April 2001's Author of the Month
It was James Clemens' novel Wi'tch Fire that got me hooked. The first book of the Banned and The Banished it introduced me to many characters I was eager to follow from book to book as they continued their journey.
The more I read the more curious about James Clemens I became. A search of his website www.jamesclemens.com gave me answers to many of my question. An email sent to him netted me the answers to the rest.
James Clemens was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1961 and raised in the midwest and rural Canada with his 3 sisters and brothers.
Sometime, after earning his doctorate in Veterinary Medicine in 1985 he moved to California and opened his practice wih a houseful of animals to keep him company. He's not married but has been in a long term relationship for 15 years.
Wi'tch Fire was his first book followed by Wi'tch Storm and Wi'tch War. Wi'tch Gate is slated to come out this summer and The fifth and final installment of The Banned and The Banished, Wi'tch Star, is in the works. Clemens' has a project lined up for after The Banned and The Banished, which takes place in the same land but centuries after the conflict involving his current main characters. I asked but he wasn't able to answer any questions about his upcoming project due to legal matters. Darn that fine print.
The writing style, setting and story line of the Banned and the Banished are all fantastic. But what has kept me interested in Clemens' work are the characters. All are made up of so many different layers, you find it fascinating to delve beneath them one at a time and see what makes each person tick.
This series is not a light hearted read. It will make you laugh and maybe even cry. I'm sure I've acquired a grey hair or two worrying about the outcome of some of the adventures the characters are sent on. These books are the ultimate tale of good versus evil and you honestly won't be sure which side is going to win.
Wi'tch Gate promises to answer many questions, that the previous 3 books have left and I'm eagerly awaiting it's arrival in the stores.
by James Clemens
The Banned and The Banished
Del Rey - June 1998
Reviewed by JaToya
Buy a Copy
It's not often I read fantasy novels. Mainly because I'm very particular about how much detail I want. So, I usually ignore the genre until something grabs my attention. The title of this book did just that while I was perusing a friend's trade list. So, I traded for it. That decision was one of my best.
James Clemens' characters come alive. From Elena, our heroine, to 500 year old Er'ril. From Kral, the huge and honorable mountain man to Mogweed and Fardale twin shape shifters trapped in different forms by a curse. And so many other wonderful characters. Even the thread of evil that runs through the book just adds to the intrigue and makes you root for the good guys even more.
Wit'ch Fire is the first of five books in James Clemen's The Banned and The Banished series. The next two Wit'ch Storm and Wit'ch War have also been released. Wit'ch Gate the fourth book of the series will come out the summer of 2001 and the fifth and final book Wit'ch Star is xurrently in the making. From what I've heard from Mr. Clemens, himself, it'll be well worth the wait.
I'd definitely recommend Wit'ch Fire to another reader. It's the beginning of a tale that will wrap itself around your heart and stay there for a very long time. The characters are brought so fully to life that you'll feel they've been a part of you forever. Laughter, sorrow, strength and heartache abound in this novel. And you'll relish every second of it.
It's a definite MUST read.
|2001's Honorary List|