Tuesday, 20 April 2010

The Prophecy of Zephyrus

An American teenager is whisked off to a fantasy world. To get back home he has to set out on a quest to confront an all powerful sorcerer. On the way he befriends a lion man, encounters a witch and battles odd creatures in the woods. Add a few fantasy staples like goblins and elves and that is about it. This book is about as undemanding as books get. It's a shame because the first two chapters showed promise. Obie and his friend Josh seemed like real characters. Unfortunately things go awry as soon as he ends up in the fantasy world leaving Josh behind. From here on in Obie is surrounded by awfully nice people who are in conflict with some awfully bad people. G.A.Hesse's clean and flawless prose just seems to compound the lack of any rough edges to her world building. And you do need some rough edges in this genre. The dialogue is very odd indeed with characters interacting with pretty much the same voice and standpoint throughout. Things take an even more dire turn for the worse when Hesse introduces a cutesy character who seems to have taken a wrong turn on the way to Toad Hall. If I hadn't committed to doing the review I would have put the book down at about page 40. I think even in my younger, fantasy devouring days I'd have come to the same conclusion. By page 320 I had to admit defeat. Another 100 pages of The Prophecy of Zephyrus was just a bridge too far. I believe I'd read enough to justify still penning this review though. I think this was a case of an author who has fully mastered the technical side of the written word but has not even begun to learn how to become a storyteller.

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