Aphelion Issue 295, Volume 28
June 2024 --
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Sacred Band

by Janet & Chris Morris

Review by Dan L. Hollifield

Type of music/work: Science-Fiction / Fantasy Novel


Janet Morris & Chris Morris

Published by Kerlak Publishing
Hard Cover ISBN 13: 978-0-9823745-9-7 $39.95

Trade Paperback ISBN 13: 978-1-937035-03-7 $24.95

Amazon.com Hardback , Amazon.com Trade Paperback

B&N Hardcover , Apple iPad , Kerlak Enterprises Store

Book Design by Ellie Herring; Cover design by Sonja Aghabekian / Cover illustration by Feuerbach, Amazonenschlacht (Detail), 1873

General impressions of the album/book: Excellent work! I hated every interruption that caused me to have to put this book down.

Specifics: From the very first page, I was impressed with the lyrical quality of the writing. Even before I got deep enough into the story to get a handle on the characters and plot I knew I was reading something that was profoundly excellent. The way each line flowed into the next added to the overall effect of making the character's world that much more real to my mind's eye. Janet and Chris have the gift of inticing even the most casual Fantasy reader to dive into the story headfirst.

Subtle little details of each character were revealed in a way that made them come alive. The plot itself was treated the same way. Every reveal was timed perfectly, every scene built upon the ones before and combined seamlessly with the ones following. I didn't want to put the book down! From the very first page, I was into the story and the characters in a way that very few Fantasy writers can manage to sustain, yet this novel managed it. Managed it so well, in fact, that it only now as I write this review that I actually notice how difficult a writing task it must have been to pull off. This story is so well written that I had no difficulty in keeping the details in mind between every interruption. It is a rare story these days that keeps its characters in your mind throughout the whole time I'm not reading it. It didn't matter if it was an hour or two, of days on end between chances to read. Once the book was back in my hands, diving back into the story's world was effortless.

This novel is rewarding on so many levels that I find it difficult to list them all, so I won't. I'll just extend a heartfelt "Thank You!' to the writers and Kerlak Press for allowing me to discover it!

Background info: Best selling author Janet Morris began writing in 1976 and has since published more than 20 novels, many co-authored with her husband Chris Morris or others. She has contributed short fiction to the shared universe fantasy series Thieves World, in which she created the Sacred Band of Stepsons, a mythical unit of ancient fighters modeled on the Sacred Band of Thebes. She created, orchestrated, and edited the Bangsian fantasy series Heroes in Hell, writing stories for the series as well as co-writing the related novel, The Little Helliad, with Chris Morris. Most of her fiction work has been in the fantasy and science fiction genres, although she has also written historical and other novels. Morris has written, contributed to, or edited several book-length works of non-fiction, as well as papers and articles on nonlethal weapons, developmental military technology and other defense and national security topics. Author and composer Chris Morris began writing music in 1966, fiction in 1984, and nonfiction in 1989. Much of his fiction and nonfiction literary work, including all of his book-length science fiction and fantasy, has been written in collaboration with his wife Janet Morris. He has contributed short fiction to the best selling series Thieves' World and Heroes in Hell.

Review Copyright 2011 by Dan L. Hollifield

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