The Master of Whitestorm – Janny Wurts

About the Book

Korendir’s name was the stuff of legend… Man of mystery…deadly mercenary…obsessed adventurer… From a life of misery, chained as a galley slave under the whips of the marauding Mhurgai, Korendir contrived an escape against impossible odds, only to gamble his hard-won freedom against ever more deadly stakes – in a world endangered by elementals, shape-changers, demons and perilous wizardry. Even Haldeth, fellow captive at the oar and his only accepted friend, can not understand what drives Korendir to repeated risk.

413 pages (Paperback)
Author’s webpage

This book was sent for me to review by the author.  

Janny Wurts can tell one hell of a story. She has some of the most distinctive writing I have run across – lyrical and flowing, but deep enough to need some scuba gear at times. She is also incredibly underrated for her phenomenal skill. She’s been an important player in the SpecFic genre for quite a long time, and writes some of the most epic fantasy a person could ever want to read.

Why more people haven’t jumped into the depths that only Janny Wurts can gracefully navigate, I will never know.

When she approached me, asking me if I’d like to review the audiobook version of The Master of Whitestorm, I jumped on it. Incidentally, this was my very first audiobook, and it took some time to get used to, but once I did, I really enjoyed how I could do other things while I listened to the book – like cook dinner or play with my kid.

The Master of Whitestorm starts off with plenty of tension, on a slave ship. Quickly things escalate and the plot moves forward in a fast and furious pace. In typical Wurts fashion, readers are introduced to two characters that are incredibly emotional, Korendir being one of the most compelling characters due to emotion, empathy, and sheer force of will.

The motivations in The Master of Whitestorm are apparent from the start, and while they shift and change throughout the book, the goal (once it’s been decided upon) is evident. That’s part of the joy of the book – readers know exactly where they are going. The surprise is how they get there. It’s somewhat liberating to read a book where the questions are focused on how the characters will get from point A to point B, rather than where they’ll end up when its over.

These days authors are trying to jazz up fantasy any way they can. We have steampunk, urban fantasy, grimdark, and so many more subgenres that authors are exploring. While that exploration is fantastic, and I’m fully enjoying the diversity in SpecFic, there is something really refreshing about going back to the roots of the genre. The Master of Whitestorm is a good old-fashioned quest/adventure story.

While that might seem fairly surface level, the characters go through a lot of development, which is subtly handled and packs quite a punch for readers. And while much of the book feels like interesting test after interesting test, the tests are, well, interesting and they add some delicious tension to the plot. The development for Korendir’s development is natural and feels in tune with the situations he finds himself in.

The Master of Whitestorm is a standalone novel, which is rather refreshing in a genre where so many novels are part of a series. It also happens to be a fantastic, rather light, introduction to Janny Wurts. If you really want to read an epic fantasy series, check out Ms. Wurts’ Wars of Light and Shadow. It is absolutely amazing. However, if you want to know what her style is like before you take the epic fantasy plunge, this is the book you’ll want to read.

The Master of Whitestorm is a pretty fast read. It’s got a relentless pace, and a surprising amount of depth. While this book is a perfect introduction for anyone curious about Janny Wurts, the real glory of The Master of Whitestorm is the fact that it will bring readers back to their fantasy roots. Read this book to remind yourself why you love this genre in the first place.

Janny Wurts is an incredible author, and I think it is criminal that she’s not better known. The Master of Whitestorm is a great way to start exploring what she has to offer.


4/5 stars

One Responses

  • Your first ever audiobook? Really?!

    Wurts is one of those Not-as-well-known-as-she-should-be authors. There are an awful number of authors in that categor.

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