By: Ron Fritsch
Publisher: Asymmetric Worlds
Publication Date: December 2012
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
Review Date: January 24, 2013
The epic legacy of the hill and valley people continues to unfold in Promised Valley Conspiracy; the third novel in a series of four by Ron Fritsch.
In the beginning of book three, the reader is reminded of two key characters, Blue Sky, for the valley people and Long Arm for the hill people. At the end of the most recent and unnecessary war they are living their respective lives in exile among their peoples. Rose Leaf, princess of the hill people and Morning Sun, prince of the valley people were abducted by the hill people in the last battle between the two nations. Blue Sky is on a mission to seek out his childhood comrades in hopes of bringing them back to their rightful valley home. Even though the war is supposedly over, tensions continue to run high between the peoples. Perhaps war is not completely over as Tall Oak sets out for sunset pass with his son, Blue Sky, at his side. Their mission is to rescue Rose Leaf and Morning Sun. With another campaign underway, while more bloodshed may lie ahead, the hope of victory will be their guiding light.
Thankfully, there is a spoiler alert in the back of this novel. I have not had the luxury to read the first two books as yet and found this to be of great assistance. It helped me get up to speed with the story line quickly. With the multitude of characters in this series, it could be confusing for a reader to come into this third book without some assistance in understanding the complexities of the characters and their peoples—the valley and hill people.
The Promised Valley series is a captivating and interesting concept of what modern day life would be like had the beginnings of time happened differently. Mr. Fritch has remained true to his vivid imagination in the delivery of book three. He does not falter from the foundation that was laid in the first two books; yet continues to pay the story forward through his perceptions of how the beginning of man and time could have evolved. His sensitivities toward the perils of war and conflict and what the outcome would mean in the journey forward would shape the ongoing construction of an empire; yet it is not written in a placating manner. He challenges the reader often with situations and circumstances and provides the reader ample opportunity to formulate possibilities toward the next step in the creation of time in a manner that is credible. Fritch’s oft element of surprise entices the reader to continue turning the pages.
There are several subplots, twists and turns in the early pages of Promised Valley Conspiracy and my encouragement to the reader would be to hang in there and pay attention. I liken it to a speedboat starting out and once the desired speed has been met, the boat does plane out and glide smoothly forward thereafter. After I finished reading Promised Valley Conspiracy, there is no question Mr. Fritch accomplished what he set out to do. With little effort, he coaxed me to go back and pick up books one and two so I am amply prepared as I wait in anticipation for book number four. Meanwhile, if anyone has ever wondered what the world would be like had the beginnings of time been re-written, I highly recommend the Promised Valley series. Disappointment is nowhere to be found in book three, which I am sure has been the case in the first two books in this series.
Quill says: A thought-provoking tale of intrigue and “what ifs” had life played out in Promised Valley fashion.