Review: ‘The Sun Singer’ by Malcolm R Campbell

The Sun Singer:   Mountain Journeys Book 1 by [Malcolm R. Campbell]As a boy, Robert Adams is hit with the gift of prophesy. It’s all a bit of a lark, until he foresees the death of a school friend, which comes to pass the very next day. After that he buries his gift down deep – but he knows that it is only a matter of time before he will have to engage with it again. When he is fifteen he goes on a transformational trip to the mountains of Montana to honour a promise made to his grandfather (a soothsayer and Sun Singer himself). In the mountains Robert finds doors into the parallel world of Pyrrha. Suddenly it is clear what his gift is for. Now it is time to use it.

This is one of Campbell’s earlier books (first published 2010) and already his gifts for drawing warm characters and laying out a story so it flows towards and immerses the reader are well developed.

It is a satisfyingly complex tale. When the book opens, Robert Adams has denied his gift of prophesy. More about that gift, and the reasons he has buried it, come out in flashback. He and his family go on a trip to the Montana mountains much beloved by the author (he draws them beautifully: you can feel the love). Here Robert slips out of his own reality into Pyrrha, where a guerilla band is struggling against a powerful evil – standard fantasy fare. There is a deal of hiking through the same-but-different mountains involved. The mountain country becomes a character in its own right.

Robert’s world and Pyrrha bleed into each other in places. A few people are able to cross from one side to the other: Robert is one. There are others, some of them malicious. Robert becomes close to members of the guerilla band and tries to help them, at the same time finding out more about the gift he tried to disown. In the course of his physical and spiritual journey, the teenage boy grows up and becomes the Sun Singer.

There is a sequel to this book, Sarabande (2015) and also a prequel Mountain Song (2017). The trilogy will make most sense if you read them in order.

I reviewed this book for Big Al and Pals, in 2017, from a purchased copy of the book.

(I believe Campbell is offering this book free on Kindle 2 – 6 May, 2020. Whether that’s UK as well as US, you’d have to ask him. His blogsite is here: https://malcolmsroundtable.com/author/knightofswords/)

Published by Judi Moore

Hi there, I hope you find something to interest you here. In December 2017 I published my fourth book – ‘Wonders will never cease’. It’s a satirical campus novel set in the fictional Ariel University in 1985. If you enjoyed Tom Sharpe’s Porterhouse novels, Willy Russell’s ‘Educating Rita’, David Lodge’s campus novels or Malcolm Bradbury’s ‘The History Man’ back in the day, you may enjoy revisiting the ivory towers of 1980s’ academe thirty years on. See what you think. “It is December, 1985. The year is winding gently towards its close until Fergus Girvan, a Classicist at Ariel University, finds his research has been stolen by the man who is also seeking to steal his daughter. But which man is, actually, the more unscrupulous of the two? And is there hope for either of them?” In the autumn of 2015 I published a volume of short fiction: 'Ice Cold Passion and other stories'. I am also the author of novella 'Little Mouse', a shortish piece of historical fiction which I published in 2014 and, a sequel to it, 'Is death really necessary?', my eco thriller set in the near future and which, confusingly, I published in 2009. All the books are available from all good online bookshops and FeedARead on paper, and as e-books on Kindle. On a semi-regular basis, and about a month after the event, I post here reviews which I do for Big Al & Pals, the premier reviewer of indie books, based in the States. My interests tend to thrillers, SF, magic realism and other quirky stuff. On this blog are also posted the reviews I did for Leighton Buzzard Music Club over some five years up to the end of 2015. LBMC present annual seasons of eight monthly chamber music concerts at the Library Theatre in Leighton Buzzard, Bucks. They select young musicians just beginning to make their name - and the concerts are usually magnificent. I was very proud to be associated with them. I review other music, books, theatre and exhibitions which I've particularly enjoyed.

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