'The world is not a story, or if it is, the plot is very strange." Tristan, the fourth son of a lord, could testify to such. On his sixteenth birthday, he left home with his trusty steed, Juniper, looking for good deeds that needed doing. The boy and his steed developed a reputation and "rumor of their coming sent awful things scurrying into their holes." When Tristan became disenchanted with this life, he pledged his oath to a greedy, mighty lord, a man who would not allow Tristan to continue his heroic deeds. When his master is killed attempting to acquire yet another castle, Tristan is once again on his own. After wandering he arrives at a doomed village. The Nethergrim - the Old Man of the Mountains - The Thief at the Cradle - The Mother's Bane, the flesh of children the only thing he truly prizes, has been angered and is coming for them. Tristan, the knight; Vithric, the Wizard; John Marshall; and sixty men defeated The Nethergrim in an epic battle and only three returned: Tristan, Vithric, and John Marshall. The people of Moorvale had believed The Nethergrim to be dead, but now livestock and children are missing and minions of the Nethergrim are prowling the countryside. Edmund Bales, son of the innkeeper and would be wizard; Katherine, daughter of John Marshall and would be flame of Edmund; and Tom, their friend and a slave, are instrumental in alerting the townsfolk and rescuing some of the children. This is an excellent, action-packed adventure of epic proportions, reminiscent of Tolkien. The packaging is arresting, the suspense well-maintained, and characterization superb. The journey continues in book two.
"Things like love and hope are the substance of life."
"Every great adventure leaves you more than you were and yet less."
"What would be the worth of goodness in a world that always rewarded it."
"Silence turns your thoughts down strange roads."