Reviews
The Mother's Sword

Bonnie Mercure
Carrol Wolverton
Linda Nelson

by Bonnie Mercure

   Who has not heard of fictional Little People -- Fairies, Leprechauns, Elves, Dwarves, Pixies, Gnomes? In The Mother's Sword, Dr. Bob Rich gives us the Ehvelen, an ancient civilization that existed in the year 700 BC. Based on scrolls found in a cave in County Clare, Ireland, Dr. Bob Rich weaves a complex story of the customs and traditions of the Ehvelen people.

   The Mother's Sword is the second book in the Ehvelen series, but skillfully stands on its own. From the first page, I was swept up in the lives of these little people. I marveled at their hunting skills, their resourcefulness in using what nature has to offer, and the love and devotion they exhibit toward their extended families and friends. Best of all, they have the Mother within them, which makes them above all else loving and peaceful creatures.

   The Ehvelen's peaceful existence is shattered when a group of young hunters come in contact with a group of giants, the Doshi. These giants kill the young men of the hunt, capture the young women and make them slaves. The giants are the first contact the Ehvelen people have ever had with humans who take life as if it means nothing and destroy nature to fit with their own selfish needs. From there, the Ehvelen people are faced with not only the struggle to survive but to do what they thought before as unthinkable: to kill human beings, even if they are merciless giants.

   There is a great beauty in The Mother's Sword, and it left me feeling that I truly understood these little people and their stories that had been handed down from generation to generation.

 


About the Reviewer

   Bonnie Mercure coordinates the fiction pages of Dowse.com. My first contact with her was when I submitted a couple of my short stories to her. Later, she was one of the entrants in my first Free Edit Contest. I was charmed by one vote: her young daughter Kate wrote that she was voting for her Mom's book.

   As you can see from the review, her own writing is clear and vivid. The book I edited for her, The Curse of the Three-Headed Circus should do well. Visit Bonnie's web site.


by Carrol Wolverton

This review appeared at Fiction Forum. The book was awarded four stars.

 

four stars

   In the next book in the series, "The Mother's Sword" by Dr. Bob Rich, the Ehvelen are mythic peoples, small of stature, but mighty as to their reverence for each other. This second story tells what is happening back home while the invading, evil Doshi hold Heather of Quiet Glen captive.

   The reader learns of young blond-haired Oak who is amazed to see these giant ogres kill others, something unknown to her people. The Ehvelen are not like this at all. They are peaceful, cooperative forest dwellers, who go out of their way to help each other, and would never kill another human being. This is most unfortunate because the giant Doshi from across the river persistently invade to capture, kill, and rob the Ehvelen with no qualms about doing evil.

   At first, the Ehvelen try to be friendly to the newcomers, only to be attacked. Oak is amazed by what appear to be two-headed monsters. The reader soon realizes that they are men riding horses. Ehvelen do not have horses and are surprised to see them separate from the riders. The Ehvelen are able to repel the raiders and call for help, which willingly comes from all around. The Ehvelen prepare to rebuff attacks. Because of their cooperation and quick thinking, they are able to resist and kill most of the invaders -- for now.

   Dr. Bob Rich in an "Afterword" laments the loss of land, pollution, waste of resources, disintegration of society, and the mental disorders plaguing today's world. He points to alcohol abuse, suicide, drugs, and violence as evidence of the failure and disintegration of society. He feels diseases such as cancer stem from destruction and misuse of our environment and sees today's societies as stealing from the future and destroying it.

   Certainly, his message of destruction plays out in these mythic tales and causes us to lament the many evils among us. He is trying to warn us not to destroy our future by failing to learn from our past. The book succeeds in conveying his message in a well told, very adult, mythic tale.

   As you may have deduced, this is the second review of one of my books that Carrol has done. Read about her, and her review of The Start of Magic.


by Linda Nelson

This review was at the prestigious web site sime-gen. The book received a five star rating.

   "A hundred years ago, a family consisted of six to twelve adults, caring for several children. Thirty years ago, the nuclear family was the norm. Now, a majority of children live in the shifting world of serial monogamy as partnerships form and dissolve, or are brought up in single-parent families. Adults suffer either the accompanying loneliness, or the periodic heartbreak of separation, or of course both. This breakdown of the family is one of the most damaging aspects of modern life, for many youngsters are brought up without learning the essentials of how to live and love." Dr. Robert Rich

   Life as it could be. Life as it might have been long ago.

   This is a first contact story. A story of how one culture impacts another, like a pebble thrown into a pond the ripples increase in ever widening circles until every life has been stirred and disturbed.

   In this book we lean about the Ehvelen or 'little folk.' Just a little over three feet tall these Gnomes, Dwarves or Elves live in peaceful harmony with each other and nature which they name 'The Mother.'

   As this story opens we hear how Heather and Oak were captured by strange giant man/beasts. This is to be Oak's story and she tells a fantastic tale of how her hunt mates were killed, slaughtered and how she was abused and used by these beasts who look like people but act like they are animals. Oak's family quickly calls a meeting, which turns into a town meeting.

   Families are special to these people and so are meetings. Each character takes a turn in the entertaining, bringing to mind a county or state fair. I had to chuckle at the tale of ZZZ, an old folk tale of the Mosquito and the Man, passed by word of mouth from one generation to another by its eldest member, the storyteller. It is here that Oak first tells her side of the story. It is also here that the next tragedy makes it first appearance, it is here that a new sickness, a barking in the throat is also passed around the fireside.

   Book one is Heather's story THE START OF MAGIC, one that I have not had the pleasure of reading yet.

   I didn't have much difficulty in jumping right in with this lively and active tale. Each book is complete and separate and can stand alone.

   Dr. Bob's style is poetic and vivid and almost can be sung, liken to epic tales of the past.

   Oak's family or Dwareif survives the disease, influenza-like symptoms, and must now gather their strength as more and more giants start to come over the river riding large beasts never before imagined.

   At first these simple tree dwellers think these are two-headed beasts. We are treated to The Mother's children's first introduction to the horse. Soon a new friendship is formed and this proves to be very advantageous to the Ehvelen as the old forest is being attacked with fires and small swift feathered sticks bring much death to these little people.

   Something must be done or all will be destroyed and it comes down to kill or be killed. This is the story of a people's struggle with change. Through the minds of these families and life-loving people we can learn and squirm with new thoughts and new ideas of how different people think differently about the same things, each seeing with their own unique point of view.

   This is a challenging book, a can't put it down till I read the last page kind of book. I would also like to recommend that you don't save this for bedtime reading. This clash of cultures tale is rated V for violent. Dr. Bob's ideas will not make it easy to sleep. He subtly makes a good argument in this book, a return to a more simpler life solution, and presents it entreatingly to you as the best answer for our society's many ills and diseases today.


 

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