Jarrod grew up in the village of R'shael of the Kingdom of
Ashqaleth raised by his mother and her family as his
father left them promising to return, but never did. His
mother, aunt and friends believe that the talisman his
sire left him protects Jarrod from harm even earthquakes.
Between his mom and his aunt Jarrod is showered with love,
but though he reveres and cherishes his relatives, he
yearns to learn more about his patriarchal side. Now that
he is of an age to journey into the monster laden
countryside, Jarrod decides to seek out his father.
On the quest, Jarrod meets Lilith, who expects to fall
into madness like her grandfather and her mother did
before her. She joins his quest with her own to find the
cure to her family's affliction. As they work together
confronting continual peril after peril, they fall in
love. Even minor success like Jarred obtaining information
about his paternal side places the duo in deeper danger if
that is possible.
The first tale of the Crowthistle Chronicles, THE IRON
TREE, is a fantastic epic fantasy starring a coming of age
champion and a magnificent heroine, both seeking
information on their respective families. The story line
makes believers of readers that in the Cecilia Dart-
Thornton universe monsters seem genuine because some are
compassionate while others are killers; humans and half-
humans can be divided the same way with some being
benevolent and helpful while others evil. This ability to
make fantasy creatures and spells an accepted part of
mortal life is what makes this action-packed saga terrific
except for having to wait for book two.
Reviewed by Harriet Klausner
Posted January 2, 2005
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted January 25, 2007
Jarred, recently come of age, is leaving the sun-scorched desert village that has always been his home. He sets out with a band of friends to explore the world, to see the mighty and beautiful kingdom of the north - and to seek out the truth about his father, who came to the village a stranger and departed when Jarred was ten, never to return.
After the travellers are set upon in a ravine and several of their number sustain injuries, they seek shelter in the Marsh of Slievmordhu. The waterlands are a far-extending tapestry of cool green streams, ravelled woods, and reed-fringed lagoons - a world of dazzling beauty as different from their homeland as night and day. Here Jarred meets Lilith, and in a single moment he realises that his life can never be the same again. But neither of the young lovers is aware how closely linked their fates - and their past - really are. During a visit to Cathair Rua, the Red City, Jarred stumbles across the secret of the Iron Tree, and with it an unbearable truth about his father's identity?
From the author of the highly acclaimed 'Bitterbynde' trilogy comes this breathtaking first volume in THE CROWTHISTLE CHRONICLES - THE IRON TREE, an extraordinary tale of jealousy and revenge, of wickedness and justice and, above all, love.