"Sam Bowring has already made a name for himself as a stand up comedian and comic writer for television. He has also previously released a very funny children's book called The Zoo of Magical and Mythological Creatures. This new story, his first book for an adult audience, is not the comic fantasy you might expect from his resumé so far. Prophecy's Ruin is a dark, introspective fantasy with a lot of dramatic and psychological muscle. It is also very well balanced, with some excitingly choreographed action scenes, intelligently scripted politics, and a cast of refreshingly subtle characters.
Prophecy's Ruin takes place in a world physically split into the light and the dark, in a geographical manifestation of a war between the gods themselves. Long ago the gods of the light and of darkness took sides against each other and broke the Great Well of Souls in two, forcing every living creature to move entirely into the sun-drenched kingdom of Kainordas or slink perpetually amongst the shadowlands of Fenvarrow. A long stalemate has been reached and the front line between the armies of Kainordas and Fenvarrow has remained relatively stable.
The heart of the story, and the truly interesting creation, is a young boy prophecised to end the war. His birth, in the last remaining neutral zone in the world, is discovered by both sides, who quickly try to claim him as their own in the hope that he will end the war in their favour. Arriving together, however, the opposing mages battle over the boy and unintentionally rip the child's soul in two: his light side residing in one body, his dark side in another, new body. They retreat, each taking a child back to their homeland where the boys grow up into powerful but incomplete young men.
Bowring does a marvellous job fleshing out the parallel natures of the two boys as they grow, learning that they are one day destined to face each other and decide the fate of their world. This is far from a simple good versus evil story, exploring instead the dangers inherent in trying to reduce the world to such basic binaries. This is high class fantasy writing and an exciting new talent to follow. I can't wait for books 2 & 3."
For a millennium the lands of Kainordas and Fenvarrow have been at war, ever since the gods of shadow and light broke the Great Well of Souls. In the absence of victory, they have settled into an uneasy stalemate until a prophecy foretells of a child of power who will finally break the balance. Each side races to find the child, and when they do, a battle ensues with unexpected consequences in a terrible accident, the child s very soul is ripped in two. Each side retreats with their own part of the child, uncertain as to whether they now possess the one capable of finally ending their age-old battle. Prophecy's Ruin tells the story of the two boys as they grow to be men. Bel becomes a charismatic though troubled warrior, Losara an enigmatic and thoughtful mage. Both are powerful young men, yet incomplete. As they struggle to discover their place in the world and the shape of their destinies, inevitably each has to ask the ultimate question: will he, one day, have to face himself?
Books 2 and 3 will be published in 2010.
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Comments about Prophecy's Ruin:
What an unexpected pleasure, a fantasy book that somehow does not fit the mould of fantasy books. Around every corner a new twist and unpredictable outcomes. More grey areas than black and white, making for a refreshing change in the fantasy genre.
Prophecy's Ruin may just be the start of the next big thing in Australian Fantasy. [The Weekend Australian]'A cast of fascinating characters ... as well as two of the most intriguing protagonists I've encountered in a long time.' [Australian Bookseller + Publisher]'judging by what he's done with his first instalment, this trilogy might just soar.' [Aurealis]
Series: Broken Well Trilogy
Number Of Pages: 528
Published: October 2009
Publisher: Hachette Australia
Dimensions (cm): 18.2 x 11.1 x 3.5
Weight (kg): 0.29