Friday, May 10, 2013
The Call of Agon by Dean F. Wilson
From the publisher:
THE LAST LINE. THE LAST WORDS. THE LAST CHANCE.
Ifferon is one of the last in the bloodline of the dead god Telm, who mated with mortal women, and who imprisoned the Beast Agon in the Underworld. Armed with a connection to the estranged gods in the Overworld and a scroll bearing Telm's powerful dying words, he is tasked with ensuring the god's vital legacy: that Agon remain vanquished.
Fear forces Ifferon to abandon his duty, but terror restores his quest when the forces of Agon find his hideaway in an isolated coastal monastery. Weighed down by the worries of the world, but lifted up by the companions he encounters along the way, Ifferon embarks on a journey that encompasses the struggles of many peoples, the siege of many lands, and discoveries that could bring hope to some—or doom to all.
At first, I was very confused with the story. I couldn't figure out who was who, what was happening, and the main plot line was lost in the early chapters. That being said, the action and the mystery behind who Ifferon is, and why he is being hunted, add a strong element of intrigue and don't give the reader an opportunity to put this book down and forget about it. Ifferon meets an assorted crew, nay, a FELLOWHIP, on his quest to use the god Telm's final words to vanquish Agon back to the Underworld. Wilson does a great job making these characters fun to read about, and likable (even if you dislike a character, you still love to hate him as you read). Not only, by the way, is Ifferon's quest very comparable to Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, but other details also bring the epic fantasy to mind. For example, Oelinor cannot die by natural means, but he is still fallible in battle (elves, anyone?) It was pretty fun to read this story, and think of where the inspiration for Wilson's characters and world came from.
As I said above, the beginning chapters can be confusing and hard to get into, partly owing to the fast pace and lack of explanation (which is mostly remedied throughout the story), but is also due to the difficult and somewhat similar names. I know enough mythology to know that this is to be expected, and also makes this story seem so much more similar to ancient stories. Many aspects of life and nature were humanized and deified by ancient civilizations, and it's interesting that the personification used in TCOA speaks to Wilson's ability to make the story and words themselves reference the world of mythology.
Overall, the combination of mythology, fantasy, and adventure makes The Call of Agon a great story to read, and I definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys ancient mythology, epic novels such as LOTR, or who's looking for a good new book to read :)