Review by Mike Cluff
Glyphbinder by T. Eric Bakutis is a full, stand alone fantasy novel set in a completely new world. And that is why my hat is off to Mr. Bakutis—to create a new world (complete with mythologies, landscapes, different cultures, and other details) and successfully contain it in one book is not an easy task. Especially if that book is the author’s first.
The process of releasing narrative information and exposition, pacing it perfectly so it isn’t an info-dump, is very complicated and Glyphbinder has a lot of information packed into it. It is obvious that Bakutis worked hard to nail down every detail (he even says the book was a 15 year process). As a reader you need to be prepared to take in that information. Bakutis has the release valve at the right setting, so you won’t get overwhelmed.
But I almost think this one book could have been spread into a series. Why do I think that? Well, because there are a lot of really details that were very interesting, things I wanted to know more about. I guess that is a sign of a good book though.
Now, what is the book about?
Glad you asked.
Kara Tanner wasn’t alive for the war that almost destroyed her world half a century ago, but she, and everyone else in the Provinces, live with the consequences. Relationships between the Provinces are tenuous at best and those, like Kara, who work glyph magic are striving to keep the peace and make sure that same magic is never used for evil again.
At Solyr, one of the academies created to train and regulate glyph mages, Kara is at the end of her studies and has a high chance of becoming a Royal Apprentice. However, Kara doesn’t want the position for its prestige, but for the resources she needs to cure her mother of a fatal illness.
On her journey to save her mother, Kara learns that the effort to retain peace in the Provinces is crumbling and that an ancient evil, once thought banished, is gaining hold of Kara’s world and everyone she loves. But Kara doesn’t know that she is the only one that can set everything right.
Despite the slow beginning, this book offers a lot of action. In fact the last half is non-stop action, with the last fifty pages feeling like someone turned on the nitrous.
The parental part of me must warn that the violence gets a bit thick in a few spots, but not in an unnecessary or overdone way. I guess I just get squeamish about torture.
Because of the cast of characters and the depth of the world contained within, Glyphbinder is an entertaining and memorable fantasy novel. The magic is set forth with rules and boundaries, so all of you fantasy junkies (myself included) don’t have to worry about cheesy characters with cheesy powers. The glyph mages have strict consequences for the magic they practice, but I don’t want to tell too much so I will leave it at that.
Glyphbinder is available at Amazon.
T. Eric Bakutis is an author and game designer living in Maryland and a lead content developer on The Elder Scrolls Online. His short fiction has appeared in Fiction Vortex and will next appear in the Fairly Wicked Tales anthology from Angelic Knight Press. His debut fantasy novel, Glyphbinder, is now available from McBryde Publishing. His professional website is www.tebakutis.com.