Beckwood Brae by David H Webb
The grey monster disappears into the bracken. After the near encounter, Norri is left shaken and wondering. What is it? How did it come to be in the Fornvelt? He has no idea that sighting the creature is just the first portent of great events that are taking shape, much less what his part in them will be. Norri, Tom and the others find themselves in an epic struggle against the massed armies and navy of the Corriian Empire who unleash demonic weapons of terror and legend against them until all hope of any surviving the conflagration seems lost. Norri’s task and the journey he undertakes goes terribly wrong. There, in utter despair, he makes a decision that could shake the world.
Beckwood Brae is high-quality, solid fantasy fare from Australian fantasy author David H Webb. Webb is a big Tolkien fan and although there are parts that are similar to the great Professor’s work this an original and enjoyable book in its own right. The characters are strongly written and contain strong personalities that give the story a rich and rewarding quality. My favourite character was Tom; he was easy to relate to - an ordinary, everyday hero. Tom is a man that finds himself fighting in a war when he would rather be at home with his family.
Norri was startled and pushed back by the first attack but realized they had to do something. He grabbed an oar, thrust it at the monster’s head, and shoved with all his strength. This at least had the effect of keeping the great pincers for Maari’s leg which was the beast’s target now that she had struggled back into the back of the boat.
Beckwood Brae is written in the third person and this perspective allows the reader to see events from different viewpoints and in different locations. David H Webb has created a beautiful, homely place in Egleton; a place that offers comfort, laughter, happiness and contentment… but there is a danger that is threatening their way of life. The author describes the feelings and the attitudes of the main characters well, for instance, Tom’s reluctant journey from his home to the capital city allows us to feel how he would far rather be at home with his wife and friends and preparing for a hearty meal rather than heading into a battle from which he may never return. Beckwood Brae is a very good and very enjoyable story - epic fantasy is its theme and it consists of all the elements that need to go together to make a great fantasy story. We have the idyllic homeland under threat; the simple man who’s life will be turned upside down when he discovers the truth of his ancestry; the prophecy; the quest. This is exactly what fantasy readers are looking for and when it is done well, which is the case here and it is great to be taken along for a fantastic ride.
Beckwood Brae is a very enjoyable and well-written book - fans of Tolkien will like what they find here; fans of Raymond E Feist’s Magician will also find that this is for them. The battle scenes are clearly described and exciting; the characters are well formed and easy to emphasise with. Webb is a talented storyteller and his story is a classic – the local village lads that rise to become men who shake the very foundations of the world. There is intrigue, betrayal and bravery – all set within a beautifully described land – David H Webb has a real gift for describing trees, don’t ask me why, he just does and I still have the mental images of the forests near the mountains…
The coven masters of the black and silver have yet another weapon. It is called by some the gorefire. It is more terrible still. They cast the spell like dwimmerind and it comes on so, but it causes living things and that which is made from them to burst asunder and catch fire. I have seen it used once against pirates in the south. The empress had sent the gothships against an island off the Bernadian Empire in the south. It was inhabited by pirates who harassed our shipping. We trade with the Bernadians now, and they pay us tribute, but the pirates were a constant menace. The empress sent the gothships of the black and silver pennant against them. The Masters can make the wind blow in any direction they choose, so they could outsail the pirates. I saw a ship they had attacked. It was aground on a sand bar. Every plank was sprung and the bodies of the pirates were opened up and charred black with fire. You do not want to get too close to these, lest they use this weapon against you also.
I would heartily recommend Beckwood Brae and look forward to reading the second book in the series - an accomplished debut from a talented and committed writer.
This Beckwood Brae book review was written by Floresiensis
All reviews for: The Chronicles of the Corriian Wars
The Chronicles of the Corriian Wars: Book 1
Have you read Beckwood Brae?
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Beckwood Brae reader reviews
Jeanette Sklavounos from Australia
Loved it . Can't wait for the next book .So when is it coming ??????? I'm driving the book shops crazy, asking has he written the next book yet ! So please come on David don't keep us in suspense.
Great book, just finished it. i absolutely loved it and would've given it a 10/10 except that there were a fair few mistakes, but otherwise loved it and hope that a 2nd book will come out soon.
Peter from Sydney, Australia
Beckwood Brae has an evil Empire, ordinary people who become heros, an unusual secretive race who influence a battle, magical beasts and much more. I look foward to David Webb's second book and I suspect this Australian author will secure a loyal following once his gift for story-telling becomes known.
Michael Kunz from Sydney
Only halfway through and am thoroughly enjoying it. Am hoping there will be more in the series.
Scott Dawson from Brisbane
I have not yet finished this book and I'm not sure whether I will. However good the story may be, I feel it suffers at the hands of the editor(s). Far too many grammatical and spelling errors, and, in my opinion, far too indulgent with descriptions of minutiae (such as the preparation of meals... several paragraphs where a couple of lines would suffice).
8.1/10 from 6 reviews
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