A land at war, a failing king, a light in the forest …
Centuries ago, the powerful Alpine lords colonised the Great Forest. The native Silvan elves were accepting at first, but one elf’s lust for power is threatening peace and driving a wedge between the two, immortal races. Leaders against followers, commanders against warriors.
Fel’annár is an orphan with a million questions and no answers – his Silvan mother died and no one speaks of his Alpine father. With the face of an Alpine and the heart of a Silvan, the boy steps into this conflicted world with nothing in his pocket but a dream: to be a Silvan captain in an army commanded by Alpines, an army desperately struggling to hold its borders.
Fel’annár’s path as a novice warrior will teach him more than warfare. Embarking on a journey of self-discovery, he must learn to deal with his personal conflicts and with an emerging power he is yet to understand.
From recruit to novice warrior and beyond, Fel’annár is the Silvan that could change the balance of power and alter his world forever.
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Inspired by Tolkien lore, comes an Epic of family, destiny, and the rediscovery of both.
R.K. Lander’s The Silvan: Book I masterfully transports readers into the world of Bela’rán, an ageless land of immortal Elves and abominable monsters — some of whom are in fact Elves themselves.
Such is the story of the Silvan, Fel’annár, a would-be warrior whose unknown heritage makes him the mockery of the Tar’eastór, Alpine Elves whose prejudice against Silvans allows Lander to weave a tale that is both timeless for the genre and terribly relevant to today’s headlines.
Fel’annár’s journey from boy-Elf to novice soldier to hero-in-the-making includes every element one might expect of a J.R.R. Tolkien tale — rich, evocate descriptions of mythical lands, emotion-cultivating dialogue, and subtle nods to dark secrets that cast a foreboding shadow of impending doom upon flawed protagonists. If only they saw it coming!
The reader who finds her- or himself mesmerized by the High Fantasy genre and all the magic, mystery, and monsters that come with it would do well to devote a few hours to immersing their minds into Lander’s land of Bela’rán and the Silvan Fel’annár’s adventure to find his family and uncover his destiny.
Allow R. K. Lander’s pen to guide you on a trek to rediscover the beauty of and horror that befell the legendary Elven dwellings of Mirkwood and Lothlórien in familiar Tolkien masterpieces.
The Silvan: Book I is the first bookend of a charming series in which readers young and old alike cannot help but find themselves — and their imaginations —happily lost.
Contact Joshua Lisec
Path of a Novice, book 1 of The Silvan Trilogy is a stunning masterpiece of fantasy adventure writing.
The author, R.K. Lander, effortlessly transports the reader into the fascinating, colourful & evocative universe of Bel’arán, where elves & mortals dwell together in discordant, dissident harmony.
The reader is adroitly pulled in, eagerly following the exciting & thrilling exploits of Fel’annar, the precocious elvish warrior-to-be whose path tosses him headlong into a huge, boiling cauldron of intrigue even as he is stretched to the utmost in the epic clashes between good and evil.
Surprisingly relevant issues of this day are deftly incorporated into masterfully weaved tapestries of this extraordinary adventure series, leaving the reader hooked & looking for more.
Path of a Novice is a superb must-read for any one who loves a good adventure story. If you only have time to read one book this year, it has to be this one!
– M.Y. Leigh
FF’s Star Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Path of a Novice, the first book in The Silvan Trilogy by R.K. Lander, made me think back to those days when I dreamed about being a warrior in a magical world whose name is chanted everywhere I would go. One would have to train to wield a sword, an axe, or shoot arrows while in battle. One would have to be fearless, risk one’s life to save others. Or, one could just read this book and see the path a half-Silvan, half-Alpine elf with silvery blond hair and moss green eyes named Fel’annár has to walk towards becoming a warrior.
Before Fel’annár and his two friends Ramien and Idernon can be promoted to warrior status, they must first complete their novice training. For Ramien and Idernon, this might be nothing but a simple first step in their military careers, but Fel’annár doesn’t yet know what effect his fighting talents and his deeds will have among those that he encounters. He is also to discover that he has a gift, one which allows him to fight like an extraordinary warrior and also, to listen to the very trees. As Fel’annár’s training leads him to battle against Deviants and Sand Lords, others secretly make moves to keep his true identity as the illegitimate son of a king a secret from himself and those that would use it against the father he never knew.
Expect to see the Silvan people, a people that have come to be famed in the military as master archers, for what they are: a people at one with their forest home. This home of the Silvans, known as the Deep Forest of Ea Uaré, you are able to see clearly as if you were an eagle soaring over their villages that are scattered throughout a most natural, green landscape.
Fel’annár, whose name translates to “Green Sun”, might’ve grown up among Silvan elves, but with the face of an Alpine elf, he cannot possibly be a pure Silvan. His aunt Amareth had protected that face of his, a face that would cause him to be both loved and hated, for fifty-one years. Through reactions from those he encounters, I saw Fel’annár as an elf that girls would certainly see as a beautiful specimen, but inserting details about his hands being rough and calloused and how he can pull an arrow and shoot from a horse in a split second, the author shows us that beauty, in general, shouldn’t be mistaken for softness in any way.
The great thing about The Company, the group consisting out of Fel’annár, Ramien, and Idernon, is that their differences make them the perfect team. Fel’annár is shown as a great fighter with a temper he must learn to control. One mental trigger that stokes that temper of his is being called an Alpine. The big Ramien, nicknamed the Wall of Stone, has a paradoxical quality about him which leads him to fuss over food. Idernon is an elf of wisdom who is quick to drift away and ponder philosophical questions; he has known for a long time that his half-Silvan, half-Alpine friend has the qualities of a leader.
The Company, as a minor disappointment for readers, get broken up. The advantage in this is that we see Fel’annár grow as a leader in the making without his friends there with him. Though he can fight well enough, there are lessons about battle that he will have to learn, one of which being that to shoot for the head with an arrow is not always what keeps those that fight on your side alive. Fel’annár holds back with his fighting skill in the beginning, but Turion, his commanding officer, knows this and wishes to simply understand the boy’s behavior at first. When Turion asks Fel’annár what it is that he wants, he looks at Turion with “conviction, surety, and single-minded determination” and says that he “wants to be a captain.”
What Fel’annár, and readers, do not yet see at first is how great the boy’s destiny really is, something that Lander slowly shows us and when it all comes together, readers will surely feel the impact of something divinely powerful. Mentoring Fel’annár is Lieutenant Lainon, Prince Handir’s ex-charge. Prince Handir, seeing Fel’annar for himself from a distance, is to discover the truth about Thargodén, the king, and what led to his mother’s disappearance and his father becoming but an almost empty shell of himself. He knows about Fel’annár, thanks to Lainon, and does what he can on his part to come up with a plan to keep the identity of Fel’annár secret. His brother, Prince Rinon, is one elf that should not find out.
With the Silvans, the boy is popular, but obvious hatred comes his way from a few Alpine elves because he looks like an Alpine but chooses to be a Silvan. But there is more to it than that. Fel’annár’s mother, who he believes to be dead, had been Silvan and he knew nothing about his father. Amareth, his aunt, never gave him much in the way of answers. Even during his novice training, we learn more about him than he learns about himself, but at least he grows and changes with each lesson and experience.
There is a time when Turion approaches Fel’annár from behind and Fel’annár is able to tell exactly that it is Turion. The author doesn’t tell readers how Fel’annár knows this exactly. Three races of elves, besides the Ari’ator, are mentioned. “The Silvans of the great forests, the Alpines of the mountains and the Pelagians of the sea.” If readers are looking to meet all three of them they will be disappointed when they don’t get to meet any Pelagians.
Race discrimination, terrible secrets, spiritual wounds, paying more attention to nature, are all secondary themes explored by R.K. Lander as she begins her trilogy with a first installment powerful enough to draw courage, determination, world-improving action out of any who chooses to read it. Her protagonist, Fel’annár, is a brand new beacon of hope for young readers everywhere. It is more than a fun read – it is screamingly unforgettable, spiritually stimulating, and extraordinarily effective.
Excerpt from The Silvan Chronicles, Book IV. Marhené
Now then. Who would have said, that in this very village of Lan Taria, the greatest warrior our land has ever seen would be born? ‘Tis an honour we all carry with us wherever we go, and when polite conversation requires we state our origins, we smile, wide and joyous for we, are of Lan Taria! It is our claim to fame for we are his people, we are the elves who watched him grow, that shared the secrets that shrouded his begetting in a haze of Silvan conspiracy. But of that I will not speak, for who can say who may read these, my humble thoughts …
A more beautiful child I have never seen, none of us had, but the silvery locks upon his head, the fine nose and cheek bones, these were not Silvan features but Alpine and for that he would be mocked. Alpine child born of Silvan lands, a child that wanted to be Silvan with all his heart, in spite of his face, in spite of his unknown father.
But with time came friendship and soon, the days of mockery were no more. Fel’annár would battle straw Sand Lords and mud Deviants, wielding his mighty branch sword while he hoisted up his baggy pants lest someone see his peachy backside – not that he could be bothered for he would be a captain! A Silvan captain; nothing else mattered. Did it?
Excerpt from The Silvan Chronicles Book IV: Marhené
In that same year, a strapping lad was born. Now, I am a kind elf, and I will admit that ‘strapping’ is a euphemism – yes – for you see, Ramien was, quite simply, the largest baby any of us in Lan Taria had ever seen. His mother had a turn when he was finally laid against her breast, her face frozen in confusion, for how could she have produced such a massive child? I cannot say I disagreed but I am nothing if not discreet. His father fussed and tutted and then would leave on long walks. I think he was worried that his son was deformed for his features were not fine and lovely but thick, strong and meaty.
What were the Gods thinking, I wonder? For his mother was not large at all, and neither was his father. Both parents were of, shall we say normal proportions and yet this lad….
We knew then, the kind of childhood he would have, for children are cruel in their learning, whatever their race. It is a necessary evil, I think, in order to become kind and empathic but perhaps that is just me.
Idernon was always at his side with a wise word and a comforting hand, and the gentle giant would smile down at his friend – nay his brother. He would say nothing, but the Wise Warrior read it all behind his kind, blue eyes. ‘Thank you’, he would say, ‘I will protect you’, he would promise. And to this day he does, for to say one word out of line to Idernon or Fel’annár, is to gamble your very life. There is a glitter in his eye and a pinch to his jaw that brings fear so great – I was once told by the village butcher, that his own son was rump-faced enough to call the child a troll, and not just any troll but a muck troll. Of course the wantwit was in the company of some of the more daring children, so caught up in his childish games of dominance he had not realised the strange smile that had come across Ram en’ Ondo’s face.
Wantwit indeed, for suffice it to say that we still remember the whites of his eyes and the stench of his breeches. Later though, he would boast of his first encounter with a member of The Company and the friendship they would later find.
Fel’annár, Idernon and Ramien were the founding members of The Company, the greatest of Elven patrols for amongst them rides our lord, the one we have protected for fifty-two years.
Excerpt from The Silvan Chronicles Book IV: Marhené
Ah yes, the Wise Warrior. Such an enigmatic child he was as many still remember. Born in the same year as Fel’annár, both children became as brothers, along with Ramien. Oh the dreams they shared, the plans they made! We still remember their childish giggles, still blissfully unaware of the horrors of war.
And yet in one thing, Idernon began to shine for you see, his mind was sharp – extraordinarily so. He began to question the statements of others, refute their arguments much to his mother’s embarrassment. He would correct the reasoning of his elders and make no excuses for doing so. There was no stopping the mite. In his free time, he would sit and read, read, read! Every book on philosophy, on faulty reasoning, on refuting, on ethics and fallacies, every morsel of knowledge that was to be had in our humble library had been borrowed by the infant philosopher, and promptly devoured, as fiercely as Fel’annár used to gulp his pea soup; and let me tell you, my friends, that was a marvel to behold, if not somewhat disconcerting to Amareth, who would always fret over the ensuing flatulence and awful bouts of burbing. I, however, would laugh my Silvan head off, for is it not true? Peas are veritably the Devil’s grapes.
>>More on Amareth’s Pea Soup. (Bonus chapter from Path of a Novice)
Map of Bel’arán
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