Tarranau is an epic tale whose hero, Tarranau, battles his own imperfections in addition to the dangers and treachory of the world around him (the author has informed me that the name Tarranau is from the Welsh meaning “thunder”). Tarranau is born to a modest family of mussel farmers on an island, Bohortha Eilan, famous for its ships and knowledge of water. Tarranau studies to become a watermage so that he might make his family proud and earn a good living for himself. Things, however, don’t work out as planned. He is cheated by his superiors at school and thrust into a hostile world where he is forced to cultivate his talents as best he can–often with unexpected results. He sets off on a long journey that takes him through many parts of the land in search of a decent life and a way to redeem himself. In his travels he confronts various obstacles and often has to depend upon his water magic to overcome his adversaries. As the plot unfolds Tarranau begins to understand that he has a role to play in a larger story, one that transcends his mere struggle for survival and success.
Mr Tallet weaves a complex tale that lovers of epic fantasy are sure to enjoy. This book is the beginning of a series and does an excellent job laying the groundwork for further books. We are introduced to Tarranau by sharing his struggles as a young man, we also get to know the land in which he lives with its unique towns and their legacy of conflict. Finally, as the book draws to a close, we are allowed some hints as to the grand plot that, no doubt, will see many more adventures for Tarranau in the books to come.
*I particularly enjoyed the detailed scenes describing the training and practices of a watermage.
Book review by Jason Sullivan