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Cloak of the Two Winds (The Glimnodd Cycle) (Volume 1) Paperback – July 12, 2016
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About the Author
Jack Massa has studied writing and other forms of magic for many years. He lives in Florida, U.S.A.
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Top customer reviews
Cloak of the Two Winds came as a very pleasant surprise. The pace is very even and author clearly put a lot of time and effort into developing a detailed setting for his story. His theory of magic, a must for any good work of fantasy, is extremely interesting. I have not seen a similar explanation for why magic exists, how it works, etc. in any other work.
The writing is very solid. I only saw maybe 2-3 typos in the entire book and grammar and usage was first rate. There was perhaps a bit too much exposition, but that was necessary due to the richly detailed world Massa creates for his story. Certain characters are deep and memorable (particularly the rival witches). The Iruks, to a certain extent, lacked definition and I had difficulties in keeping some of them separate.
The world he creates is really, really interesting. It is rooted enough in "our" world so that the creatures and peoples seem familiar yet it is distinct enough to have a charm of its own. The books reads a bit like a YA novel, but I'm not sure it was Massa's intent. However, that does nothing to reduce the entertainment value provided by the story. Certainly any teen reader could read this book and enjoy it as much as I did, and there isn't any adult material in the book to give parents pause. While one of the antagonists kind of bursts into focus a bit abruptly, the ending is satisfying and sets the story up to be continued in the next installment in the series (which I understand is due soon). I will certainly continue reading as I want to see where the story goes. Overall, this is a very entertaining 3.5 stars which I rounded up to reflect how much I enjoyed reading the book. Very well done.
Like <I>The Princess Bride</I>, this book combines a number of beloved fantasy elements into a riveting story that satisfies on many levels. Despite the familiar tropes, there is nothing derivative about this book; the world of <I>Cloak of the Two Winds</I>, called Glimnodd, is entirely its own. The book's main characters are Iruks, from the south polar region. In some ways they are similar to our world's Inuit, but they have no problem switching from hunting to piracy when a likely target appears. The Iruk hunting party's boat is as versatile as the hunters: with a quick conversion, it can sail as easily on ice as it can on water. This is a necessary capability because the waters of Glimnodd can change to ice, and back again, at a moment's notice--and the shifts are becoming more and more unpredictable and drastic. The Iruks' piratical venture soon embroils them in Glimnodd's climate-change emergency, which all revolves around a stolen cloak with the power control the the winds that cause freezing and melting. Of more immediate concern to the Iruk hunting band, one of their members has disappeared. The only person who may be able to help them find and rescue her is the witch whose ship they raided--a witch who is being pursued by at least one of Glimnodd's most powerful magic workers.
This book had me at "ice pirates," but the story was even richer than I expected. I quickly came to care about the characters, and the devotion the members of the hunting party had for each other was truly moving. I found the magical system intriguing and loved its mystical elements of seeing into the Deepmind, a kind of collective unconscious. We meet a few different cultures in this book, but the Iruk culture is the primary one, and its customs are portrayed so deftly that it is easy to imagine being part of that society (which appears, by the way, to practice full gender equality). In sum, <I>Cloak of the Two Winds</I> is a riveting fantasy set in a fascinating world, and I recommend it highly. (Also, while this is not a YA novel per se, I think it would make a great YA read.)
Here's hoping there will be another book soon to follow!