet. Back in the human realm, it grips you from the start and eventually takes you deep underground to the world of the Trolls. Noctivoll who leave, or are banished, from the Enchanter’s world become changlings. If they stay in the human realm long enough, they lose their magic and begin to look like humans even to magical folk. The true nature of the bad guy and his evil machine isn’t revealed until near the end of the book, and what a great end it is.
The underlying theme in this work is the dire straights of our world due to humans’ disconnection with the creative life force of nature which leads to environmental ignorance and vandalism. The fairies reaction to Los Angeles shows the city as a sickly place, a blight upon the world, and the humans within it as self-serving and driven by negative emotions. Adam Bates, however, is an example of the best kind of human.
It’s well written except for a disturbing overabundance of ellipses in the first story, most of which appear unnecessary. I give it 4 stars and look forward to more in the series.
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