Friday, December 23, 2011

FFB Review: "FLANK HAWK: A First Civilization Legacy Novel" by Terry Ervin II

It is Friday and that means it is time for Friday’s Forgotten Books hosted by Patti Abbott. Patti is taking this Friday and the next two off which means Todd Mason is filling in for her. Somebody else you should be reading on a regular basis by the way.

If you are like me (and heaven help you if you are and I am sorry for you and your family) you are sick and tired of the oh so cute and sappy mystery and crime stories with their weak ties to the season. I’m very tired of the posts to various lists about this story or that which is supposed to be cute, clever and just perfect as you nestle around the fire with your hot chocolate and family. Great! A Norman Rockwell holiday scene with just a little crime/ murder thrown in. But, not too much crime/murder as it is the holiday season, don’t you know?

Before you label me a Grinch, I’m not.  I have never understood the allure of the holiday murder story. This year, I understand it even less and find the whole holiday commercialization very annoying regardless of product being pushed. Granted, none of us here are in the holiday mood with what we are dealing with on a daily basis. Sandi has always been the driving force behind celebrating every holiday and this year that is not happening. No tree is up, no lights are up, no hanging stockings or any of it, as this year with everything going on it just didn’t seem worth it. The focus is on what are we going to do if we don’t make the rent, praying the car holds together long enough to get Sandi back and forth from Chemo, and things like that. Escapism-- however brief it lasts-- through a book or TV/movie is the thing right now.

Therefore, if you are also looking for something completely different, I suggest the very good FLANK HAWK: A First Civilization Legacy Novel written by Terry Ervin II. It even now has a sequel, BLOOD SWORD.  I don’t know yet how the second book is but I promise you the first book is very good.  I am not one to do top ten lists of books read--everyone and their dog, cat and hamster seem to do them--but, if I were this book would be right up there near the top. It truly is that good.

Zombies are never a good thing.  Souled zombies, ones that can independently think and act, are even worse. Then there are the goblins, ogres, seers, wizards, and more in this time nearly 3000 years in the future where magic is prevalent, dragons fly, and the evil necromancer king seeks to rule the world.  The good people and creatures are far outnumbered by those bent on war and conquest. Those that can harness the most magic can turn the tide of battle –at least for now.

For Krish and his cousin Guzzy, the recent battles outside of their small village have been more then the annual minor attacks designed to disrupt the yearly harvest. The young men fight to defend their village, Pine Ridge, and to protect all they hold dear. With swords and spears protected by magic and salt, they fight on as the enemy in many different forms continues to press the attack and people they know die around them. Back up is on the way as kingdoms make alliances in order to slow the advance of those loyal to the evil necromancer king. One such alliance allows Prince Reveron of Kreese to eventually take over and lead the small group Krish is part of into battle. Krish becomes noticed not only by the Prince but by others and gradually works his way deeper and deeper into the circle of those that Prince Reveron trusts. While Krish may not have had formal military training, he acquires battle skills at a rapid rate and has certain other skills that he continues to try to keep hidden from those around him.

Nearly any fantasy story has to have an epic quest. The one Krish is sent on is huge and could mean the fate of the world as well as what is left of humanity, forever changed in our times, could massively change again. That is assuming he can survive and complete a quest that is nearly impossible from the start. The good thing is he will get some help. The bad thing is that the little help he gets most likely will not nearly be enough.

Blending a fantasy line set nearly 3000 years in the future heavily reliant on magic with a modern day cold and dispassionate tale of technology mercilessly doing exactly what it was designed to do resulting in horrific results, is not easy. Author Terry Ervin makes it look easy as he captivates readers for 288 pages in this very complex book.

Filled with interesting characters, this fully formed world is strangely different and yet at times very relevant to our modern day world of today. Krish is a man who develops throughout the book while never losing his awe at what forces are arrayed against him. Nor does he lose his own sense of purpose and place despite realistic periods of self-doubt and contemplation. The same core values that come across in the first few pages are still there at the end in a smarter more seasoned character.

In a world where nightmares and worse of a child are very much real and life does not last long, Krish battles and delights readers. It is a world that could happen. May even happen as technology spreads and is always vulnerable to use by those bent on power and greed.

The book is highly recommended as FLANK HAWK: A First Civilization Legacy Novel is a mighty good read.

FLANK HAWK: A First Civilization’s Legacy Novel
Terry W. Ervin II
Gryphonwood Press
July 2009
ISBN# 978-0-9825087-0-1
Paperback (also available on the Kindle)
290 Pages

Material provided by the author in exchange for my objective review.

Kevin R.  Tipple © 2011


Todd Mason said...

Thanks for the plug, as well as the review (and as someone who's been having his own helping of bad luck, you have my sympathies for Sandi and your challenging times). Zombies sure have been "evolving" in popular culture over the last century, haven't they? Ever check out Bill Pronzini's anthology of some decades back, ZOMBIE! (Arbor House really didn't know how to package these.)

Kevin R. Tipple said...

Thanks, Todd, I appreicate it. Yep, too much ishappening to too many folks.

No, I have not read the Pronzini book. I'm not a fan of the whole zombie deal but this use of them was a far different deal than what I had read/heard about before.

Cher Green said...

Flank Hawk is a great book. I haven't got to the sequel but I'm sure it will be even better.

Cher Green

Terry W. Ervin II said...

Kevin, I understand your finding it difficult to slide into the festive aspects of the Christmas season.

Thank you for the kind and positive words on Flank Hawk. Hope you enjoy Blood Sword equally.

Cher, glad you enjoyed Flank Hawk! Hope you're able to get a hold of Blood Sword and enjoy it too.

Kevin R. Tipple said...

Thanks for reading, Cher. I too have high expectations for the next one.

Kevin R. Tipple said...

Everything is all wrong, Terry. Even the NFL is in on it as tomorrow there is only the night game. I will have to watch basketball and hope a fight breaks out. :)))