Saturday, November 6, 2010


by Pa Rock
Rabid Reader

I have just finished reading a book, a very good book that I would not have even bothered picking up under normal circumstances.  But this book was written by a friend, in fact, the author has been my best friend since around the time that Kennedy was in the White House.

The author of Sarren identifies himself on the book's cover simply as JSC, which I find mildly amusing because he is somewhat of a modest and unassuming character.  Humility has its place and is always more appreciated than blatant boasting, but if I had poured all of that time, energy, and talent into writing a book of nearly four hundred pages, my name would be on the cover in larger print than the title!

Sarren is a good-versus-evil tale set in a mythical realm with lots of magical overtones.  The title character is a young apprentice mage (sort of a cross between a healer and a magician) who learns that she is really an orphan of royalty destined to lead her kingdom into a great war that has been talked about and predicted for centuries.  In the lead-up to the epic battle, the author creates and explores a universe that includes remote island people, the flying people of the mountains, the Oncemen and evil red creatures, as well as Sarren and all of her followers.  They all have important roles to play in the story's climax.

I'm not a big fan of J.R.R. Tolkien, having just finished the long and extremely boring Lord of the Rings last summer, and when I began this book I did so with trepidation fearing that I might be wading into another Tolkien bog.  But I was pleasantly surprised.  Sarren is good, a solid saga told in a clear and crisp cadence.  It is the characters who carry the tale.  JSC created a group of individuals who are interesting and easy to care about.  I became involved in their adventures and kept turning the pages wanting to know where they were headed and what was going to happen.

JSC can keep his anonymity.   For those with any connection to Noel, Missouri, I will tell you that he and I both worked at the Ozark Theatre when we were kids, and he went on to own the joint.  JSC eventually became the mayor of our little town.  He has been a mail carrier for decades, has a wonderful wife and two grown sons, and has been covering his home in brickwork for more years than he would probably want me to mention!

I invite JSC to append purchasing information to this blog post.  Sarren is a good read.  Your money will be well spent!


Xobekim said...

Molly's got one more reason to love her brother.

James said...

Thank you for the review! If anyone is interested in more info about "Sarren" go to also facebook James Carroll.