Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Wellspring of Chaos

It has been any years since I last visited the world dominated by the Chaos of Hamador and the Order of Recluse so it was with some trepidation that I began reading "The Wellspring of Chaos." I had stopped reading the recluse books in the past because, quite frankly, that had started to get kind of boring. However, I have had this book on my wishlist for a long time and it arrived for Christmans (thanks Mom) so I decided to dive right in. I'm glad I did.

Like all of the Recluse novels this one is a fresh and new look at the world through a new characters eyes; this time via Kharl the Cooper. Also, as in prior novels, a good chunk of time has passed in the world since I was last there. Kharl lives in the small seaside city of Bystra which is run by a lazy lord and dominated by the lords 3 corrupt sons; the most notable of whom, in this story, is Egen.

Kharl is a good man and a very good cooper. He is married and has 2 sons and his own cooperage next door to a scrivner. Kharl isn't perfect however. He has a stubborn refusal to really see who he is and his sense of order is so strong that he tends to rub less honest people the wrong way. In fact Kharl's tendency to do good ends up causing him far more trouble than he could imagine thanks to Lord Egen.

However, not all of the consequences of Kharl's actions are bad. He tends to the wounded, saves potential rape victims, fights off pirates, and even destroys a few powerful enemies along the way to discovering who and what he really is.

Kharl is a well written character and I found him very likable. Likewise I found his story to be very enjoyable though the ending seemed a little too neat and tidy. I would have liked to have seen a bit more reconciliation with some of the more important people of his past. Even with that small quibble I can whole heartedly recommend "The Wellspring of Chaos"


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