Have no fear, Mr. Warren Rochelle, that my brief review here will give
away essential elements of the storyline of your exciting new novel. It
would require an outline nearly as long as the book itself to convey any
idea of so complex and so tightly woven a plot. I'll say only that it is
about the complicated interface between the human world and the faerie
universe and that the personal dramas are set in the framework of a
tetrad relationship that includes Hazel and Malachi - both half faerie -
and Russell and Jeff. These characters make up the gallant quartet that
must oppose the dark Fomorii who have come to the human world to
exterminate the Changelings.
(The Called is a sequel to Harvest of Changelings but stands
stoutly independent as a story on its own.)
One reason the dizzily spun plot is so complex is that the story
undertakes so many themes: Faerie lore, Cherokee mythology, alternate
history, (emphasizing environmental politics) tetrad erotic life,
revolution, the search for the father, right-wing religious extremism,
and apocalypse. There are other themes also embedded in the narrative
and the amazing thing is that nothing here is ponderous. The story zips
along with the speed and incandescence of a shooting star.
As a long-time science-fiction fan, I was intrigued to note here
and there some probably accidental takes on early stories by Robert
Sheckley, Damon Knight, and Theodore Sturgeon. Readers versed in more
contemporary fantasy will enjoy the play upon some of the ideas of
Tolkien and C. S. Lewis, two subjects of this versatile author's
In short, The Called is not a treasure trove of narrative
and thematic delights. That comparison sells it short. It
is an Aladdin's treasure cave of such delights - with the
added bonus of a wonderfully transformed North Carolina landscape.
That final aspect is one that I, as an unrepentant Tar
Heel, particularly enjoyed.
Hardcover, ISBN 978-1-930846-63-0
$24.95 postpaid for U.S. orders only
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