Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Tapestry Series: The Maelstrom

I reviewed the Tapestry series by Henry H. Neff last summer.

The Tapestry Series Part 1
The Tapestry Series Part 2

At that time, the first three books in the series had been published, and one remaining title had yet to be published.  The fourth book was published this fall, but now the series is set to consist of a total of five books.  Thus far, the following books have been published.

1.  The Hound of Rowan:  Book One of the Tapestry, 2007
2.  The Second Siege:  Book Two of the Tapestry, 2008
3.  The Fiend and the Forge:  Book Three of the Tapestry, 2010
4.  The Maelstrom:  Book Four of the Tapestry, 2012

In preparation for reading The Maelstrom, I read the first three books again.  This time, I found the first few chapters of the first book to be somewhat uninteresting, but then I quickly became interested again in the story.  I enjoyed the second and third books even more so than I did the first time, primarily because I better understood the events.

I just finished reading The Maelstrom, and I cannot overstate how good these books are.  The series gets better and better with each book.  The characters are described so vividly, and the plot is riveting.

The series begins as a blatant copy of the Harry Potter series.  While the remaining books have obvious Harry Potter parallels, the series is actually quite different from Harry Potter.  In this series, the demons take full control of the modern world.  The Harry Potter series never goes that far. 

In fact, this series is a mixture of fantasy, mythology, and dystopia.  Dystopian novels are usually set sometime in the future after a world calamity transforms the world.  In this series, the calamity occurs within the plots of these books, and we see the world redrawn with all new nations formed.  The journey is quite fascinating.

As with Harry Potter and other related series, the books are steeped in mythology.  The many geographical, historical, and literary references enhance the reader's experience.  The author is a former history teacher, and it shows.

Another nice touch is that the illustrator of the books is the author himself.  Henry H. Neff drew all of the internal illustrations.  How amazing to view illustrations that are not another person's interpretation of the author's words but rather the actual author's depiction of the book's events!

This series has avoided finding a large audience, which surprises me.  Most people do not know about it, which is a shame.  On the other hand, I rather like getting to enjoy a series that is a hidden gem without having to endure all of the unnecessary hype.  If you like Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, or Fablehaven, then I strongly recommend that you give this series a try.  I eagerly anticipate the release of the final book in this series.

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