"A Marvellous Fantasy, Non-stop Action, Chivalry and Romance." That's how Hilary Wilson of BookLoons describes Gerfalcon, the first volume in the long-out-of-print Neustrian Cycle. "The Neustrian Cycle" is set in medieval France, in an alternate-universe) where witchcraft is real so are the ghosts. In it Raoul, the young heir to the barony of Marckmont (described as "a blend of elf and owl and boy") grows up to become a sensitive, intelligent young man who prefers reading and song to the so-called knightly virtues of war and slaughter. At seventeen, he takes off on his own and thus begin a series of adventures that will try and mature him. Along the way, he falls in love, survives attempted murder, saves Red Anne (Mistress of the Witches' Coven of the Singing Stones), and is forced to join a band of outlaws, where his life is one of constant danger. Only after many more thrilling incidents does he finally comes into his inheritance. The New York Times wrote that Gerfalcon is "...recited with vividness and imagination ... recommended." While one fantasy-weary reviewer noted: "In a genre clotted with saccharine imitations of Tolkein, Barringer's Neustrian Cycle is a true breath of fresh air. The stories are all tightly-written, the dialog is a marvel of subtlety, and the fantasy is distinctly grown up in its sophistication. It is filled with multi-faceted characters, fascinating looks at medieval life, desperate struggles, and an overall sense of reality that is lacking from much other fantasy. Barringer's characterizations make most fantasy characters look as bland and uninteresting as cardboard. For my money, Barringer is the most unfairly least appreciated fantasist (barely) on the market today. All three of his novels--Gerfalcon, Joris of the Rock, and Shy Leopardess--are more than worth the effort of tracking down. I can't recommend them highly enough."
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Renaissance E Books Inc.
October 05, 2008
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Adobe DRM EPUB
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