The Stormcaller by Tom Lloyd
One of the books that has always captured my interest whenever I saw it on a shelf at a bookstore was Tom Lloyd’s ‘The Stormcaller’. First in ‘The Twilight Reign’ series, the cover and typography of the front cover always had me intrigued. That, and the fact that SFX is quoted on the front saying “Shows how high the bar has been raised with its sheer vision and inventiveness.”
All of this is true. The Stormcaller is massively inventive and its vision is vast, sprawling even, definitely in league with worlds created by authors like Steven Erikson.
But the book is still only almost brilliant.
One of the biggest problems some authors seem to have is their inability to feasibly refer to the vastness of their world. Characters are thrown around without any concern for whether the reader remembers them, and too often they bear names that are strikingly similar to other characters that have been revealed or are to be revealed, leaving the reader confused and floundering in a world that, while obviously impressive, falls down due to the author’s inability to properly portray.
Worst of all is the fact that I simply cannot wait to read the next book, ‘The Twilight Herald’. Stormcaller is magnificent in what the author does manage to realize, and leaves you wanting more. The story is captivating, heartfelt and rarely steps away from realistic despite dealing with an eighteen year old hero (of sorts) thrust into a world of politics, royal intrigue and formidable power.
Isak is our hero, and he is flawed enough that he swaps between being inexplicably whiny and relatable (which might be a comment on the human condition and not a flaw against the author). He is surrounded by powerful men and intelligent women, caught up in prophecies that are only ever half hinted at and given powers that are frightening.
And Tom Lloyd does manage to write well, most of the time. Amidst the sheer wealth of inventiveness and vision is a writer who knows how to write people, how to write a great battle scene and keep you interested the whole way through a book. With the story. The world around the story is the problem and I had a hard time continuing straight through the book. Many days were spent away from the book watching The Big Bang Theory or reading another book entirely. Only when I was within distance of the end did I sit down and plough through, Tour de France playing softly in the background.
But it was still hard going and I am not sure what I have missed because the author doesn’t want me to know it yet, and what I have missed because it was lost in some half hinted at prophecy mentioned on page 37 or something. This is Lloyd’s first book, and the praise for his writing only grows over the next four books, so I can only assume that his ability to realize the vast world that he has created for his characters improves. But for the moment, The Stormcaller is a little hard to lose yourself in when you are continually skipping to the back of the book to refer to a very bare-bones cast list.
Let me be very clear though, the torment of not knowing what you’ve missed is not enough to stop me recommending this book to you. The story is brilliant and really intriguing, and I cannot wait to see what happens next. Maybe that is the most telling part of Lloyd’s writing ability, and everything else will simply sort itself out in the following books.
This The Stormcaller book review was written by Alice Wybrew
All reviews for: The Twilight Reign
The God Tattoo: Untold Tales from the Twilight Reign
The Twilight Reign
The history of the Land may remember the slaughter at Moorview or the horror of Scree's fall, but there were other casualties of the secret war against Azaer - more tal...
The Twilight Reign #1
Isak is a white-eye, feared and despised in equal measure. Trapped in a life of poverty, hated and abused by his father, Isak dreams of escape, but when his chance comes, i...
The Twilight Herald
The Twilight Reign #2
The eyes of the Land are on the minor city of Scree, which could soon be obliterated as the new Lord of the Farlan plots his revenge against Scree's rulers. Suffering u...
Have you read The Stormcaller?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
The Stormcaller reader reviews
Joe from Hong Kong
@Alice Wybrew....Wow. One of those rare times where I read a book review that absolutely mirrors my EXACT THOUGHTS. I could not possibly have put my own thoughts about "The Stormcaller" any better than this: "One of the biggest problems some authors seem to have is their inability to feasibly refer to the vastness of their world. Characters are thrown around without any concern for whether the reader remembers them, and too often they bear names that are strikingly similar to other characters that have been revealed or are to be revealed, leaving the reader confused and floundering in a world that, while obviously impressive, falls down due to the author’s inability to properly portray. " Absolutely spot on review... cheers, Joe
7/10 from 2 reviews
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen
Bled dry by interminable warfare, infighting and bloody confrontations with Lord Anomander Rake and his Tiste Andii, the vast, sprawling Malazan empire simmers with discont...
Chronicles of the Black Company
Darkness wars with darkness as the hard-bitten men of the Black Company take their pay and do what they must. They bury their doubts with their dead. Then comes the prophec...
On the world of Kuf, the Macht are a mystery, a seldom-seen people of extraordinary ferocity and discipline whose prowess on the battlefield is the stuff of legend. For cen...
Shadow Ops series
Army Officer. Fugitive. Sorcerer. Across the country and in every nation, people are waking up with magical talents. Untrained and panicked, they summon storms, raise the d...
The Rigante Novels
Born in the storm that doomed his father, Connavar grows to manhood among the mist-covered mountains of Caer Druagh, where the Rigante tribe dwell in harmony with the land ...
The First Law
Inquisitor Glokta, a crippled and increasingly bitter relic of the last war, former fencing champion turned torturer extraordinaire, is trapped in a twisted and broken body...
The Ascendants of Estorea
The Estorean Conquord has stood for 850 years. Its Advocate, Herine Del Aglios, knows that she presides over the greatest civilisation in history. But she wants more. And i...
The Drenai Novels
The Legend Druss, Captain of the Axe: the stories of his life were told everywhere. Instead of the wealth and fame he could have claimed, he had chosen a mountain lair, hig...
The Aspect Emperor
R Scott Bakker
A score of years after he first walked into the histories of Men, Anasurimbor Kellhus rules all the Three Seas, the first true Aspect-Emperor in a thousand years. The masse...
Chronicles of the Raven
The Raven have fought together for years, six men carving out a living as swords for hire in the war that has torn Balaia apart, loyal only to themselves and their code. Bu...
Prince of Nothing
R Scott Bakker
A score of centuries has passed since the First Apocalypse and the thoughts of men have turned, inevitably, to more worldly concerns... A veteran sorcerer and spy seeks new...
The elves have fled to Calius, seeking to escape the overwhelming power of the demonic Garonin. A desperate last stand in their own dimension saved the race, at the cost of...
Legends of the Raven
The Raven travel to a new continent in search of mages to help the ruined college of Julatsa rebuild . . . and find themselves in the midst of an ancient curse - a curse th...
The People of the Black Circle
Robert E Howard
Conan the Cimmerian: he rose from boy-thief and mercenary to become kingof Aquilonia. Neither supernatural fiends nor demonic sorcery could oppose the barbarian warrior as ...
Priest of Bones
'Sixty-five thousand battle-shocked, trained killers came home to no jobs, no food and the plague. What did Her Majesty think was going to happen?'Tomas...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.
Forced by necessity into a life of piracy, Senlin and his eclectic crew struggle to survive aboard their stolen airship as the hunt for his lost wife continues. But the Tower of Babel is proving to be as difficult to re-enter as it was to escape.Hopeless and desolate, they turn to a legend of the tower, the mysterious Sphinx. But help fro...
The Wolves of Winter
Forget the old days. Forget summer. Forget warmth. Forget anything that doesn’t help you survive in the endless white wilderness beyond the edges of a fallen world. L...
Paris was supposed to save Hallie. Now... well, let’s just say Paris has other ideas. There’s a strange woman called The Chronometrist who will not leave her al...
A corrupted city. A dark dream of power. Luke is a prisoner, condemned for a murder he didn’t commit. Abi is a fugitive, desperate to free him before magic breaks his...
The Fifth Empire of Man
Rob J Hayes
The Pirate Isles are united under Drake Morrass’ flag, but the war has only just begun. There’s still a long way to go before he’s able to call himself Ki...
Ian C Esslemont
After the disappointments of Li Heng, Dancer and Kellanved wash up on a small insignificant island named Malaz. Immediately, of course, Kellanved plans to take it over. To ...
Age of Swords
Michael J Sullivan
Raithe, the God Killer, may have started the rebellion by killing a Fhrey, but long-standing enmities dividing the Rhunes make it all but impossible to unite against the co...