"Ehvelen people's history (part 1) rich and detailed in content and style"
THE START OF MAGIC purports to be an excerpt from an
Ehvelen (think "elven") account written by one of these
little people, a man named Porcupine. Porcupine was a
chronicler of his people's history, which he learned orally
as a child. The story in this excerpt centers on Heather,
known later as "the Mother." When she was fifteen and on
her adult-proving hunt, Heather was attacked by a scouting
party of men of the Doshi, a nomadic tribe. She was
captured along with another small woman, Oak, while the
three young men with them were killed. Oak managed to kill
her captor and escape, but Heather was enslaved for a year,
forced to be one of the Doshi leader's women, and
ultimately having his child.
The Ehvelen people were small, extremely strong, agile, and
fleet of foot. They were also at one with nature, a
peaceful people all around. In comparison, the Doshi were
nomadic plains-dwellers, male-centric, all other people
being slaves or women, little better than slaves. Slave men
were always castrated, women always given to a Doshi man to
ensure the creation of more Doshi. Heather settles into an
uneasy relationship with her master and the other people of
the Doshi, her one ambition to escape and return home to
her people, giving them warning about the giants who
hungered for their destruction.
This is a book rich and detailed in content and style. The
main characters were well established, although sometimes
the additional characters faded into each other, mostly
because there were so many of them. The life of the Doshi
and by comparison, the Ehvelen's way of life, was described
in considerable detail. Clearly a lot of work went into the
writing of this book and its companion books, to create the
societies these people lived in. Sometimes the story is not
for the faint of heart; there are beatings and other
incidents of cruelty that were hard to read, but satisfied
the purpose of showing us how calloused Heather's captors
were and why she would go to such lengths to keep them away
from her own people.
In spite of the main characters being identified as elf-
like people, this book is marketed as a historical novel.
It is not a romance story although there is a very nice
little romance with a Doshi man who is more sympathetic
than the others and his new woman. The only magic Heather's
people have are the natural ones of being smaller, faster,
and stronger than their opponents. The book is a good
example of taking something what we usually see as fantasy
and giving it a naturalistic explanation. There are at
least two other books in this series, one centering on
Horse, Heather's son. All will be available from Zumaya
Janet Miller © Copyright 2002
For ParaNormal Romance Reviews
Reviewed by Janet Miller
Posted May 10, 2002
Heather the Mother was the Ehvelen's greatest hero. She'd
been their War Leader for two generations of terrible
warfare that transformed them from peaceful hunters into
fearsome warriors, then scattered them throughout the land.
Everywhere they protected wilderness from the depredations
of mankind. Because of the terrible experiences recounted
in the five Stories of the Ehvelen, they always protected
the oppressed from the powerful.
But Heather knew none of this when she was fifteen. She was
on the Hunt that should have qualified her and her friends
for adulthood. And then, strange creatures appeared,
killing the boys and abducting the two girls. "This was the
worst day in the history of the Ehvelen. In a way, it was
the day when our history began, the day when the Mother
started to forge us into Her sword against slavery,
cruelty, exploitation. It was the first day when an Ehvel
was murdered, and the first day, ever, when an Ehvel killed
Thus starts the First Story of The Ehvelen.. They were
short, had pointed ears and possessed wonderful abilities.
Their memory is preserved in distorted form as Elves,
Fairies, Leprechauns, Pixies, Dwarves, Gnomes, and perhaps
surprisingly, Trolls and Djinns.
We remember them as magical creatures. This book explains
where the magic came from: keen intelligence, the abilities
of an Olympic gymnast, the training of a hunter.