Dreamspinner Press, J Tullos Hennig

J Tullos Hennig’s “Greenwode” Hits The Bullseye

“What can an eternity of damnation matter to someone who has felt, if only for a second, the infinity of delight?” ― Charles Baudelaire

What is Greenwode? Let me tell you, that’s likely the easiest of all the questions to answer among the many loose threads left unwoven into the tapestry of this series at the moment.

Greenwode is legend. It is epic storytelling. It is fantasy and history. It is religion and spirituality. It is a world in which faith is a weapon, faith is a tool, faith is the enemy, and faith is the last vestige of hope…when there seems nothing left to hope for. Greenwode is the beginning of a tale in which war is being waged, a battle between the new and the old religions, between Christianity and Paganism; there is Heaven, there is Hell, and the battlefield for the soul is being fought on Mother Earth.

Greenwode is a legend of the old magick on the brink of extinction in the land of disbelievers. Righteousness is waging war in the land of other-believers; the followers of the White Christ hold court and pass judgment on the practitioners of an ancient mythology. It is the place where the forest is the Paradise and outside that Eden is persecution. It is a place where the blind followers corrupt love, warping beauty into shame.

This novel is the blending of the legend of Robin Hood and The Tale of Gamelyn. It is a tale of love and honor, of duty and dogma, of fear and temptation. Of sacrifice. It is the story in which Rob of Loxley, a young man inextricably woven into the fabric of his beliefs, must decide whether Gamelyn is his rival or his lover, or if he is both rival and lover.

This is a story of forbidden love and unintentional betrayal in a place where dreams and visions are the foreshadowing of the reality that is to come. Can the future be altered once it is Seen, or is what has been foretold the only path to the inevitable end? Though, in this case, The End is only The Beginning.

If you love epic fantasy, I can’t recommend this book highly enough. J Tullos Hennig’s writing is nothing less than eloquent, her storytelling nothing less than stellar. This is the sort of book that makes me fall in love with words and language all over again. It’s a story that drew me in from page one and didn’t cut me loose, even when there were no more words left to read.

The book ends in a cliffhanger, one that promises no small amount of pain and heartache to come. This long and winding journey has only just got underway, where it will take me next I can only guess, but one thing I do know for sure is that I will be right there along with Rob, Gamelyn, and Marion every step of the way.

Reviewed by: Lisa

You can buy Greenwode (The Wode, Book 1) here:

Beau Schemery, Harmony Ink Press

This Is One Blade I Gladly Threw Myself On – The Last Blade: The Verses of Vrelenden, Book Two by Beau Schemery

It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies. But it takes a great deal more to stand up to your friends. – JK Rowling.

Sometimes the most heroic thing a man can do is to follow his conscience, especially in the face of opposition from those he’s come to call friends. Ren the Resilient, True Hero, slayer of Grimthorn, defender of Unicorns, wielder of fire and ice, learns this truth firsthand on a Quest that will lead him and the Prince of Toads on a journey across the country of Vrelenden to stop an Emperor and thwart the rise of a Zombie Nation bent upon the destruction of every living thing in the world.

Ren is missing Celestrian, his Lost Unicorn and True Love, so it’s up to Ren, the Prince, and a new band of heroes they’ll assemble along the way to carry out this deadly…or maybe that should be undeadly mission. Every hero needs a Mage by his side, or so all the stories say, so as Ren is no ordinary hero that merely means he needs an extraordinary Mage to accompany him in this journey, one Discimus Verilicus Baernfordica Lam’ Derilithen Marviticus the Thirty-Third (it’s Dish, for short, thank goodness), the Mage Prime of Calistrothal. On their adventure, they will add to their numbers a Warrior Chief, Jaron A-Dale; Setsuo-No-Anbu, an Assassin; and the Elfin Healer, Acorn, who is prey to a danger all her own.

Danger—yes, there’s danger at nearly every turn of this Herculean adventure, as well as bad omens and revenge and detours and blessings in disguise, and, at the heart of it all, there’s an evil that refuses to remain vanquished. There’s magic and mystery and mayhem galore among the humor that becomes horror for one sleepy little town. There is love, too, not the sort of True Love that Ren has for his Lost Unicorn, but a love that is born of friendship and forged by a common need and is powerful in its own right.

The Unlikely Hero introduced this wide world of the extraordinary in a flexing of uncommonly creative muscle, through storytelling that blends together nearly every fantastical creature known to lovers of fantasy, along with plenty of action and romance and humor and a few nods to the classics—and not just literary classics either—to fulfill anyone’s love of reading about times and places that exist nowhere but in the imagination.

The Last Blade is a continuation of the magical enchantment I willingly threw myself into in the beginning of Ren’s journey to become a True Hero, and this Quest was every bit as wonderful as the first, leaving the reader with the promise of more to come as friends, both old and new, carry on to wherever Beau Schemery will take them next.

The Last Blade: The Verses of Vrelenden, Book Two can be purchased here: