Chained at the oar on a Mhurgai galley, a sullen slave who never speaks is considered a madman by his fellow captives—until the hour Korendir announces a plan, which is certainly doomed to failure, for no one ever escapes the merciless Mhurgai alive . . .
Korendir’s silence hides a devious intellect. And his benchmate, Haldeth, is desperate to end his cruel captivity, even if mercy comes to him under the murderous knives of the Mhurgai. When Korendir’s daring plan frees them both, Haldeth is compelled to follow his determined companion on an even more impossible quest: to lift a curse that despoils the kingdom of Torresdyr by recovering a legendary wardstone from a witch. His prize if he succeeds? A wizard’s treasure. If he fails? A grave with the legion of defeated champions before him. Far from content to retire from danger, Korendir’s restless nature will not embrace peace, his insatiable taste for impossible odds skating the thin edge toward insanity . . .
For those of you who follow me on twitter and my reviews know how much of a fan I am for the works of Janny Wurts. Janny writes her stories with emotionally impactful scenes combined with beautiful prose to go along with it. While I look to continue my journey through the War of Light and Shadow series in due time, I thought now would be a good chance to take a look at one of the standalone novels written by this amazing author. The Master of Whitestorm is an episodic volume and different than most other stories I have had the pleasure of reading, but the characters just shine on every page and the the true motivations of the two main POV’s will come to the forefront. By the end, you will question everything and ask yourself did the characters not understand each other for was it me?
I won’t go into too many details due to spoilers, but the story begins on a slave ship with our two main characters chained together as oars mates on a Mhurgai galley. Korendir is considered to be a madman due to his silence and sheltered behavior. What these prisoners don’t know is that this is by design as Korendir has a devious intellect for his ultimate plan. Korendir’s mat Haldeth looks to escape the bondages of his captives by any means necessary. Korendir is able to free the two of them and they embark on a long journey to the cursed kingdom of Torresdyr. To free the land of this curse, they first need to uncover a legendary wardstone from a witch. The future of Korendir and Haldeth’s adventures will be riddled with success and pain as the Master of Whitestorm will always be looking for the next impossible task.
As I mentioned before, each chapter is considered the next part and or episode in the lives of our dynamic duo. Korendir seems to wear an emotional armor for his own protection and in order to hide his true ambitions. I found myself caring for Korendir immensely because I have always had a difficult time expressing myself in my younger days and it is never something you truly learn to outgrow. Some people will call this a defensive mechanism and sometimes it is the only way to cope with the traumas and shitty parts of life. Everything will heal with time but they are never forgotten. Throughout this journey, Janny’s amazing writing brought me back to my teenage years and made me realize the person I am today is due to my past and not in spite of it. Our two main characters battle magical creatures, elementals, and achieve great glory but will the cost be too great?
If you haven’t read a single work by Janny Wurts, this is a great place to start. Very few authors will provide the emotional impact and the beauty of lyrical prose the way that Janny can. Characters are the shining beacon for this standalone adventure with the emotional gut punches to go along with it. Join me in diving deep into the works of this critically acclaimed author because the best is yet to come.