Well I've done it again. I've got myself hooked on a new series. Why is it that every time I discover a new author I like he, or in this case they, has to be working on at least a trilogy. Maybe those folks who know they have a long time to develop their plots are able to write with a more carefree attitude. What ever the reason I'm now hooked on The Eldarn Sequence
In the first book The Hickory Staff the two authors Robert Scott and Jay Gordon have got their hooks into me and unless they really screw up in the second book, I'm theirs until they've finished. It's not that they've discovered something new under the sun, it's the fact that they've been able to take a familiar theme and give it new life and depth that makes this book, and hopefully the series, such a good read.
It’s the standard other world type story, where people from our world accidentally cross over, and find that they have a role to play in preventing a horrible evil from destroying all the worlds. Yep, been there, done that, bought one too many t-shirts and seen the movie in its special tenth anniversary boxed set, would be my reaction too if it wasn't for the fact that the two authors have managed make it seem like no one has ever written this type of story before.
I was on a trawling expedition through my local large chain bookstore when I found The Hickory Staff. It was the cover that caught my eye and the title. Simple sepia toned background with a line drawing of a tree, and scripted characters for the title and the author's names: nothing flashy but evocative. I know that authors usually have no control over a book's cover art, but I couldn't help feeling that any work that felt secure enough to package itself plainly deserved a look.
The first thing you'll notice differing from other books of this type is that it diverges from the typical formula almost immediately. Instead of the action building on our world with the main characters sliding into the alternative one, the scene shifts continually between the earth and Eldarn.
The authors give us the details that the characters from earth are going to have to understand when they get to their eventual destination. The situation in Eldarn and the characters we will meet there are as familiar to us from the start as the people in our own world. While Steven Taylor and Mark Jenkins from Idaho Springs Colorado are still the main characters, they are only cogs in the larger story of the ongoing history of Eldarn.