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About Me

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I am a writer, editor, reviewer and dance teacher based in Perth, Western Australia. You might enjoy my books - The Dagger of Dresnia, the first book of the Talismans Trilogy, is available at all good online book shops. Book two, The Cloak of Challiver, will be available again shortly. Book three, The Seer of Syland, is in preparation. I trained in piano and singing at the NSW Conservatorium of Music. I also trained in dance (Scully-Borovansky, WAAPA) and drama (NIDA). Since 1987 I have been writing reviews of performances in all genres for a variety of publications, including Music Maker, ArtsWest, Dance Australia, The Australian and others. Now semi-retired, I still write occasionally for the ArtsHub website, and I still teach dance at Trinity School for Seniors, an outreach program of the Uniting Church in Perth.

My books

The first novel of my trilogy, The Talismans, is available as an e-book from Smashwords, Amazon and other online sellers. I do have paperbacks of The Dagger of Dresnia at the low price of $AU25 including postage within Australia. I also have a short story, 'La Belle Dame', in print - see Mythic Resonance below. Book two of the trilogy, The Cloak of Challiver, will be available again shortly. The best way to contact me is via Facebook!

Buy The Talismans

The first two books of The Talismans trilogy were published by Satalyte Publications, which, sadly, has gone out of business. Book one, The Dagger of Dresnia, is up on the usual bookselling web sites as an e-book, and I have a few hard copies to sell to those who prefer Real Paper. Book Two, The Cloak of Challiver, will be available soon. The easiest way to contact me is via Facebook.

The Dagger of Dresnia

The Dagger of Dresnia
Want a copy? Contact me at satimafn(at)gmail.com

The Cloak of Challiver

The Cloak of Challiver
Available again as an ebook soon!

Mythic Resonance

Buy Mythic Resonance

Mythic Resonance is an excellent anthology that includes my short story 'La Belle Dame', together with great stories from Alan Baxter, Donna Maree Hanson, Sue Burstynski, Nike Sulway and nine more fantastic authors! Just $US3.99 from Amazon. Got a Kindle? Check out Mythic Resonance.

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Places I've lived: Manchester, UK

Places I've lived: Manchester, UK

Places I've lived: Gippsland, Australia

Places I've lived: Gippsland, Australia

Places I've lived: Geelong, Australia

Places I've lived: Geelong,  Australia

Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

Places I've Lived - Sydney

Places I've Lived - Sydney
Sydney Conservatorium - my old school

Places I've lived: Auckland, NZ

Places I've lived: Auckland, NZ

Places I've Lived: Mount Gambier

Places I've Lived: Mount Gambier
Blue Lake

Places I've lived: Adelaide, SA

Places I've lived: Adelaide, SA

Places I've Lived: Perth by Day

Places I've Lived: Perth by Day
From Kings Park

Places I've lived: High View, WV

Places I've lived: High View, WV

Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

Places I've lived: Braemar, Scotland

Places I've lived: Braemar, Scotland

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

Places I've Lived: Perth by Night

Places I've Lived: Perth by Night
From Kings Park

Inner Peace Blog

Inner Peace Blog
Awarded by Joanna Fay. Click on the image to visit her lovely website!

Versatile Blogger Award

Versatile Blogger Award
Awarded by Kim Falconer. Click on the pic to check out her Quantum Astrology blog!

Fabulous Blog Award

Fabulous Blog Award
Awarded by Kathryn Warner. Click on the pic to check out her Edward II blog!

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Saturday, 20 July 2013

Book review: Wolfblade by Jennifer Fallon

Wolfblade (Hythrun Chronicles: Wolfblade Trilogy, #1)Wolfblade by Jennifer Fallon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This review first appeared in The Specusphere in May 2006

Jennifer Fallon is one of the brightest stars in the constellation of Australasian fantasy writers. She is in good company: shining alongside her we find several women writers of international repute, including Sara Douglas, Cecilia Dart-Thornton, Lian Hearn, Glenda Larke, Fiona Macintosh, Juliet Marillier, Karen Miller and Marianne de Pierres. Each has a unique style, and all are worthy of recognition as fine writers by anyone's reckoning. One or two of them might prefer to be thought of as primarily literary or historical writers, but surely it's time for fantasy to stop being the genre that dare not show its face? Writers of their calibre can hold their heads up in any assemblage.

Fallon is not only a good writer but also a prolific one, often bringing out more than one book a year. Wolfblade is the first book of her third trilogy, The Hythrun Chronicles, a prequel to her earlier Demon Child Trilogy, and if Wolfblade is anything to go by, the series will be eagerly devoured by anyone who appreciated the earlier work. It features some of the same characters, including Lorandranek, King of the Harshini, and his champion, Brakandaran the Halfbreed. They figure in the subplot, which centres on Wrayan Lightfinger, a thief turned sorcerer turned thief again, with some good laughs being provided by a brace of eccentric shape-changing demons.

The doings of the otherworldly Harshini contrast nicely with the almost Machiavellian twists of the main story, whose central character is Marla Wolfblade, sister to the degenerate and perverted High Prince of Hythria. We see Marla forcibly married to a man not of her choosing, and over the course of the book we watch her grow from a silly teenager who can hardly open her mouth without putting her foot in it into a crafty stateswoman determined to become the real power behind the throne of Hythria. Along the way we are introduced to plenty of other intriguing characters, including a couple of frighteningly dysfunctional relatives-by-marriage of Marla's, and her devoted servant, Elezaar the dwarf, who teaches his mistress the subtle arts of deception and one-upsmanship essential to a ruler. All Fallon's characters are clearly and surely defined: we see how they affect events and how they are affected by them, so plot and characterisation bound along hand-in-hand. By the time I reached the book's surprise ending I was sorry to say good-bye.

I only have two small quibbles with Fallon's work, which is well-crafted, easy to read, pacey and gripping. First, she sometimes presents events from the point of view of a dying person. She is not alone in this once-unacceptable practice: the illustrious Guy Gavriel Kay is regularly guilty of it. For this reader, at least, it completely destroys suspension of disbelief. The other quibble is with her invented languages. Hythria must be on another planet, since we have never read about it in our history or geography books! How can it be, then, that its people have such an Indo-European looking vocabulary? 'Court’esa', meaning a slave trained in the sexual arts, is altogether too much like 'courtesan' for credibility as an Exotic Word. And names such as 'Bylinda', 'Frederak' and 'Mahkas' border on the ludicrous.

These criticisms apart, however, Wolfblade promises to be the first book of another captivating trilogy. (If only we were allowed give half-stars on Goodreads!) Long may the muse dwell with Jennifer Fallon!


View all my Goodreads reviews

3 comments:

Jo said...

Sounds a good book. Don't think I have read her works although your list of authors certainly has novels featured in my library.

Satima Flavell said...

Yes, JF is worth a look. Her work is similar to Glenda Larke's in some ways, but in other ways is very different. Karen Miller is another one worth reading - I must add her to the list!

Satima Flavell said...

I've added two more writers - Karen Miller and Marianne de Pierres.Both of them write very entertaining books. I know there are lots more wonderful Aussie and NZ authors, too!

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