The world was created from a quarrel between the Four Gods of All. As the Gods left their creation, all that remained were four gems containing immense power and a prophecy foretelling a tragic future. Hundreds of years later, the world must face arising hardships as the prophecy slowly begins to become a reality. Trading routes have been disrupted, people are struggling to get by on dwindling rations, villages are being attacked by trolls, and a powerful sorcerer holds three of the four stones from the Gods. With a magical war looming on the horizon, the race is on to see if the forces of good can find the fourth and final gem before an unimaginable evil is unleashed.
If fantasy readers are looking for a new book to read, they need look no further than the first in The Barclan Series and author CM Kerley’s debut novel, The Hummingbird’s Tear. What a wonderful new addition to the fantasy genre. Granted, there are many familiar sounding elements that can be found in nearly all fantasy stories: prophecies foretelling the end times, items that hold unimaginable power, a rare few who have magical abilities, and so on. However, Kerley has shaped these elements into something new and brings it to life through her beautifully detailed writing style.
Kerley’s mythology of how the world came into being is to be commended. This tale is told in a similar fashion as can be found in Greek or Norse mythology, thus promising a unique and gripping creation story of the fantasy world found in The Hummingbird’s Tear. The mythical world itself is unique for it is a fantasy world not overrun with magic, but rather a world that has lived without the use of magic until the prophecy begins to unfold. It is a world not already suffering from an ongoing magical war, but rather witnessing the beginning stages of one after many years of peace. The kingdoms and villages of the world are not rapidly declining into poverty and there is even the possibility that the war can be avoided altogether, which would make for an interesting twist on a commonly used element in fantasy stories.
Magic is reintroduced to the world through the introduction of the story’s characters. Kerley introduced quite a few characters within her series’ first entry, but by giving each character a unique personality and name, it is easy for readers to follow along. The characters do develop rather slowly as the story progresses and while they are likeable, it would be nice to see even more development of them in future books. Also with the reintroduction of magic into the world, readers may wish to see more magical creatures incorporated into future books. Trolls were mentioned attacking villages, but are there other creatures that could also attack? Dragons? Griffins? Demons? Creatures that have never been seen before?
The Hummingbird’s Tear is an excellent start to a new fantasy series with many possibilities as to where it could go in future books. Using her beautiful writing style and excellent attention to detail, Kerley will most certainly captivate readers with her fantasy world and the mythology behind it. While more development could be given to the characters and readers may wish to see more magical creatures make an appearance, this is just the start to The Barclan Series. From the story’s first line of “The world did not exist” to the final page, this story offers an enticing new read that will make readers want to read more. Hopefully the second book will be available for enjoyment in the near future.