Monday, May 2, 2011

Book Review - Prelude To A Change of Mind by Robert Stikmanz

I was recently a guest at BayouCon, located in Lake Charles Louisiana, and had an amazing time there. One of the things that made it so amazing was meeting author Robert Stikmanz and editor Amanda Kimmerly from Blue Moose Press. After chatting quite a bit, I decided to purchase Prelude To A Change of Mind, Robert’s first book in his offbeat fantasy series. Am I ever glad I did; I found myself thoroughly immersed in his well-written and well-told story and instantly purchased the second book the next day. This is an author that can tell a story in a quiet and yet profound manner; reading his novel felt as though a group of us sat around a campfire, listening to his quiet voice while watching his words come to life over the burning logs.

Prelude tells the story of Patricia Margaret (or Meg) Christmas, firewatcher in a western sierra, and how her life changes forever thanks to a horrible illness and the death of her father. However, she is in the hands of beings from myths and legends, creatures only heard of in fairy tale books and yet are just as real as you and I. From her recovery comes days spent learning and listening of not only the beings themselves but of herself and her ultimate role she is to play in an upcoming event that will affect all of Mankind. That is all I am going to say about the plot; you’ll just have to purchase a copy of the book to find out more. However, I would like to spend the rest of this review on the effect the book had on me.

As a child, I spent my days reading myths and legends of ancient Greece and Rome, Egypt and Ireland, and wondered if perhaps there was some truth to them at all. I wanted to believe that they were real, for I could not image a world without magick. As I grew older, I realized that magick did indeed exist, just not in the form I had originally thought. A tree changing with the seasons is magick. Watching a baby bunny hop along for the first time is magick. Spending time with loved ones and watching them smile is magick. After reading Prelude, I felt my love of magick flare up once more, for his fantasy could truly exist in this world. His characters felt as though he had known them all of his life; he wrote them into existence with quiet reverence and a maturity that ironically appeals to the wondering childe in all of us. This was a fantasy book I could believe in without any problems.

I am honoured to have met Robert and I hope, as I told him during our weekend at Bayou Con, that he will continue to write, for the magick he gives to his readers will always be welcomed and needed.

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