The Darkweaver Legacy by Mark Robson

Discussion in 'Mark Robson' started by dwndrgn, Dec 18, 2004.

  1.  
    dwndrgn

    dwndrgn Fierce Vowelless One Staff Member

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    The Darkweaver Legacy by Mark Robson
    Book 1: The Forging of the Sword
    Book 2: Trail of the Huntress
    Book 3: First Sword
    Book 4: The Chosen One

    While the series is made up of four books so far, with hints that there may be more, my review is based upon all four books taken together as a whole.

    At it's heart, this is an epic fantasy. The story is about Calvyn, a boy who has lost his family and home to enemy raiders and has taken up with a friendly travelling peddlar. Calvyn soon learns that his new friend is more than what he appears; that he is actually a magician who is willing to teach Calvyn the ways of magic. Shortly though, the two are parted and Calvyn joins the ranks of a local Baron's military force. While Calvyn trains to be a soldier, he continues his magical learning in secret. Events soon conspire to show that Calvyn is also more than he seems, his magical abilities along with his newly forged magical sword help him defeat the despot who was responsible for the raid that killed the people of his village.

    Calvyn and his military buddies are then drawn into several different adventures involving a sorcerous lord bent on revenge, marauding demons, a gladiator-loving Emporer and a magician in search of immortality and god-like power.

    These books can equally be enjoyed by the young and the old. There are no naughty or graphic bits that might make an over-protective parent flinch and it isn't so simplistic that adults cannot enjoy it as well. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good fantasy.

    While it is evident that this is a self-published work by a first-time author, it is also clear that the author has a talent for storytelling and a clear grasp of what a reader is looking for in a good fantasy. The lack of an experienced editor and the gloss that a publisher would eventually add to a completed work are minor issues as they can always be fixed and added later. What is important is that the author has a way with words and knows how to tell a story that keeps a reader turning the pages. Good editing and gloss cannot help those who cannot write. It can help those that have that talent and as an avid reader I'm quite sure that this author is so endowed. I'm eagerly awaiting more.

    dwndrgn
  2.  
    Silk

    Silk As smooth as...

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    I've also recently read these books and written a review; but you pipped me to the post Dwndrgn! Any way here it is:)

    “The Darkweaver Legacy” by Mark Robson

    A Review by Silk
    December 2004

    The four books in the Darkweaver Legacy follow the story of a young man called Calvyn, orphaned after his village was destroyed by raiders. Taken in by the enigmatic tinker Perdimonn, Calvyn begins training in magic and finds himself in the middle of a series of events that see him forge a magical sword and fight a battle with it against the enchanted leader of the massed Terachim Tribes; have his soul eaten by a demon and become the pawn of the evil Lord of the Inner Eye; rally the complacent Magicians’ Council and eventually save the World!

    The story is very simple in the way its told and is all the better for it; where some authors would spend hundreds of pages detailing everything they can about the landscape and cultures of the people so that the reader is in no doubt what is going on Mark Robson concentrates on creating a very entertaining and refreshing tale.

    The book is aimed at a younger audience but is equally entertaining for the more mature reader and this does not mean that the book has been in anyway censored for the younger reader. It’s true that there is no gratuitous violence or sex but some very important issues are raised in a way that will educate the young and old without causing distress. For example much of the story is based around real Army life, the gruelling training routines, the highs and lows of going to war and the emotional sorrow of losing a loved one.

    Other important themes include the realisation that getting what you want and becoming the best at something means making sacrifices and that not everything in life is easily attained. The characters form deep levels of friendship and love that will give us all something to aspire to and promote trust and the need to surrender our own needs for those of others.

    The narrative is written from a number of characters point of view which gives a much more three dimensional perspective on the events. However, often a point of view is intermingled with writing in the third person which can be a little bit confusing when it happens halfway through a page.

    The second book ‘Trail of the Huntress’ is definitely the best individual story. Overall the books are very light-hearted and contain an excellent story.

    So what’s bad about it?

    • The hero’s name is Calvyn – there’s nothing wrong with this name; it just doesn’t fit his personality.
    • Everything is always cheerful, which is a bit unrealistic
    • A lot of the story is told through dialogue, so some things are blatantly spelled out to you rather than being left for the readers deduction.
    On the face of it this series is just another in a line of Sword & Sorcery novels, but in actual fact they have a lot more to offer - both to those new to the genre and to the hardened professional.

    Available direct from www.swordpublishing.co.uk and from other good bookstores between £5.99 and £6.99.
  3.  
    Mark Robson

    Mark Robson Dragon Writer

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    Thanks for the reviews, ladies. I'm glad that you both enjoyed my work. It's nice to be considered a storyteller - I kind of like that. I'm also pleased that you both commented on the fact that the books are suitable for a wide age range. That was the primary goal of my writing, so i'm particularly pleased to see it acknowledged by both of you independently.


    Thanks. :)
  4.  
    Brian Turner

    Brian Turner Brian G. Turner Staff Member

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    The difference in name threw me at first. :)

    This is my hook:

    :)
  5.  
    aurelio

    aurelio author/artist

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    I just ordered Trail of the Huntress. :)
  6.  
    Lacedaemonian

    Lacedaemonian A Plume of Smoke

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    I will purchase all of these books after christmas. They sound like my girlfriend's cup of tea more than mine, but I am sure I will enjoy them none the less. Childrens books still hold a great appeal to me, they are a breeding ground for perfect imaginings.
  7.  
    Mark Robson

    Mark Robson Dragon Writer

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    Ah! Music to my bank balance! :D Seriously though, thanks for taking my work seriously enough to buy it. That means a lot. If enough of you read it, maybe we could get some serious discussion going about it. I'm always open to criticism and debate. It will help me no end with future work.
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    rune

    rune rune

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    I'm actually still trying to get a copy of your books from my library. Talk about them being in the dark ages :confused:

    In the end I'll probably get fed up and get the first book from Amazon :)
  9.  
    Mark Robson

    Mark Robson Dragon Writer

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    It's a bit worrying that they are slow to produce a copy... unless this means that they are all out with other people. :) I supply all the major Library Service Providers, so there shouldn't be a problem.
  10.  
    rune

    rune rune

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    I think it's down to fact I live in a back of beyond town :( There are a few things I cant get here, like books, nice stationery and lots of stuff that bigger towns or cities have readily available.
    So our library is quite badly stocked :confused: In fact the county is badly stocked.
  11.  
    aurelio

    aurelio author/artist

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    I finally got my copy of Trail of the Huntress and had a chance to read it. Although sword and sorcery is no my usual bag (I only read this because it’s Mark's) I thought he wove a very nice story and that his love of the material comes through.

    His own military experiences probably gave him a lot of insight into the battle scenarios, military relationships, and protocol, and I thought these moments felt especially rich and alive, as were all his characterizations. I also thought his story was well structured and quite clearly visualized. Although his plot is complex and the locations change a lot, his description made things fairly easy to see in my mind’s eye.

    Nice work, Mark! :)
  12.  
    Rane Longfox

    Rane Longfox Red Rane

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    Well, I can inform you that Salisbury is completely sold out of the Darkweaver Legacy. Even the library. And not just none ever ordered... both Ottakers and Waterstones had sold out, and were in the process of getting more.


    Good news, except it meant I couldn't buy any of them today:(
  13.  
    Mark Robson

    Mark Robson Dragon Writer

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    You're right, it is good news that they have sold out again. :) The sad thing is that it takes a prompt from a customer for them to get the books back into stock. :( This is the hardest thing to come to terms with as a self publisher. The bookshops will not monitor sales of your books no matter how many you sell. To give an example, I can tell you that Waterstones in Salisbury have sold over 400 copies of my books in the last 4 years. You would think that this would be a large enough number for them to take notice and make an effort to keep the titles in stock, but it would take an individual there to make it their personal mission to do so. This is because their computer system will not highlight it for them.

    I don't blame the stores. There is little they can do about it. Until the books are included in core stock, the titles are not monitored. That is the way of the world. Getting titles included in core stock is probably the biggest challenge any self publisher will ever face. Onwards and upwards and all that. :)
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    Teresa Edgerton

    Teresa Edgerton Goblin Princess Staff Member

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    At last and at last ... The Forging of the Sword finally arrived.
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    Mark Robson

    Mark Robson Dragon Writer

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    Oh, cringe and cringe again! :) :eek:
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    Teresa Edgerton

    Teresa Edgerton Goblin Princess Staff Member

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    I'm only part way in, but so far I see no reason for all this cringing. I like Calvyn, and I like Perdimonn.
  17.  
    Mark Robson

    Mark Robson Dragon Writer

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    I'm glad that you like the characters, for I would say that it is the characterisation and the storyline that are the major strengths in my writing. My weaknesses in my early works were a lot of indirect language and redundant phrasing. I'm glad to say that I've improved a lot since then. I think having read your work, I would judge that I still have a long way to go before I reach your command of written language. However, that is something that I will endeavour to achieve eventually. :)
  18.  
    Princess Ivy

    Princess Ivy Damsel in this dress

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    This series is now on order at my local library:D

    btw: if you're still interested in addressing my local group (shudder), give me a shout.:D
  19.  
    Paradox 99

    Paradox 99 KenDodd'sDad'sDog'sDead

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    Mark,
    I just got through reading "The Forging of the Sword" and thought I'd mention here that I thoroughly enjoyed it. I can certainly see how you injected some of your own life experience into Calvyn's and it worked so very well.
    There was one part in it that I'm sure Pete Jackson pinched for the Two Towers (though you wrote this way before the film).;)

    Anyway, I'm off to Amazon to order part 2... Can't wait much longer to find out what Jenna's up to.
  20.  
    Mark Robson

    Mark Robson Dragon Writer

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    Thanks for the vote of confidence, Paradox. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I think that others here would probably agree that if you enjoyed The Forging of the Sword, then you're in for a treat with Trail of the Huntress. Of the four books, it's still my favourite story. My writing style improves and tightens throughout the series, but the storyline in Book 2 is just a little bit special to me. :)

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