I take great delight in seeing people I like, admire and generally appreciate getting out there and winning. Graeme K. Talboys getting picked up by Harper Collins is one of those things cheering me greatly right now. I first ran into Graeme as a writer of Druid books – his Way of the Druid, and Druid Way made Easy are starter texts I can recommend to anyone new to the path. As an author he has a strong, clear but not authoritarian sort of voice, and that carries over brilliantly into fiction.
Stealing into Winter is a really interesting piece of future fantasy. Superficially it’s a fairly straightforward story of adventure on the road. However, much bigger plots and stories are just about visible in the background, and as this is the start of a series, it’s clear the main character, a thief called Jeniche, is further out of her depth than she can see.
The world building is fabulous. This seems to be a future Earth, with a history that is slowly being revealed to the reader. This opening to the series offers glimpses and possibilities, but nothing clear. There’s a lot to wonder about, and as a reader who likes to be engaged imaginatively, I really liked this. I don’t like everything laid bare and explained, I like to wonder, to have to infer, guess, fill in the gaps and become an active participant in the world of the book.
I’ve read the second book as well (Exile and Pilgrim), and loved that too, and am waiting impatiently to read the rest.