Book Post: The Gray Isles
The Gray Isles is the second book in the Chronicles of Ealiron, a heroic fantasy series that revolves around an assassin called Lorth of Ostarin. The main character in this tale is one Hemlock of Mimir, a fisherman’s son with mysterious origins.
In the Gray Isles, a northern realm cloaked in legends and storms, lives a secret. For thousands of years it lay in the Otherworld, known only in the imaginations of sailors. Now, it has surfaced; first to Eadred, a wizard banished by his kind after being cursed by a witch; and then to Hemlock. When their paths collide, a change is set into motion that the heavens watch with dread; for the legends tell, it heralds the birth of an immortal and the death of the realm.
Lorth of Ostarin, a formidable wizard and servant of the old powers, arrives to the Gray Isles on a diplomatic mission to discover what Eadred has not told his masters. What looks like a quarrel between Eadred and Hemlock swiftly deteriorates into a manhunt that plunges Lorth into a tricky world of visions, myths and politics, which he navigates by joining forces with unlikely company. Eadred, while attempting to end his curse, has gathered great knowledge of Hemlock’s origins. Through him, Lorth reaches the sobering conclusion that Hemlock is not what he seems, but something powerful enough to destroy the realm with a thought.
Unfortunately, Lorth is not the only one who has discovered Hemlock’s secret. Racing time, he must bare his sword against an army, violate discretion and risk his own stature in order to free Hemlock from the clutches of daimonic transformation before he unleashes the forces of earth and sea on the mortal world.
Can be read as a standalone story.
“F.T. McKinstry has a lyrical voice that suits the ancient magic she describes. The majesty of the gods and mystical forces of the novel entranced me and I found myself completely believing this fantasy world. If you’re looking for a believable and well crafted fantasy world, you’d do well reading either of the novels in the Chronicles of Ealiron series.” – David Lee Summers, Editor of Tales of the Talisman and author of Owl Dance (See Entire Review)
“The Gray Isles is a very tight and compelling tale of suspense on rocky shores and the high seas, being both a coming of age story and a hardboiled mystery set in a mythical land.” – Alex Willging, Mr. Rhapsodist (See Entire Review)
“The strength of this novel lies in its descriptions of Hemlock’s psychological states as he undergoes his psychic changes. It also abounds in excellent descriptions of emotions and sensations…” – Michael D. Smith, author of the Jack Commer Series (See Entire Review)
© F.T. McKinstry 2015. All Rights Reserved.