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The Thunderstone (The Houses of Storem) (Volume 1) Paperback – November 1, 1996
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About the Author
Pj Belanger has spent a good part of her life in the scenic hills of Connecticut. She was always an avid reader. "My father collected every bit of Science Fiction he could find- we would talk for hours on the subject. The Golden Age of Science Fiction is truly a love of mine. Great writers from Heinlein to Jose Farmer to Asimov to Bloch were my idols. They were great story tellers something that influences my own work. Of course, then came Tolkien and I was hooked on fantasy too." After graduating from St. Francis College (UNE) in Maine, she worked in the fast pace newpaper advertising world but always had been a writer of short stories, novel length books of fiction, romance and general interest. Her work is a mixture of a three volume book series, The Houses of Storem filled with wizards, dwarfs, merrs, elfs, heroic Kings and albino Icelanders. Her Space Dectective series is just plain good sci fi fun as is her short story book. Pj was deeply involved in writing local NASCAR Driver Profiles and has a book on The History of Stafford Speedway. "I love racing in general, but I really love the short tracks. It was a labor of love to write the racing books and I enjoyed writing a regular racing column for a local sports newspaper." Pauline lives in Florida with husband, her life is enhanced by a trouble making miniature beagle and a mischievous cat.
Top customer reviews
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In the vein of J.R. Tolkien with its quest and gruff wizard Gandalf, Pj Belanger sets the stage for an adventure that will take the adventurers not only on a mission to save Birl, but to defeat the evil that is seeping into the kingdom. The plot is fast-paced and riveting from the first page to the last as they face not only danger in a magical forest, but wonderfully fearsome creatures like the Torborg with its sharp teeth and acute sense of small; brutish mammals with massive jaws like the Ophidian bears, and a once human darkling, the Mierg Toeg. Pj Bertrand entrances the reader with a magical kingdom inhabited by dwarfs, icelanders, elves, cat and hill people. The plot eventually splits into two threads which end in an intriguing cliff-hanger; Eauxsage and Chellie's desperate attempt to misdirect the search for Birl and their companions frantic mission to find a healer to cure the young girl. The narrative progresses quickly and smoothly as events unfold and the Onyx evil grows in strength.
The characters are well-developed and complex with all their flaws, faults and strengths, like the orphan Birl, an inquisitive and gutsy child who's determined to fight the poison coursing through her body until a cure can be found. Tem Riverforest is the half breed , an Olgarian and master thief who's conniving and lazy. His partner Nugs, a merr who seems unintelligent is a kind, strong, considerate but impetuous giant. Add to these adventurers Eauxsage the quiet, brooding, gruff wizard who hides a caring nature; the mysterious farmhand Hadden; Chellie the tough, perceptive gambler and the Miega Scasca, a dark magician who taunts and mesmerizes his victims. All these personalities add depth and power to a thrilling and entertaining plot that captivates the reader.
I thoroughly enjoyed "The Thunderstone" and look forward to reading the next novel in the series.
We slowly get the background info on the world, and the Onyx Kingdom and Diamond Kingdom. There are no info-dumps, instead the information is revealed gradually.
Birl, aforementioned wounded girl being pursued by just about everything wicked out there, is an intriguing character. She has a sparkly personality, and was easily my favorite character. The other characters in the group of travellers were intriguing too, and they each had a different personality, background story, and were complex enough to be entertaining. The characters were also quite original, not your standard fantasy cast. Tem was probably my second favorite character – I liked his laid back personality.
The prose is clear, and the descriptions are short and to the point. An original epic fantasy recommended to all fans of the genre. I look forward to reading the second book in the series. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.