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Heartwood: Trickster's Game #1 Mass Market Paperback – May 3, 2005
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
About the Author
Barbara Campbell wrote her first novel after having a dream while visiting the Jersey Shore. Publishers turned it down becuase they didn't know how to market it: was it a fantasy or a romance? After much work and revision, that novel became Heartwood, and in 2004 it was published. She can be found at barbara-campbell.com.
Top customer reviews
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I read this book over the course of a weekend in spring but for all I knew, I was not sitting in my backyard with the drone of cars and leaf-blowers and other modern "conveniences" competing for my attention. Instead, I was transported to the land of the Oak-Lord and the Holly-Lord where a Midwinter battle determined the advent of spring or the curse of a world locked in the frozen grip of winter.
And it is "heart" that is the key word in this novel. While the fantastic descriptions will delight and frighten, the characters, from the troubled hero, Darak, to the wise, but aging Tree-Father,Struath, to the sadistic villain Morgath --all-- are "known" to us on some level. And that, in my opinion, is this author's greatest gift. Even the god Trickster, cunning, conceited and unpredictable as he is, reminds us of the times we wonder if our Maker doesn't have an unusual sense of humor.
If you want to experience a seemingly lost world where the changing seasons are greeted with hope, awe and wonder versus large appliance sales, read HEARTWOOD. I can't wait for Ms. Campbell's next book.
When it is time to travel to the dimension where the First Forrest lives, Darak refuses to join them and witness the loss of the brother who will be part of yet separate from the tribe. Something goes wrong at the ritual and the Oak and Tinnean disappear. Tinnean's body is inhabited by the Holly-Lord while the Oak and Darak's brother are in the land of Chaos, put there by the spirit of Morgoth, the evil Tree-Father, who held the position before Strauth killed him. Darak and his allies prepare to do battle to bring Tinnean back into his body and finish the rite so spring will return.
Think Jean Auel and Judith Tarr and readers will have some idea what HEARTWOOD is all about. The setting feels prehistoric with magic an everyday occurrence. Darak is a strong stubborn man who loves deeply and wants to keep those he cares about close to him safe; when his brother is in danger he is willing sacrifices himself to free his sibling from the enemy. Barbara Campbell creates characters readers will care about and produces a storyline that grabs reader interest.
Faced with the unimaginable, Darak sets out to both return balance to his world and save the brother who's caught up in the struggle. The characters are richly drawn, from the haunted Darak to the dark and oh so enticing Morgath.
One of my biggest problems with fantasy novels is that the women seem to just be there to worry about the hero, hope he likes them, and get rescued. In Heartwood, Griane is as strong as Darak. They're delightful characters to revisit again and again. Heartwood was a fantastic read.