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The Stormcaller by Tom Lloyd
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The Stormcaller

by Tom Lloyd

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Twilight Reign (book 1)

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http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/2828734.html

It's pretty generic fantasy and I gave up after 100 pages. ( )
  nwhyte | Jun 25, 2017 |
The Stormcaller, by Tom Lloyd, tells the story of Isak, a white-eye as he transitions from a roving wagon rider to the Krann, i.e. heir to one of the most powerful men in the country.

In essence, the story is one of the "protagonist is reviled for the gift that makes him special" sub-genre of fiction. His white-eye status makes him an outcast among his own people but also marks him as a powerful man.

For the most part, the story was good. The characters were generally well defined although sometimes one-dimensional in nature.

I also had real trouble with the transitions. Something potentially noteworthy would happen on the last page of the chapter. Then, the scene would go to a different character. While that's not an uncommon technique since it builds tension, when the original noteworthy item is mentioned again, it's just in passing. A sentence or two which gives the overview, but not the details. It made me feel a bit cheated.

However, don't assume there's no details given. Sometimes excessive details are given in a chapter that don't relate to action or characters. In addition, a lot of the characters are introduced with a bad case of "what I've done". In other words, when a new character is introduced, you hear all about their background and what brought them to this point. Much of that was irrelevant. But, you often don't find out how they fit into things until much later.

Finally, there's lots of words introduced without any description. Take the word Krann. Although Isak is called the Krann early in the novel, you don't find out what it means until much later although you can infer that it's a position of honor. Noblemen, generals, servants, etc. All are given titles without any description of what that title means. ( )
  RuralRogue | Apr 2, 2017 |
It was much better after the second read. Oh, and I love Isak! ( )
  KillerCorp | Jul 27, 2015 |
Yes, but Kindle.
  Xleptodactylous | Apr 7, 2015 |
I have to say I did things a little bit backwards when it came to this series. It all started with The God Tattoo, Tom Lloyd's anthology of stories from the Twilight Reign that I read last year. Needless to say, I enjoyed it very much. Furthermore, it made me want to explore everything else this world had to offer, so when Pyr gave me the opportunity to read and review The Stormcaller, the first book of the series that began it all, I very enthusiastically accepted.

That collection of tales had given me a taste of the Twilight Reign universe, and piqued my interest with its promise of a dark and epic fantasy. Here was the world I had been introduced to, one of white-eyes, ancient deities and terrible magic. Now I was finally able to see the wider context, getting the full depth of the story filled with gods and demons, clandestine politics and violent clashes between warring peoples. I feel like what I'd gotten from the anthology was just a nibble. And here, this was the whole cake.

Born into a life of poverty, our main protagonist Isak is a white-eye, a genetic rarity known to make those with the condition bigger, stronger, and more aggressive. Feared and mistrusted by those around him, Isak had resigned to the fact that he would never be accepted, until fate intervenes and raises him to a position of power as the heir to the Lord of the Fahlan. In some ways, I feel the book comprises of several distinct parts, and this section of the story would be the first of them, focusing on Isak's transition from a simple peasant to someone with status.

Now, while it's true that a lot of fantasy stories begin this way, I thought Isak's background was a big part of what set his tale apart. For one thing, I find the lore and history behind white-eyes fascinating. Purported to be stronger, faster and more charming than normal men because they are god-touched and divinely chosen to be leaders, white-eyes are still no less shunned and despised by many. Because of this, Isak has to prove himself twice over to satisfy his detractors.

Regrettably, I also think this part of the book was the most difficult to get through. As Isak learns the ropes, this section of the story is mostly filled with descriptions of the things he learns and the people he meets, and it's the most slow-moving part of the story. Add to that, the writing style took some time for me to get used to. I thought the prose came across rather stark and ponderous, and while I wouldn't say I disliked the writing, it still felt like it was missing something -- lightness or emotion, perhaps, though to be fair, the story is meant to be quite dark and heavy. To get through this first part of the book, I did feel I had to work at it.

The action didn't come until later, but I have to say the plot picks up considerably once we follow Isak and his people into war against the elves. This section of the story is driven by several pitched battles, and here the author also starts fleshing out his world in earnest, giving it history and depth. As the layers were filled in one by one (culture, religions, politics, etc) I finally began to feel the full weight of the Twilight Reign universe.

I ended up loving the second half of this novel. It encompassed the final section of the story, in which Isak travels to Narkang with his retinue, and they meet the celebrated King Emin. I won't deny this probably had to do with having read The God Tattoo first; Emin was a character that featured prominently in a couple of the stories in the anthology, and so in a way, I felt like I already knew him and had a good grasp of the setting of Narkang. And lastly, this part of the book also featured the climax of the final battle, which was a great way to bring everything to a close.

All told, it took me a while to read The Stormcaller, partly because it's such a long book but also because I had to settle in to the writing style. Still, I enjoyed this one. I may have come to this series in a roundabout way, but further exploring a world that fascinated and intrigued me was so worth it. ( )
  stefferoo | Jan 24, 2014 |
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Tom Lloydprimary authorall editionscalculated
Lockwood, ToddCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In the dark corners of the night he dreams of the silent palace by the shore; a place where harsh sunlight and leaden shadows are cast over the white marble of it's corridors.
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Isak is a white-eye, born bigger, more charismatic and more powerful than normal men, but with that power, comes an unpredictable temper and an inner rage. Feared and despised by those around him, he dreams of a place in the army and a chance to live his own life, but the Gods have other plans, for Isak has been chosen as heir-elect to the brooding Lord Bahl, the white-eyed Lord of the Farlan.… (more)

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