Wednesday, October 6, 2010

SWORDS OF TALERA by Charles Allen Gramlich

For the past couple of years I’ve been itching to re-read the first three books in Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Mars series. So when I cracked open Swords of Talera and discovered it was firmly in that John Carter tradition, I knew my itch was about to be scratched. And I was right.

Charles Gramlich starts things off in the best Burroughs fashion, with a Forward signed by Charles himself, in which he reveals he is related to the narrator of the story, and explains how the manuscript came into his possession. He then presents us with the manuscript itself, and next thing we know we’re off on a wild adventure on a strange new world.

But make no mistake. Talera is not Mars. It’s the product of Charles’ own imagination - a world created by mysterious beings for their own mysterious purposes. These creators have gathered sentient beings, beasts and plant life from far flung planets and turned them loose to interact according to their own natures on Talera.

Not surprisingly, many of those sentient races have violent natures, and their first inclination is to do battle and enslave one another. That’s when Charles’ shirt-tail ancestor Ruenn Maclang comes on the scene, discovering he can not only fight with the best of them, but is a natural leader of men.

Swords of Talera is a tale of non-stop action and adventure, with battle scenes that would have done Burroughs - and Robert E. Howard - proud. Along the way we’re introduced to many of the planet’s cultures, both malignant and benign, and many of it’s mysteries. And though Ruenn Maclang and his friends achieve a great victory, there are difficult tasks left undone, and more mysteries to solve.

And that, of course, is exactly what you want from the first book in a trilogy. You want more, and you know its coming. Luckily, the rest of this trilogy has already been published, so there’s no waiting. Wings over Talera and Witch of Talera are already on my reading list. Thanks for the adventure, Charles!


Deka Black said...

Since i know of Charles work, i wanted to read it. Being in the tradition of two Grand Masters is great. And... well. To make it short: i want to read it!

Randy Johnson said...

A favorite of mine as well. You're in for some treats with the rest of the trilogy, Evan.

Richard R. said...

According to the calendar, I have reached the OFFICIAL BOOK ORDERING CUTOFF until the move is over and we're in the new house and bookshelves are built. Since the buying costs and the move are so darned expensive, it could be a while before I can afford those bookshelves at least in the built-by-a-finish carpenter way I want. However, this is going on my Find & Buy once settled list!

Charles Gramlich said...

Evan, I'm so glad you liked it, and that you appreciated it for what it was. I had so much fun writing that book. In fact, the whole series was a blast to write, although it was tough at times. Thanks much for your review.

David Cranmer said...

A book I enjoyed tons.

I brought thirty-eight books on Kindle with me and three print. One of the print was WINGS OVER TALERA and I've already read it before.

Laurie Powers said...

Thanks for reviewing this. I gives me a glimpse into Mr. Gramlich's fascinating mind.