With Tower and Turrets, Crowned by Charles J Schneider
Rhian MacDomhnuill is a powerful Gaelic warlord who falls in love with Gwyneth, a beautiful and sultry peasant maiden. Rather than marrying Gwyneth, Rhian is sadly coerced into a politically expedient union instead—with Sif, an Icelandic princess who, unbeknown to Rhian, has a dark and evil soul. Gwyneth, whose heart is broken, finds a way to reunite with Rhian as a servant in his castle. When Sif learns of her husband’s rekindled passion with his former lover, she becomes intent on revenge; and her malice takes a form that is not only unexpected, but also unnatural and terrifying.
This novella is, at its heart, a strong outing by author Charles J. Schneider. On its face, the story line of With Tower and Turrets, Crowned may seem derivative of a number of high fantasy novels; Our protagonist, a Scottish nobleman named Rhian, is forced into an ill-fated marriage to a dubious character by the name of Sif, and he is made all the more wretched by the fact that he loves a simple and caring farmer’s daughter that he cannot have, as she isn’t befitting his class.
The tale of the strong, silent nobleman forced to choose duty over love is nothing new, nor does Schneider take the trope into any particularly edgy territory, although he does inject life into the storyline through some good characterization. The character of Sif, in particular, is well done, and the side characters are well placed and adeptly reflect back upon the characterizations of the main players. Furthermore, Schneider’s descriptions of the magical parts of the novella are handled well.
The biggest pitfall of the story is that the motivations of the characters are either extremely straightforward (as in the case of the protagonists) or oddly murky (as in the case of Sif or the Coven). The subtle nuances that make us second guess characters or motivations are slightly lacking here, and in some cases I felt the author relied on the reader simply to take the good guys as good and the bad guys as bad, and that was that.
The novella’s best strength is its setting and sense of place. The real time action takes place in the span of a single night, and all within in the turrets and chambers of a castle tower. The rest is told in flashbacks. This may sound confusing, but the author handles the displacement well and the story is better for it. Also, the setting is made palpable by adept use of medieval Scottish terms and settings as well as some strong descriptions, and this does help distinguish the tale.
With Tower and Turrets, Crowned is an admirable entry into the high fantasy genre, and although it sometimes lacks polish, this story of fated love in the Scottish Isles is one worth reading.
This With Tower and Turrets, Crowned book review was written by B Griffith
Have you read With Tower and Turrets, Crowned?
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.
With Tower and Turrets, Crowned reader reviews
7.4/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
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 Brightness Long Ago
Guy Gavriel Kay
International bestselling author Guy Gavriel Kay's latest work is set in a world evoking early Renaissance Italy and offers an extraordinary cast of characters whose li...
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Two magicians shall appear in England. The first shall fear me; the second shall long to behold me The year is 1806. England is beleaguered by the long war with Napoleon, a...
Guy Gavriel Kay
For two years Shen Tai has mourned his father, living like a hermit beyond the borders of the Kitan Empire, by a mountain lake where terrible battles have long been fought ...
The Yiddish Policemen's Union
What if, as Franklin Roosevelt once proposed, Alaska - and not Israel - had become the homeland for the Jews after World War II? In Michael Chabon's Yiddish-speaking ...
Hats off to Brandenburg
London, 1815 – The Roxy Playhouse is in trouble! The Roxy Playhouse Irregulars, those libertine artists and dreamers, are up to their necks in debt – “Pay...
The Master and Margarita
Moscow, 1929: a city that has lost its way amid corruption and fear, inhabited by people who have abandoned their morals and forsaken spirituality. But when a mysterious st...
Catherynne M Valente
Child of the revolution, maiden of myth, bride of darkness. A handsome young man arrives in St Petersburg at the house of Marya Morevna. He is Koschei, the Tsar of Life, an...
The Gamehouse is an unusual institution. Many know it as the place where fortunes can be made and lost through games of Chess, Backgammon - every game under the sun. But a ...
Nights at the Circus
Is Sophie Fevvers, toast of Europe's capitals, part swan... or all fake? Courted by the Prince of Wales and painted by Toulouse-Lautrec, she is an aerialiste extraordin...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages: