IN THE TRADITION OF THE EPIC FANTASY NOVELS OF THE LAST FIFTY YEARS.
Les Bill Gates, Author and Freelance Writer
THE LAND The first part of the trilogy ‘Hope’ tells of the arrival of Squire in Thorland and ‘The Quest for the Teeth of the Upper Jaw’.
THE PROPHECY After many centuries, Squire has returned to Thorland, summoned there by the good Wizard Tobin in order to fulfil an ancient prophecy.
THE PEOPLE As the quest begins, the other members of the company described in the prophecy join Squire. They also encounter many friends who assist them on the quest.
THE MAGIC Tobin gives Squire a shield to protect him in times of great danger, but warns that whenever he uses it he will also get a glimpse of his own world – an unpleasant experience.
THE QUEST Their quest takes the company to every part of West Thorland. Every time they locate one of the teeth, they also receive instructions for finding the next tooth. Throughout the quest, the wicked Wizard Gordeve tries to abduct Squire, destroy his friends, and thwart the quest.
The man awoke with a start from a dream half-remembered—a morning twilight of eerie noises and bitter cold, with wolves snarling and snapping at his heels, and a desperate escape; from a dream half-forgotten—a river in flood, rushing waters, cries for help, a fall, and a bang to his head. Yet, it had all seemed more than a dream.
He looked around, and saw by the light of a flickering log fire that he was in a small room. He was alone. He didn’t know how many hours had passed since the wolves had attacked him, but through a crack in the curtains of a window, he could see that there was darkness outside. He tried to call out, “Is there anyone there?” but no sound came from his vocal cords. I’ve lost my voice… or lost my mind, he thought. He tried again, with greater effort, and discovered that he could only make a rasping sound. It’s no use. No one can hear me, even if there is someone there.
He lay on a wooden bed, a little hard perhaps, but comfortable and warm, and several blankets covered his body. He wore strange dry clothes. On a table beside the bed, he discovered a cup of water and some bread. So there is somebody here. After he had quenched his thirst, he stuffed the bread into his mouth, and washed it down with some more water. His hunger was not sated, but he felt more contented and soon drifted off into sleep once more.
Windows on our World, Part 1: Hope
In the first part of the fantasy trilogy, Windows on our World, Hope, is set in the fictitious Thorland. It is an easy read where Lord of the Rings meets National Treasure with vocabulary not above the average English reader.
Squire finds himself in Thorland after being summoned by the wizard Tobin to
fulfil an ancient prophecy. Together with a company, selected by the prophecy, he set off in search for the teeth of the upper jaw which belong to the golden skull. The quest leads the company through beautiful descriptive scenes of the country by means of clues hidden with every tooth. But like all quests, there is a villain in the form of Gordeve, the evil wizard sister of Tobin, who does everything in her power to overthrow the company.
There is a strong universal theme of good and evil, camaraderie, and trust. At times the dialogue seems unnatural, but does not deflect attention from the
story line. There is enough intrigue to keep you turning the pages.
The characters are interesting, although, except for Squire and Jippers, they do not have any body to them. Descriptions are done with precision, but they lack a certain humanity and you find it difficult to relate to them.
My final conclusion is that the first part of the trilogy, Windows on our World, is an entertaining read and I will recommend it to anyone who would like to sit back and relax for a few hours. I am waiting, with baited breath, the next book.
Yolande du Plessis
WINDOWS ON OUR WORLD, PART 1: HOPE
The ancient prophecy of Thorland is about to be fulfilled as a man known only as the Squire arrives by way of a giant eagle. Though the man does not remember who he is or where he comes from, he accepts the explanation of Helge, the woman who has been tasked with helping him on an importantquest. With the help of the wizard Tobin, his apprentices, an archer, and three Luchorpans, Helge and Squire must locate the teeth that belong to the golden skull in order to reinstate its magical powers and protect Thorland from the evil Gordeve.
Numerous obstacles stand in their way, for Gordeve has begun breeding a terrible cougar, which carries malicious intentions toward Squire and his friends. She has spies in even the safest of places, and she holds a secret capable of corrupting even the most loyal of men. But even beyond Gordeve's schemes there are dangers, for someone is stalking Squire and his band, and their travels take them into remote, sometimes unfriendly, lands where the threat of war overshadows their quest.
Windows on Our World enters into the familiar fantasy realm of quests and wizards and curious creatures. No time is wasted in getting the heroes underway, and by the second chapter, Squire and Helge have already set out to find the rest of their party. In some cases, the action almost seems to move a little too quickly, putting expediency above the development of situational tension or character evolution. Very little is known about the characters themselves other than their present occupation, and their feelings are sometimes lost within the shared point of view structure.
• The style of writing might be a little spare for some readers, but others will be pleased by the clarity of unembellished prose. There is no need to search for meaning within the words, as the author's intention is made clear through his choice of phrasing. This helps drive the story forward and, though we reach the ending with many questions, we know that the story will be continued in the next volume, where Squire's party will continue searching for the golden teeth.
Les Bill Gates is a teacher, and former principal, at King George VI National Secondary School in the Solomon Islands. He holds a mathematics degree from Oxford University and a Certificate in Education from Exeter University. He has traveled extensively and plans to pursue a career as an author,continuing the Windows on Our World series with the second book, Faith.
Reviewer: C. Noël Rivera, Allbook Reviews.
Windows on Our World. Part I: Hope. By Les Bill Gates
Similar to the epics Mahabharata and Ramayana, the classics of Indian literature, Windows on Our World is a fantasy trilogy in the tradition of fantasy novels of recent era created by
Les Bill Gates, the pen name of Leslie William Gates. Hope is the first part and the remaining parts, Faith and Love will eventually appear, so says the author. The story is told in twenty
chapters. Squire, the legendary saviour and the expected one, arrives in Thorland. He helps the good wizard Tobin to find out the missing teeth of a golden skull that has magical
powers to bring in peace and prosperity for the people of the land. Gordeve, the wicked wizard, sister of Tobin and the antagonist is also after the teeth. The fat and flesh of the book arethe numerous adventures of Squire and his friends well equipped with suitable weapons of the time just as the characters of the American serial film 'A Team.’ After having encountered with evil forces the team redeems the teeth of upper jaw. The bone of the story is the eternal conflict between the good and the evil. The story ends happily and beautifully. But the readers may ask for: 'where are the teeth of lower jaw?' That is the magical effect of this volume and a pointer to author's craftsmanship. The book has all the elements of an
interesting book such as an ideal theme, good story, beautiful sceneries, life-full characters, fantastic events, fighting and stunts, magical scenes, humorous dialogues, simple and
common language studded with elegant phrases and idioms, route maps, happy ending etc. Careful and colourful crafting of those components makes the book wholesome and worthy of reading
While J.K.Rowling's Harry Potter series have unnatural and abnormal fantasies, Les Bill Gates has reined the imagination and has kept it within the boundaries of logic and reason.
Les has made even an animal, mule the Faithful a lively character very unlike of JKR. The book is a pleasant reading for the readers - children, adults and the aged - having leisurely time at hand. While reading the saga of Squire and his company we are reminded of the films: 'Connan the Barbarian', 'Red Sonja', 'Ladies of Amazon', 'Death Stalker.' The book has the potential for being made unto film. We did not feel quite happy with the main title and the sub title. Title given to a book must be crisp, catchy of onlooker's eyes and compassing to the content of the book. Squire as a hero needed little more virility and vitality. The price of the book seemed little high -
Reviewer: Joseph Kaval - Editor and publisher of the international literary journal Katha Kshetre.
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