In the misty times of the thirteenth century, Norman Knights roam the lands, warrior monks guard mountain passes and Molly’s band travels from place to place, stalked by something unseen.

“She was drawn to bright bits of knowledge as a crow is drawn to bright bits of metal or mica, and like a crow she hoarded them up.”

page 111

Young Hob, recently taken underwing by the wise and mysterious Molly, can sense the coming danger and in its coming, learns more about Molly and her companions than he ever dreamed.

Why is this on our bookshelf?

All the traditions of high fantasy, combined with a poet’s skill for language come together in this book. Sometimes a sword is not enough.

Rating (3 stars)

I was a bit torn writing this review. On one hand, author Douglas Nicholas has created wonderful characters that you learn to love. He has painted a fantastic landscape, rich and detail and history. His use of language is phenomenal.

On the other hand, the build-up to the climax seemed tedious rather than suspenseful. I was sick of hearing about the mysterious evil. Worse, I was disappointed by the “big reveal,” which simply wasn’t scary to me.

I felt a ton of potential, and although I enjoyed the characters, the details and even some of the scenes, I often felt like telling the book, “Get on with it!”

If you like high fantasy, knights and castles and such, and don’t mind a slower pace, then this could be your book. Although I found the “evil” disappointing, I wasn’t disappointed by the climactic scene.

And perhaps to other less impatient people, it truly feels like a suspenseful fantasy/horror mix.

But for me, a few mangled bodies did little relieve the tedious pace.