Janny Wurts co-authored a reportedly great trilogy (with Raymond Feist) and wrote an intriguing series of her own, among other things. I want to read more Feist before Empire Trilogy, and I have too many long series waiting in my reading queue, so I decided to spend one Audible credit on The Master of White Storm, a standalone novel from 1992. Read by excellent Simon Prebble.
I liked it a lot and happily recommend it, both in audio and written form.The story, or rather a series of stories, of Korendir, an orphan, galley slave, mercenary, lord of a castle and a hero. Seen mainly through the eyes of his friend, Haldeth, with whom he escapes from Murghai galley to begin his life of adventure.
Strong, brave, smart, relentless in his undertakings, he makes a fortune completing impossible quests for villagers and kings alike. Obsessed with his need to build a perfect keep, to protect everything he holds dear, he is not allowing himself any emotional attachments before it’s ready, for fear of loosing everything again, just as he had lost it all when taken captive.
Famous for the outrageous rewards he demands for his service, he somehow manages to only help those really in need. Finally, he tries to rebuild a normal life, but he’s still driven by his need to protect the weak and make the world a safer place. Shadows of the past are always looming, and can there be a happy ending to such a man’s story?
It’s a story of Korandir and, along with Haldeth, we try to understand this great person. We don’t learn much directly from him, we learn of his deeds and struggle to understand his motivations and emotions through them, but, just as for Haldeth, it’s not easy for us to take the measure of such a man.
Initially, episodes of Korandir’s life seem to be just a set of separate stories, but we learn more and more about him and finally it all clicks together. In the end, it gives us more than aptly written series of adventures, it becomes a moving story, a study of a fascinating character. A puzzle we build ourselves from small fragments. I enjoyed the book from its beginning, but I really appreciated it after my player fell silent, and I reflected upon Korandir’s journey through life.