Home > Fantasy, Senior Fiction, Young Adult > Children of the Black Sun Book 1: Winter be my Shield by Jo Spurrier

Children of the Black Sun Book 1: Winter be my Shield by Jo Spurrier

May 31, 2012

Winter be my Shield by Jo Spurrier. Pub. HarperVoyager 2012.

This new Adventure/Fantasy novel is just brilliant. It took me four days to read, not because it was hard to read, but because i wanted to savour every word. I rarely do this with a novel. Why?

It is set in the land of Ricalan, a land that has been invaded from the south by seafaring Mesentreians who have settled in the flat lands. To the West it is facing invasion from the Akharian Empire, but the power from within is held by an aging Blood-Mage called Kell and his ruthless assistant Rasten.

Kell rules with a sadistic appetite through the power of the Mage. He uses pain to control people and the attitude is “it is better to give pain than to receive it. Disturbing?  yes and there is much brutality and torture in this novel.

Into the novel come two half brothers, Cam who is the rightful heir of Ricalan and Isidro a man who has withstood much abuse and nurtures an arm that has been shattered into a hundred parts and gives him constant pain. The brothers are fleeing Kell’s henchmen and save a young Mage named Sierra who escaped Rasten chief henchman to Kells.

Sierra is an anomoly, she derives her power from the pain of others yet you like her and wish her no harm. You have expectations that she will come good.

The strife and action that these characters create makes compelling reading in the midst of a harsh and bitter winter.

Amongst the pain there is goodness. You know that it is in there somewhere but it is going to take a long time to emerge and win. A couple more books at least.

For able fantasy readers of high school years and above this is a refreshing new story.

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