Sunday, June 28, 2015

Price of Vengeance

The first installment of author Kurt D. Springs’ Dreamscape Warriors series opens with sundry publisher information, such as the basis of their creed upon Psalm 68:11, although the story itself doesn’t have much religious overtone. A map of the primary setting, New Olympia, the novel also provides, alongside the dedication to the memory of the writer’s high school teacher, Stanley M. Gorski. The prologue that follows focuses on a married couple, Lidia and Marcus, who have a seven-year-old son named Randolf, and come to adopt the two-and-a-half-year-old Liam when his parents Seámus and Deidre wind up dead, the initial chapter ending with the philosophical creed that democracies fall when one man forces others to do what he thinks right.

The main chapters occur a score after the prologue, where Liam is grown-up and he and other soldiers prepare for transport to outposts, which his adopted brother Randolf says are quiet. A special Festival is forthcoming, with the backstory revealed that Liam is scion of farmstead folk, and reference to William Shakespeare’s play Henry V, which is basically the sole reference to other literature within the story. Constituting a significant portion of the story is when characters “dreakwalk,” which the novel denotes with indentation of text, a feature common among the book’s telepathic characters.

The main antagonist is a man named Licinious, and Liam himself finds the companionship of a “bear-lizard” named Swift Hunter, who communicates with his human friend telepathically. Also fulfilling an antagonistic role is a creeping evil known as “chitin,” which never really reveals concrete description as far as this reviewer saw within the text, with quite a few parts that drove him to go back and reread portions, and things such as hyperlinks between Irish Gaelic terms that occur primarily towards the end and their English equivalents would have been welcome. Even so, this is a good first entry of the author’s franchise, and is recommended reading.

About the Author

 Kurt D. Springs is presently an adjunct professor of anthropology and archaeology in New Hampshire. He holds a PhD. in anthropology from the State University of New York at Buffalo, as well as a Master of Literature in archaeology from the National University of Ireland, Galway, and a Master of Liberal Arts in anthropology and archaeology from the Harvard University Extension School. His main area of interest is megalithic landscapes in prehistoric Ireland. He also reviews science fiction and fantasy on his blog Kurt’s Frontier.
Connect with Kurt:    Website  ~   Twitter  ~   Facebook

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