Off the Shelf

“Windmaster’s Bane”

By Marcus Pan

Windmaster's BaneReprinted by High Country Publishers from the 80s, Windmaster’s Bane is the first in a series of fantasy from Tom Deitz, subtitled The Tales of David Sullivan. It encompasses a teenage boy who finds himself with the Cletic Second Sight – the ability to see into other bordering worlds. With this sight he encounters and finds himself meddling in the affairs of the Sidhe, Irish faeries, whom you can read about were you to look up “sidhe” on any internet connection.

At first I thought it was going to be a bit silly, but author Deitz keeps the transition from our modern world to that of the Sidhe (Tir Nan Og) with a nice flow. The arrival of such creatures from folklore as the elvish Fae, banshees and the like are done well and keep to old Irish fairy tales and folklore. He blends it in wonderfully with our modern world – at least the modern world of rural farmland – utilizing Cherokee Amerind myths to help guide it so that the whole idea of elves in America doesn’t go over like a lead balloon.

When David finds himself able to see and hear things others can’t, it’s a rough road convincing his friends of his new talents. After getting in a bit of an argument with a darker hearted faerie, Ailill, he finds that the eviler of elves work the same way the Mafia does – he finds his family and loved ones being picked off one by one as a challenge to him. With his ragtag gang of two behind him, David’s travels lead him into Tir Nan Og in an effort to challenge, prove himself and win back the fate of his family.

The setting was done well, David’s a bit of a goofball but likeable as are Liz and Alec. I liked the trials that David had to perform, showing his faculties in various and unexpected ways. I did however find the end of Windmaster’s Bane to be a bit anti-climactic. After all he faced his final test of strength was…a swimming match. Kind of lame, really, but the final ending was ok considering the trial of swimming was not truly the test of strength and just the pre-cursor. But still…all that and you have to win at swimming.

Overall Windmaster’s Bane is another Covenant-like story, touched up a bit from its 80s original printing. It’s a nice light read, a little froofy, but handles itself and its folklore with a keen understanding of old Irish and Amerind myths. It leaves plenty open for future installments, and there were back when this book first hit store shelves, and I’m sure High Country Publishers will probably pick up on those as well. A nice light read with a good modern-fairy tale style.

“Windmaster’s Bane” by Tom Deitz
Illustrations by Tom Deitz
Copyright © 2006 by Tom Deitz
An earlier version of this book was published by Avon Books in 1986
ISBN: 13-978-1-932158-71-7
Published by High Country Publishers
Contact Information:
High Country Publishers, Ltd.
Post: 197 New Market Center #135, Boone, NC, 28607, USA
Phone: (828) 297-7127
Fax: (828) 297-6884

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