The Sylvan Horn
(Book One of the Sylvan Chord)
by Robert Redinger iUniverse

"You are who you are, and you have within you the light and music of powers greater than any forces of the earth."

"These are dire times, Efkin. There will be great changes in the world. Our waning powers are only the beginning, the first sign of things to come."

So speaks the Queen of the elves to young Efkin upon his investiture with the office of elvish lordship. Young Efkin learns further of the evil sorcery and rune-magic emanating from the evil men of Mor eastward from the Isle of Elves. It is destroying the Flame of the Ancestors, the Blue Flame of Power that connects the elvish race with the elemental nature spirits of sea, earth, and sky. Loss of this power means destruction to the elves, invasion and war by the evil men of Mor, and the ultimate destruction of the entire world. The Sylvan Horn is a fast-paced telling of Efkin's coming of age, his reception of a magical pendant and a sentient sword, and his increasing understanding of the special role he must play in the coming battle with evil. To win that battle, he must break the power of the runes and restore the lost chord that rune magic has sundered.

Redinger interweaves a page-turning plot with a subtly beguiling poetic manner of diction that builds gradually as the tale unfolds. A magical world of elves, trolls, dryads, and druids is drawn in vivid colors and dreamlike majesty that nonetheless rings with a timeless veracity. The eternal themes of good versus evil, domination, aggression, corruption, and war feel true enough to the time and tenor of our day. The author even manages to work in creation myths and musings about predestination, the possible role of fate. In fact, the depth of mythic sophistication raises this novel above any simple pigeon-holing as a young-adult fantasy. A fantasy it may well be, but like any well-conceived fantasy, it speaks of a deeper truth. The suspense and action simply add to the fun. It is neither simple or juvenile.

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