By Carolyn Kephart
Wysard is part 1 of a fantasy story by Carolyn Kephart.
I felt rather brave when I started on this book. One of the characters is described as "wicked" on the back of the book, which is never a good thing unless it's meant as a joke. I'm counting the title as bad omen number two (yes, it means wizard). Is that supposed to be clever? I'll leave it for the reader to decide whether it was the delirium of a small fever, or just great bravery on my side, when I decided to start on this book anyway.
Anyway, the story is actually quite okay, if a bit unoriginal. Taking place in your average magic-works-world, Wysard tell the story of Ryel, who happens to be a ... Wysard (a.k.a. wizard) strong in the Art (a.k.a. magic). He leaves home as young boy to find his true destiny and mentor, and after lots of impatient training he's finally fit to be called a wysard. While he's getting ready to settle down to a peaceful life as a wizard, the dark forces kills his mentor and then threatens his mother and makes a grab for eternal world domination. Forcing Ryel to go out into the world and save his mother and then the world. The really funny thing is that this first third of the story is a retelling of the first three Star Wars movies. Ry is Luke, the mentor is Joda and Darth Vader rolled in to one. Ry has a sister and his father isn't whom he thinks. There's a good and a bad side to the Art. I know this theme fits well with a lot of stories, but SW is the one that comes the closest this time. But then again - it seems that young men, destined to greatness, go through much the same thing, no matter what kind of universes they grow up in. The rest of the story is well told and interesting - Ry gets to save a fair maiden and has his first encounter with the dark side of the forc... eh… I mean, the slayer of his mentor.
And then the book ends all to soon. Literarily - on page 188 is ends with the words: "End of Part one. In Part Two, the concluding volume of The Wysard…". What? WHAT? I've looked thoroughly on the cover and copyright page and nowhere does it mention that this is only half a story and that you'll have to buy one more book to get any kind of conclusion - a book that probably hasn't even been published yet. This is so annoying. And sad, because Kephart writes really well and Ryel is an interesting character, with great potential, but I still have to recommend, that you save yourself the annoyance and your money (it's rather expensive for half a story), and stay away from this book (or at least be sure that you buy both books at the same time).
Written on 1st October 2000 by TC .