Faleashia by Tony Thomas

(2005-08-03)

The story of 'Faleashia' begins as a lovers' tale as we follow the mission of two elves whose son has been killed by the dragon god, Darion. They are intent on revenge and through their shared love they accomplish what they set out to do. This was a great start to 'Faleashia' as we are immediately swept up into the very personal emotions of the characters involved while keeping the story uncomplicated at this point. A good base is set for latter parts of the tale because the world is created in the reader's mind and characters are gradually introduced along the way rather than having to memorise a whole list of names in one go like so many other books do. Eventually the focus moves from the small scale of two individuals to the problems facing the world as a whole.

'Faleashia' is written using a hybrid writing style, possessing qualities of both poetry and story-telling. I was impressed with this novel approach and could imagine myself sitting in a tavern somewhere listening to the melodious voice of a bard speaking the lyrical passages. My only criticism is that the story needs to be read in one sitting to fully appreciate it, however even though I am a reasonably fast reader it took me three sessions over a couple of days to read. I felt that a couple of the middle sections could have been excluded as they disrupted the flow and the few interesting lines contained in these areas might have been better placed in the other main passages of the story. It was wonderful though to read a fantasy story where extreme consideration has been given to every word, and except for these middle sections mentioned, only the most essential dialogue or scenes are included. I felt that the author has managed to create a well-written piece of literature which covers more ground than anything previously written.

My favourite part of 'Faleashia' is the last section - 'Entrance of Evil' which goes back in time and tells how the gods created this land. The writing here was like something out of a legend and I particularly enjoyed how the gods were depicted with humanlike qualities but with many amazing powers. Tony Thomas brings interesting ideas and thoughts to the reader's attention, such as the way in which the pixies fail to look after one of their own because of their original agreement. He also demonstrates how we can all feel a lack of faith at times, be that an internal or external belief, but that there is always hope.

I enjoyed being plunged into this fantasy world which bears some resemblance to the world we live in - there are lessons to be learnt and ideas to consider. But the quality of writing is of a standard that 'Faleashia' provides excellent reading entertainment as well. I could not help but notice some similarities to 'Lord of the Rings', but luckily teh author manages to get away with it due to the completely different nature of the story.

Reviewed by Helen Kerslake

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