Pindlebryth of Lenland: The Five Artifacts
by Christopher D. Ochs

"He tore off his crossbow gun and fumbled for the bolts. Through sheer instinct he loaded and aimed, but it was too late. He fired anyway."

One of the perks of writing fantasy is that the author has the freedom to manipulate reality in ways that mainstream fiction writers cannot. Dragons, fairies, elves, and trolls can flit or stomp through the narrative unchecked and still be taken seriously. Of course, to make the story effective, great care must still be applied to the plot and characterizations, and the setting these creatures inhabit must be one that is realistic enough to be believable, at least on some level. Ochs proves that he is extremely qualified for this type of world building in his well-written and entertaining novel.

Pindlebryth is a scholar and a prince of the lemmings of Lenland who is pursuing his university studies on the island of PanGaea. When vast numbers of his kind begin to walk blindly into the ocean and their deaths, he quickly returns to his homeland to work with the young sorceress Darothien to try and find an answer to this crisis. Although they succeed in the short run, what they don't realize at the time is that this is just the beginning of their troubles, the first round in a conflict that may eventually pull more animal nations into a maelstrom of magic and deception.

In the tradition of the Redwall books by Brian Jacques, Ochs has created a universe where animals such as lemmings, crows, raccoons, Artic foxes, and snow geese take on human characteristics and live in developing civilizations. But the novel is not some cute children's tale about talking animals but rather a highly crafted adult adventure filled with political intrigue, suspense, and an air of mystery. Superbly told and engaging, Ochs book is a solid entry into fantasy literature.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

Return to USR Home