Glammenport by Kevin Lane
Review by Floresiensis
Timion the Black has exhausted his options. Reckless, despicable, Timion’s own band of mercenary men turn against him, leaving him for dead in a back alleyway. Fate deposits the usurped buccaneer into the hands of altruistic nuns. There he finds his way to health and into their debt. Revenge, dark magic, and clever technology collide, catapulting Timion beyond the rim of the known world - beyond the mythic Boiling Seas. There he finds a forgotten, corrupt race sharpening their swords for conquest – their dark, evil eyes set upon his home port of call: Glammenport.
The moment you start reading Glammenport you are hit with a large wave of seawater right in the face; you can almost hear seagulls cawing and the creak of wood – this tale begins with a distinct nautical feel. Kevin Lane introduces us to the major characters chapter by chapter and they are all very different and this allows for great contrast. Glammenport is high fantasy; there is a prophecy, a quest and a chosen one but luckily it is far from formulaic. When the party sets out from Glammenport the plot could easily have fallen into the travel/fight, travel/fight structure of many novels of the genre but an airship comes along and changes everything…
The story is written in the third person, letting us see the story from the perspective of those involved and I feel that a story of this type is best told in this narrative. Glammenport and the surrounding are extremely well described – The Boiling Seas are fantastic – and you get a real sense and feel for the world. I think this is an excellent story that is full of excitement, adventure and populated with believable and empathetic characters.
If I were asked to pinpoint my favourite moment in the book the I would show them this excerpt; a beautifully written paragraph concerning Timion the Black and spoken by the elf Nok who is possibly my favourite character: “You judge the tree by its leaves, Holy One. Leaves are ever changing, even on the oldest, wisest oak. Green in the warm weathers, fire in the cold. Full branches in the summer, bare branches in the winter. Bare branches do not mean the heart of the tree has perished. In the spring, so starts the cycle anew. My liege is in the deepest of winters. His limbs are bare. All you see are his broken branches, his rough bark split from the cold. When spring returns to my liege, he shall grow again, anew. And he shall be the stronger for weathering his cold, cruel winter.”
Glammenport impressed me immediately - the standard of the writing was high and the descriptions were vivid, the characterisation strong. Comparisons are difficult and only Raymond E Feist’s Magician really comes to mind and this only because of both books featuring two very different worlds. Kevin Lane has not re-invented the genre here but he has taken it and produced a highly polished, skilful and above all enjoyable book that will allow readers to escape into a richly textured fantasy world. He is an author with a future and if he can continue to write with such verve and skill I, for one, will happily read his work. This is a very good book and I hope that there is an even better work to come, as this author possesses all the raw materials to write a fantasy classic.
KevinC from New Hampshire, USA
I'm not real good at writing reviews and as such I think the review above does much better justice to Glammenport than I could do. I've known Kevin Lane for years and I just recently bought his two books (Glammenport and Lodestone) and after reading them I am left wanting more! I think the 7.9 rating (currently) is fair and I've given him an 8 for Glammenport. Since I know him I've had the privilege of asking him to write longer stories but he's pointed out that a lot of books have 'extra wording' that is unnecessary. For example, they describe over multiple sentences how a prisoner is not respected and treated badly when the book should make you feel a part of the story - you should understand from reading how the food was thrown at the prisoner or the conditions of the cell that the prisoner is not respected, you shouldn't have to be 'told' it like a book report would tell you. I can respect that. It still leaves me wanting more stories and longer stories from him ;) As a side note I've helped him convert his latest short story to Amazon Kindle e-pub format. I'm not sure if Amazon links are allowed here but if you go to Amazon and search for "Mangrove (30 Days in Archmoor)" you should find it and be able to download a sample of it for free. It's illustrated (one image per chapter, 6 chapters, it's a short story - one of a series he has planned.) I also twisted his arm to get him to include images which I think is a nice touch and I hope others enjoy them too.
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