Reviews - What do customers think about The Captain's Witch?
"The Captain's Witch": A Unsettling but Highly Rewarding Journey Jul 1, 2006
I first encountered the spell-binding writing of Rosemary Hawley Jarman at the age of sixteen when I stumbled upon her masterpiece, "We Speak No Treason", a lavish historical saga about the much-maligned Richard III. I have sought out each successive work for the past 27 years -- Jarman skillfully transports her readers into a world that, though often beautiful, is rarely safe or comfortable. Never has this been more true than in "The Captain's Witch", Jarman's first foray into fantasy. From the very first scene the reader is swept along in a maelstrom of magic, danger and treachery. The Pearl Realm of Karenia, steeped in corruption reminiscent of Caligula's court, is dominated by one of fiction's most repellant anti-heroines, the ancient and malevolent witch, Malkar. Across the border in the Opal Kingdom of Taratamia, the very air is sweeter. Order and honor prevail and are embodied in the book's protagonist, the dutiful, solitary Captain Tallis, marked by old wounds and secrets. As these two opposing kingdoms drift inexorably toward war, it is painfully evident that there is far more at stake than the usual heartbreaking casualties of battle. Warning: this is not a comfortable read. Looking for a little escapist light reading? Keep looking. "The Captain's Witch" is extremely challenging, at times shocking, with unexpected twists and an urgency which leaves the reader breathless at times. Jarman weaves a dark and twisted web -- yet the fundamental strength of love and goodness is here, too, and keeps one hanging on (by mere fingernails at times!). The passion and danger can be tasted and clutched, smelled and heard; it is visceral. We are there. Jarman has created a richly vivid world and peopled it with powerful, memorable characters. With "The Captain's Witch", Jarman is certain to expand her ardent following, and her readers are already looking forward to a sequel. Me? I need to catch my breath!
A dark and intriguing story I thoroughly enjoyed!!! May 23, 2006
Rosemary takes you on a marvelous fantasy ride through a primal yet mystic land of paradoxes - love and hate, sorcery and spirituality, war and peace, good and evil. She adeptly creates entire domains, personalities, and life events so masterfully characterized you believe it's non-fiction.
"Something wicked this way comes..." Mar 22, 2006
Times are troubled in the lands of Taratamia and Karenia (the Opal Kingdom and the Pearl Realm). Old enmities surface and mighty battles are in the offing. Brave Captain Tallis escorts a royal bride to her wedding,but will the groom be present? Will he,too,find undying love along the way? And what of the feisty tomboy Barbel,who will stop at nothing to join the army and follow her Captain? All the while lustful young men meet their fates at the hands of the evil,power-hungry Queen Malkar,their life and youth stoking the very soul of evil....something dark,shape-shifting and drawn from the depths... Welcome to the world of "The Captain's Witch",brilliant novelist Rosemary Hawley Jarman's stunning contribution to fantasy literature. One truly remarkable aspect of this densely plotted tale is how soon we forget,after perusing the map in the preface and diving into the prose,that it is set in a land of the imagination drawn from her vividly active psyche,and not some tract on a past time (in)glorious,so real do the events feel,it's as if we are reading an alternate history that never was,but should have been. Via descriptive writing of victory or violence,desires and dreams,devilry and dark deeds,even flower and fauna,landscape and light,we never question the truth. Her characters live,breathe,act true to their natures,follow their hearts,sometimes perilously,meet savage ends or work for a better future (well,most of them...) The first half sets the scene and canters gloriously,the latter hits a galloping stride and never looks back for two hundred pages,drawing us into a pure maelstrom of activity,battles and oft-shocking revelations; there are a couple of carefully guarded secrets that,when detonated,feel like a bomb resonating through the text,and brace yourselves for the climax,as exciting and skilful as any novel in recent memory! Lyrical moments of love and grace,punctuated by scenes of unbearable cruelty (take a bow,Senor Zairopo),including one sequence of mass midnight-deflowering that appears to have tumbled from the pages of De Sade's "Salo", or Pasolini's film of same! Truly,this exquisite tome cannot be recommended highly enough. Malkar sitting in her court of illusions,terrifying, ethereal...the beautiful Lilene,on trial and her life in danger (she speaks no treason).Sample Ms Jarman's great,earlier, "earthbound" historical novels,and then see her move into this realm,imagination as detailed and rampant as the Lion of War. As novelist Tanith Lee describes this,"one of the greatest dark fantasies ever written in any genre",and who am I to argue? A sequel beckons,and not before time,please....
This book has it all! Feb 14, 2006
Written in compelling, imaginative prose, this book is a treasure. The writer introduces a new universe into which the reader is immediately plunged and experiences the terror of battle, the passion of love, and a dark occult wickedness. This book would appeal to readers in a number of genres - fantasy, suspense, AND romance. I haven't enjoyed a book like this in years. I even passed my train stop more than once. The signs of a great book, of course, are becoming one with the characters and not being able to put the book down--all the while not wanting it to end. And as I said above, this book has it all!