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3 People Reviewed This Product
  • By John Calder
    Sep 21, 2009
    "I am so impressed by Askar" UPFRONT: This is posted by the Publisher, John Calder, passing on a review from a test reader, Annika Streefland. I am so impressed by Askar. Bronwyn Calder is quite the storyteller and Askar is a great achievement. She has developed the characters beautifully. This is the sort of book one can't put down. I thought there was especially good pace and structure such as around the battles. I've been reading NZ books lately so Elizabeth Knox comes to mind as someone to compare Bronwyn to. I love Elizabeth's writing, especially in Vintners Luck. Bronwyn's is alike in the use of the unreal and the magical to draw analogies. The structures and stories are entirely different but the character development is much the same. Their characters have similar fears, insecurities, misunderstandings and regrets. Askar is about the battle of good and evil, even within the characters. This battle is depicted more in the classic sense than any overt sense. Good wins... More > with the welcome subtlety that good includes accepting the imperfect.< Less
  • By Colin Rock
    Jul 23, 2009
    "Excellent Askar" I've just finished Askar and enjoyed it immensely...even the girly stuff, heh heh. In fact Jena was a more complex character than I expected and it added great body to the story. I did think 'The Voice' could have had a slightly more detailed intro, for as a dedicated non-fantasy reader (which makes my praise more valuable, yes indeed) I was expecting to hear something about her first hearing it in childhood, being frightened etc. I liked the 'shadow' references to sorcerers etc. Probably what I enjoyed most were the little human asides. The ship's captain turning his back on battle and sewing a sail, or brief character descriptions of minor players. Yes, so much enjoyed and thanks, Bronwyn. I sense a sequel also.
  • By Anatole Sergejew
    Feb 1, 2008
    "ASKAR by Bronwyn Calder" Askar is a rich and unexpected weave of stories. A common theme for fantasy novels is how the central, seemingly powerless, character can play a crucial role in the war of good prevailing against the odds over evil. At first I thought Askar was based on the same theme - the central character Jena is scarcely accepted as a junior priestess in Navron, the Sacred Isle of the kingdom of Urkan, when the isle is invaded by warriors from the rival realm of Askar and almost all the isle's inhabitants are massacred. Jena survives and is guided by the voice of the Goddess to follow the kidnapped high priestess Jocea to Askar. She sets out with the help of Zorek (the king of Urkan's heir) and his friend Galen. So is it the story I expected? No, we are told at the start that the peoples of Urkan and Askar are cousins, and although in Askar they worship the god Dread, it is the Goddess's wish to see the realms reunited, and the prophecy is that Askar will rule... More > in Urkan. So it seems that the prophecy, and the Goddess's intention, is that evil should prevail over good. Then we find the real threat (evil?) is the invading Falhar, and that the only way Urkan and Askar can prevail against this mightier force is by reuniting. So is this book the story of the struggle to reunite Urkan and Askar in an attempt to repel the Falhar invasion? Much more. It is a love story between Jena and Zarek, although again this story follows anything but the expected line. It is the epic tale of Jena, Zarek, Galen and Ahron (the Askar king's son), fulfilling their destinies (sometimes in spite of themselves). It is a story of endurance and faith winding a precarious path through war and betrayal, where the line between good and evil is very much blurred, and where seemingly peripheral and powerless characters can play pivotal roles. A great read.< Less
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Product Details

IAFilm Productions
November 12, 2008
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
1.52 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
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