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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Wendy Gillissen Pens New Fantasy

Title: Curse of the Tahiéra
Author: Wendy Gillissen
Publisher: Booklocker
Genre: fantasy
ISBN: 978-1601458391

Reviewer: Eric Jones for Book

Rating: Excellent

The review:

Though much of it takes place in a physical world of forests and stones, the real story of Gillissen’s protagonists, Rom, Yldich, and Eald who journey through enchanted lands northward, is one of kinship and illusion as they struggle to save their people from the destructive power of an entity known as the Tahiéra. Gillissen uses dreams the way that an artist might use watercolors to paint a vivid portrait. Her expressions are at once clear and beautiful as they are abstract and distant, eventually culminating in an ending revelation that is unforeseeable (unless, of course, you’ve “dreamwalked” through the story already).

Rom is haunted by “énthemae” dreams, or dreams of his past which reveal a power in him to confront the Tahiéra. As he learns these things throughout his journey, he becomes acquainted with “ayúrdimae” dreaming, or “dreamwalking”. “Curse of the Tahiéra” is full of mystical enchantments and riveting adventures, but it’s these particular facets which make it different from most other fantasy novels. Gillissen creates a dream world within a dream world; worlds inside of other worlds which are constantly in motion. It might seem complicated, but Gillissen handles them all like a well trained juggler, and the show is spectacular.

The only small caveat to “Curse of the Tahiéra” are the bevy of terms which are constantly used by her characters and can be difficult to discern, especially when some of them are as similar as “ayúrdimae” (which means “dreamwalking”) and “Alyúrimae” (which means “take him away”). Gillissen seems to have recognized this, and offers a handy glossary to make it easier, but looking up terms seems more like work than fun. Still, this never bogs down the novel to the point where it becomes a major issue, and definitely doesn’t get in the way of Gillissen’s flair for fantasy.

“Curse of the Tahiéra” achieves on nearly every level of excitement and entertainment that the genre of fantasy prescribes. It’s enlightening in its connection with real world values of love, honor, and camaraderie and on top of that, its great entertainment. Gillissen’s take on pixies, beasts, and other common fantasy figures is unique and revitalizing. Fantasy novels are all about the journey, and Gillissen is able to weave several into a single amazing voyage that is captivating from beginning to end.

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