Whenever someone asks what I’m reading, more than half the time it’s a fantasy novel. There’s just something about losing myself in a book with swords and sorcery. And when I started reading The Third Sign by Gregory A. Wilson, I was immediately drawn into the world of young Calen Gollnet.
Calen braved the dangerous Razorwood, seeking the help of Arvan Eleron, one of the heroes who helped overthrow the Overlord and free the country of Klune a decade ago. The city of Klune Anor had been destroyed by a strange army, and Calen was told to find Arvan to tell him that the tomb of Ek’thon had begun to melt… one of the signs of an old prophecy that meant bad news for Klune…
With Arvan’s help, Calen eventually meets Sarrtax, one of the legendary arlics (giant furry horned warriors) protecting the borders of Klune, as well as Princess Senavene and Prince Rell of the Krollner family. Together they struggle to pull together an army to stop what’s coming. Evil has once again entered Klune and a new group of heroes must rise to the challenge.
This book has a little bit of everything you’d expect from a good fantasy yarn. The bad guys are bad. The good guys are good. And everybody holds a piece of the puzzle.
As a first novel, Wilson has created a compelling story. This is the first in a planned series of books (the Chronicles of Klune), and, as such, Wilson does spend a good amount of time introducing his characters and world to the reader. But I found the world to be quite engaging, with a plot weaving current events, the last 10 years of peace and the prior period of slavery together to create a world I hope to learn more of in the future.
The politics described in the book also were quite captivating, with various factions trying to assert their own point of view. The arlics are arguing among themselves as much as the humans, making Klune a country ripe for destruction by the invading forces of evil.
And I have to admit that I formed a soft spot for Calen, the boy forced to grow up way too soon in the midst of the chaos of war. I found Calen’s father, Larin Gollnet, to be quite philosophical in his dealings with the world — retreating to his writings and his books instead of dealing with the practical matters plaguing his family during poor economic times. But his mantra sticks with me: “Clarity of thought will lead to clarity of purpose; clarity of purpose will lead to clarity of result.” Even in our own world, these can be words to live by.
I think Wilson’s results speak for themselves. The Third Sign is a great first effort in the epic fantasy genre, and I look forward to seeing what the next book in the series holds. For more information about the book, head to his website. Be sure to look for the novel at your favorite online or brick-and-mortar retailer today!