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Kerry L Orchard

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The Thoughtmaster's Conduit - 2002 EPPIE AWARD FINALIST
by Kerry L Orchard   

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Publisher:  New Concepts Publishing ISBN-10:  158608561 Type: 

Copyright:  Aug 1 2000

Barnes &
Kerry L. Orchard

On a world invaded by the Daha'et, the undead, only one force can destroy those who cannot be killed. . .and only one man and one woman can wield that force.

Rhan, a murderer himself, seems an unlikely hero. Yet hero he must be.
A hero who must put his past behind him and come to the rescue of not only his land but that of another; a past haunted by the death of his wife and the brutal murder of his brother. A murder he committed. How could he look to a future that tasted of love, forgiveness and of acceptance if he could not leave the past? A future that could only happen if he were to be a hero.

Haunted by the death of his wife and the blood of vengeance on his hands, Rhan finds it difficult to see himself as a hero. Yet hero he must be, for he alone has the power to become the Thoughtmaster and he has been chosen by the Wakhanee to save his world from certain destruction. Guided by the dream crystal, Rhan sets off on his quest with his companions; a Warrior, a Healer, a Sorcerer from another world, and Ahlisha, the one the Wakhanee call the Conduit, the woman he is afraid to love.....and fears he will lose. Excerpt
"Murder is always wrong," with those solemn words, Fiona, senior member of the Council of Elders, concluded her speech to the two men before her. The anguish in her dark eyes overshadowed the starch of her words. Silence, her only answer, swelled around them and she shivered as it tickled her ears, prickling the hair on her neck.

Professional Reviews

The Thoughtmaster's Conduit
Reviewed by Neil C. Cladingboel for Highly recommended... Kerry Orchard treats us to a delightful and enchanting new fantasy experience in her first major publication, The Thoughtmaster's Conduit. Set in a mythical pre-history, filled with dragons and magic, this refreshingly original tale follows the trials and tribulations of its reluctant hero, Rhan of Waterside. Unjustly incarcerated for an understandable crime of passion, Rhan serves his sentence with his left hand tied painfully behind his back to prevent him from practising his wizard sorcery. Eventually emancipated from the hardship and cruelty of the salt mines, Rhan finds himself embroiled in an unearthly battle with a race of un-dead aliens trying to conquer his world. This struggle between the Da'lesh and Daha'et unfolds into a remarkably well-written tale of betrayal, magic and mayhem, filled with many pages of eloquent prose and colourful descriptions. The Thoughtmaster's Conduit is a fascinating blend of Science Fiction and Fantasy, captivating the reader with a unique retelling of the time-honoured struggle between the forces of evil and the unyielding hearts of goodness. As this story unfolds to its spellbinding climax, Ms. Orchard builds the tension and excitement effectively, as she takes her lavish yet flawed characters on a perilous journey through the Forests of the Dead, and beyond, leaving the reader hungering for more of this fascinating world and its inhabitants. This novel is a wonderful example of the plethora of new talent challenging the long-held thrones of the genre's grand masters, and as such, I highly recommend it.

5 stars for The Thoughtmaster's Conduit
Reviewed first for author Title: .The Thoughtmaster’s Conduit (FANTASY) Author: .Kerry Orchard Line/Publisher: .New Concepts Publishing Release Date: .2001 ISBN: 1586083007 Highly Recommended 5 stars Rhan has killed his half brother and is sentenced to serve a year in the salt mines. That he had cause for the killing has been taken into account by the Council of Elders, thus he is not sentenced to death. However, before the year ends he may wish that he had been. Adding to Rhan’s sentence; his left arm will be shackled lest he use his special power. Dlrow is overrun by a group of strange beings who mean to take over the world. They practice dark magic, manage to subvert many of the dragons and damage the ones who hold this world’s power in balance until only chaos ensues. It is left to Rhan to become the hero he must in order to save his world. He, Vero the thief, Alisha, and Rhan’s brother Taoe are thrown into brutal struggle with the Daha’et as the Wakanee circles are rendered helpless. This tale of past times set in forests and mountains, amidst pools of lava and strange beings is an entertaining read. The Thoughtmaster’s Conduit is a work in which writer Orchard has created a nicely sketched world and peopled it with a throng of engaging, well developed characters who envelop the reader and keep them reading. Her gamut of individuals runs from the truly horrific to the humorous, from hero to villain and most everything in between. Orchard’s writing is filled with rich detail, with an emphasis on feelings, and, sights and sounds. Vibrant dialogue between Orchard’s interesting array of characters is creditable and serves to move the tale along at an ever increasing clip. The Thoughtmaster’s Conduit is a must read for those who enjoy the Tolkien type of fantasy genre in which strange and wondrous beings people a strange and wondrous world. The action is fast paced producing an altogether enjoyable read. Reviewed by:Molly Martin

3 stars for The Thoughtmaster's Conduit
3 Stars THE THOUGHTMASTER'S CONDUIT Kerry Orchard ISBN: 1-58608-300-7 New Concepts Publishing THE THOUGHTMASTER'S CONDUIT encompasses a most original idea. When alien invaders with awesome powers take over, it is up to as unlikely a group of heroes as has ever been assembled to save not only their own world but that of the alien invaders as well. A masterful blend of science and fantasy THE THOUGHTMASTER'S CONDUIT draws on into the lives of the characters making you want to read on to see what happens next, even as you cringe at the unspeakable acts of the merciless invaders. Over all I would give this work solid three star rating. Reviewed by: R. M. Blacketer Scribesworld

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