Foreword Review — July / Aug 2000
Evil creatures of the night—abominations of legends long ago—have already swept across Tzardia at the head of immortal Hezra-Thrall’s army, maiming and killing all in their path, and are beginning to creep into neighboring Neffrom from the east. According to prophecy, a wretched savior of the world against this invasion is cradled in the remotest outpost of the kingdom of Neffrom and must be reached before the evil Thrall sends his minions to attack over the mountains. It is at this outpost that a blind swordswoman named Kisha—who wishes for death after sustaining injuries both physically and mentally in the war in Tzardia—and the grown yet immature Sparrow Blackaker are found by Grimwar, ex-wizard and Royal Justiciar to Neffrom’s king. It is Grimwar who will accompany Sparrow and Kisha on their perilous journey through which their intertwining fates will collide to fulfill the damning prophecy.
With his first novel, Craddock has created complex and interesting characters in a dark fantasy that interests readers quickly, rushing them headlong into a maelstrom of vividly described events that capture the imagination. Plenty of mystery surrounds the prophecy’s interpretation as well as the personal inner demons that torture the minds of the main characters as they venture into the unknown. Yet as the journey progresses and war eventually commences, the mysteries are cleverly unfolded until everything is made clear, with no questions remaining unanswered and readers hooked until even the aftermath of battle is settled in its own startling way.
Enough description is made of outlying areas and past history to hope for another adventure of peril and strife from this well-conceived imaginary world.