Book: THE KEEPERS OF SULBRETH
Author: SUSAN GOURLEY
Genre: EPIC FANTASY
Published: January 2010, MEDALLION PRESS
Series: The Futhark Chronicles #1
Beyond The Gate (The Futhark Chronicles #2)
I received this book from Medallion Press for free, in exchange for an honest review
From Good Reads:
In this magical, medieval fantasy, forces must combine to save the kingdom of Futhark from the evil abyss that threatens it. Sitting within this land and high above an unexplored sea is Sulbreth, the seat from which the Otten family has always ruled. Standing next to their throne are the Keepers, gifted sorcerers who hide a guarded truth only the king understands.
When Prince Jonared takes the throne, he also inherits a tragic and dark shadow ready to befall his land. He and the Keepers summon Sabelline Shelton, a rare sorceress gifted in metallurgy, for a duty she has always feared. But even her exceptional talents are not enough to forestall the soulless enemy issuing forth from the dark places of Futhark.
When Cage Stone enters Sulbreth in a tournament to secure his sister’s future, he too is called by a prophetic destiny to help fight the otherworldly foes and renew the seals that protect their kingdom.
I think I liked this book from the very first sentence. I couldn't quote it, without looking it up, but I just know that I was utterly fascinated from beginning to end. Epic fantasy (which is, of course, subjective whether a reader might consider this particular book to be in the epic fantasy genre. I do.) is a genre that I used to read extensively when I was in middle school. But, as I moved through high school, college, and later, my reading was much more in the romance genre. All of this is to say, that until I started reading THE KEEPERS OF SULBRETH, I didn't realize how much I had missed reading it.
I will say that there are many characters in this novel to keep track of. The Keepers, of which Sabell is the main female character, are not only named, but so are their companions, who are warriors that act as guardians and fighters to protect the people of Sulbreth. There's the King, Jonared, and his personal guardian. There's Sabell's family: a sister and a father. There's Cage's family: a sister, step-mother, and close family friend. And, then there's Cage himself. The half-elf, half-human whom the survival of Sulbreth, and indeed the whole of Futhark, seems to rest upon. For readers that like to have a smaller, inclusive cast of characters to follow, this may not be the book for you.
However, I had no trouble following the story line. There was always a definitive plot that stretched throughout the book. There were no events that seemed to distract, or be irrelevant to the overall idea. Each character had their own personality. There was real growth in each one too, like Cage's acceptance of his mission solely to help his family gain their own residence, to his resignation that, however he had been forced into the situation, he was a key part to the Keepers' defeat of the demons plaguing Sulbreth.
The bottom line: I was entertained. I wanted to experience the lives of these characters, their plight, and what would happen next. I wanted to keep reading at the end of every sentence, and then at the end of every chapter. This was a novel about people dedicating their lives to keeping evil at bay, finding a purpose for their talents, and being a part of the greater good. THE KEEPERS OF SULBRETH is the perfect book for readers who enjoy fantasy, a seemingly impossible quest, and an enthralling journey to another world.
4.5/5 for plot
4/5 for characters
4/5 for language
My Rating: 12.5/15 (4 stars)
Highly Recommend, if you liked:
The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb
Links for the author:
* Barnes and Noble
* Book Depository
Available formats: Print, E-Book