Book review of Tom Lloyd’s The Stormcaller
The Stormcaller is the third in a flurry of books I’ve read by publisher Pyr – the other two so far being The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie and Empire in Black and Gold by Adrian Tchaikovsky. I thoroughly enjoyed the other two Pyr books I’ve read so far, so I was expecting nothing less from The Stormcaller.
The Stormcaller is primarily a coming of age book about a boy who starts out with nothing, rejected by even his own father, and rises to a place of power and significance. I can’t say this is a story we haven’t all heard before: rags to riches, overcoming all odds, the list goes on. In addition to the rather typical plot, characters in The Stormcaller rise to power with super-human abilities, which in a way reminded me of Sanderson’s most recent work: The Way of Kings. Unfortunately for Lloyd, I like The Way of Kings more. While fantastic, Sanderson’s characters were just more believable.
While suffering a bit in the plot and character categories, The Stormcaller is still an enjoyable read. Tom Lloyd is a crafty wordsmith, and his prose flows with an ease that makes flipping these pages a joy. He’s not to shabby with description either, as evidenced in this excerpt:
Now he saw a powerful man with a harsh face, solid features all sharp lines and blunt corners. His brow was thick and strong, and his nose, but his features had an abrupt look, as if a craftsman had been interrupted in his work. The shape was there, the basic lines hewn with skill, but there had been no time to smooth the edges.
While I can see The Stormcaller doing well and gaining quite a fan base, this was a novel that just didn’t do it for me. The elements all seem to be there, but they didn’t mix quite well enough this time around to form the perfect fantasy brew that I believe Lloyd is capable of. I think a big challenge for me is characterization: when I don’t connect with the characters, I lose interest, and the rest of the novel suffers. However, this may be something that other readers don’t struggle with, and for those readers, I would recommend The Stormcaller.
You can purchase The Stormcaller over at Amazon.com.