Sean Williams


posted on 5 Aug 2005 at 11:19 pm

…received a belated but glowing review from the wonderful Cheryl Morgan at Emerald City. The link is this:


but you’ll have to search to find the review. The gist is this:

“The reason why I haven’t given up completely on fantasy trilogies is because there are people out there who believe in the genre and continue to put out interesting books rather than following the formula. Sean Williams is one of those people. US readers will just have been introduced to his future noir work through The Resurrected Man, new out from Pyr. They may also know his space opera series, Evergence, co-written with Shame Dix. But these days Williams is writing fantasy. I’ve not seen his latest novel, but I have just concluded part three of his Book of the Change series, The Storm Weaver and the Sand.

“The series follows the traditional fantasy trilogy structure. Book one, The Stone Mage and the Sea, introduces us to Williams’ fantasy world. It is a far-future Australia divided into two rival cultures, one based inland in the desert and one based along the coast. Book two, The Sky Warden and the Sun, moves the characters along, tells us more about the weird remnants of a high-tech society that haunt the setting, and sets up a final encounter. And so to book three and — hallelujah — the world is not saved.

“In fact, one of the best things about the entire series is that the world does not need saving. There is, in fact, no Dark Lord at all. That doesn’t mean to say that there are no bad guys, but Williams has a much more subtle approach to evil than most fantasy writers. Sure, Sal, the young hero of the books, gets pursued by the Sky Wardens who are eager to harness his magical talents. And indeed Sal knows that the Sky Wardens were responsible for the deaths of his mother and stepfather. But as we find out in The Storm Weaver and the Sand, not everyone is as dastardly as they might seem, and even the nastiest of characters have good reasons for their actions.

“Furthermore, while Sal does have awesome magical powers, he is not a Lost Prince. He’s just a young boy with a lot to learn about the world. In many ways if there is a Dark Lord in the series it is Sal himself. He is the one who can conjure deadly magical storms. And because he is young and inexperienced he is easily manipulated by those who would use his powers for their own ends. The Sky Wardens have a point when they say he is a menace who can’t be left to wander the world on his own without proper training.
Ultimately the story of The Book of the Change is not about the battle between Good and Evil, it is about the battle between stability and change. Stability brings peace and prosperity, and of course safety. Change drives invention and evolution. Sal, if you like, is a forest fire that threatens to sweep unchecked through Williams’ future Australian landscape. And quite possibly the spooky remnants of high tech cities with their ghostly and vengeful inhabitants are supposed to act as an example of a world that changed too rapidly.”

She has more to say, and I love every word. Wherever you are, Cheryl, I owe you a drink.