A rich cavalcade of influences echo through Donnelly’s assured and lively debut novel in which Jack Flint and his disaffected best friend Kerry scale the heights of the wall circling Cromwath Blackwood. Behind this wall lies a circle of standing stones, the gateway to a portal that transports them to the kingdom of Temair.
The strength of this novel is in Donnelly’s depiction of the comradeship between Jack and Kerry and, latterly, Corriwen Redthorn. The buoyant prose style captures the energy and zeal behind this friendship which is to thwart Morrigan and her entourage of Scree and Roaks.
The book shares familiar territory with the works of Alan Garner and of J R R Tolkien. But, far from being derivative, this helps make for a strong and substantial first offering to the fantasy genre.