"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 Publications.

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 a Giant."

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.


The Start Of Magic
(The Ehvelen #1)
by Dr. Bob Rich

Zumaya Publications
January 2, 2001
ISBN #1894869230
296 pages
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