Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Clive S. Johnson - Of Weft and Weave

Of Weft and Weave
The Dica Series #2
By Clive S. Johnson

Available for Kindle at  Amazon and Amazon UK

Other Books in this Series: Leiyatel’s Embrace (O.Scarlett! Review)
Available through Amazon

Product Description
A finely wrought and exquisitely detailed Speculative Fiction Mystery set at the end of a castle kingdom's epoch-long history. The failure of a strange army to arrive at the gates marks the end of an era, and sets in motion a fascinating and revealing insight into the realm’s rich but crumbling culture, bringing with it the unravelling of an age long mystery. At its heart is Leiyatel – the Living Green Stone Tree - long the preserver of the realm of Dica. What is to be the fate of her and of all those who depend upon her, even those far beyond her gaze?

A highly original, intricate and exquisitely imagined world, the ancient castle kingdom of Dica has slowly declined to a somnolent shadow of its once illustrious past. Expected salvation is long overdue and so a convoluted and at times darkly humorous tale steadily grows, within a broad canvas, to stunningly epic proportions.

The complex tale follows Lord Nephril, Dica’s Master of Ceremonies, and his oddly assorted companions who take up the challenge of saving the kingdom themselves. What comes to light is a multi-layered fabric of interwoven interests and conflicts that takes them far beyond the comfort and safety of Dica. Their journey marks an absorbing rebirth of ancient myth and legend, as alive and immediate now as in its dim and distant past.

At its heart is Leiyatel – the Living Green Stone Tree – preserver of the realm’s fortune and wondrous creation of the ancient Engers of Bazarral, but there’s more to their world than her own Certain Power, more within Nature’s far wider and wiser domain.

This is a sequel, a continuation of a story that couldn’t be followed, the story of Leiyatel’s Embrace. The two are uniquely linked within Nature’s own unrestrained knowing of a timeless universe. The end will certainly surprise and leave you thinking.

Of Weft and Weave will not only appeal to those who like a rich and involving read, but also to those who enjoy writing that’s innovative, original, tragically humorous and deeply thought-provoking. The tale is widely illustrated with the author’s own drawings and will also appeal to those who like maps for, like Leiyatel’s Embrace, it has two!

About the Author
Clive Johnson was born in Yorkshire in the UK, Bradford in fact, in the mid-1950's but was lured away by the bright lights of Manchester in the seventies to acquire a degree in electronics. Torn between the arts (a natural and easy artist) and the sciences (struggled with maths) teenage rationality favoured science for recompense leaving art for pleasure.

Twenty years implementing technologies for mainframe computer design followed by the mind-numbingly prosaic tedium of being a Group IT Manager for an international print company finally led, after a corporate takeover, to the freedom and simple pleasure of motorway incident support and a return to the arts.

A late seventies manuscript was unearthed during loft improvements and one thing led to another, a naïve and inexpert seed given benefit of mature loam in which to grow, and Leiyatel's Embrace steadily blossomed.
This biography was provided by the author or their representative.

Find Clive S. Johnson on Goodreads.

O.Scarlett! Review by Tenya

As if I could not give Clive S. Johnson’s first book enough accolades, I am in a great quandary yet again to express my vast enjoyment of his second novel. It was a profound pleasure to read this book, and I find I may have enjoyed it even more than the first, Leiyatel’s Embrace. Perhaps that is because I automatically had high expectations, but the author exceeded the height of the bar I had set in my mind.

The two books cover the same period of history within the vast realm called Dica, include many of the same characters, and use the same basic issues undergirding the plot, yet each stands alone as a quest for the discovery of the true mystery of the kingdom’s demise.

The Dican kingdom is in decline as the Certain Power, Leiyatel, the Living Green Stone Tree, continues to weaken. Nephril, the ancient servant of the Dican kings, may be the only one with the knowledge to rejuvenate Leiyatel – if only he could remember… Joined by an eclectic band of would-be-heroes, Nephril must discover the hidden secrets of Dica’s destiny, and his own.

Political drama, romance, danger, mystery and internal personal conflict weave together as a wonderfully wrought tapestry of a tale. The plot achieves a level of intrigue that honestly left my jaw on the floor a couple of times. The author threw me a few curves amongst the twists – how wonderfully delightful – I like surprises! Many scenes are laced with a quirky humor that causes snickering throughout despite the somber tone the circumstances demand.

Johnson’s fleshing-out of his characters reaches a greater depth. The old friends remain true while their alterations surprise both pleasantly and, at times, unpleasantly. The revelation of fresh facets of their personalities fascinate anew while the introduction of a wide variety of completely unique individuals into the story make it all the more charming and complete. Interaction between the characters is subtly fashioned, causing the story to be driven as much by emotion and character interaction as by plot.

This is a literary work of speculative fiction – finely crafted through words and phrasing. Containing the archaic along with elements of science fiction on occasion, this series continually stuns the senses and provokes deep thinking.  Clive Johnson’s style is poetic and daringly descriptive. If you are a reader looking for an action-packed, casual fantasy, you will not find it here. Instead, it is epic! The writing is classically formed fantasy which readers of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien or George McDonald will appreciate. Of Weft and Weave reveals the meticulous engineering mind behind the consistency of the parallelisms within the world created by this author. These books contain the authentic devices of an epic – a true saga of as-yet-unknown mysterious proportions. It views like a role playing video game in the reader’s mind simply for the fact the world Johnson has created is minutely detailed and monstrously vast.

Book three in this series is currently a working manuscript.

Of Special Note:
-- Clive has included a special treat in Of Weft and Weave by inserting several pieces of his own artwork into the manuscript. This adds a pleasant personal touch not to be missed, even on an ereader. The Tolkien-style maps are still included with this volume, a useful reference as one reads.
-- The author has also furthered the original ancient tongue of Dica to a point where the observant reader should pick up a great deal of the language by book’s end.

Genre/Theme:  Speculative Fiction, Quest, Mystery, Fantasy (classic style)
Reading Level: (by appropriateness) - TEEN to ADULT – these books are challenging from a vocabulary and plot standpoint and require an advanced sensibility as a reader
Profanity: (by amount in text) LOW  – there are several instances of expletives being used in fewer than ten scenes of the book, the sort you might commonly hear on a (US) television program.
Sexuality: (by content) mostly MILD to slightly OBVIOUS – a couple of times the shape and parts of a woman are alluded to. There is reference to a sense of rising desire in one of the characters, but it is subtle and somewhat symbolic. Although attractions between men and women are described, it is more on the intellectual or soul-ish side of attraction.
Other:  One discussion between two characters at the end of the book broaches the subject of producing offspring, but it is quick and not overly explicit. There are really no scenes of violence, but a couple of dangerous episodes. A very minor character is injured badly during a struggle, and a rather morbid happenstance occurs at one point.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for a most thorough and insightful review of my book, Tenya, it was lovely to read your views. An author's always keen to get feedback about what works, and what doesn't. To get such erudite and thoughtful ones is quite rare, something for which I'm most indebted to you and your excellent review site.

    I felt there was a level of understanding of my work that isn't always apparent, the plot is after all quite complex, and revealed not only how closely but how keenly you read it.

    I am overjoyed that my book gave so much pleasure, and on so many levels, that you found time to honour it and me with such a well reasoned and readable review. You've certainly done your site much credit, an exemplary piece.

    Thanks again, and I hope the third volume, available sometime later this year, will find its way into your hands and prove worthy of such close inspection.

    Clive S. Johnson, author of 'Of Weft and Weave'.


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