Time’s Children (Islevale) by D.B. Jackson

Portal Fantasy At It’s Best

*A time traveler trapped in a violent past must protect the orphaned child of a murdered sovereign and find a way home, in this astonishing epic fantasy novel.

Both a portal and flintlock fantasy, Time’s Children creates an intricate world and an emotionally gripping story. Portal fantasies have long been a favorite and the time travel which is central to the story creates myriad plot loopholes which can be very difficult to write well, and D.B. Jackson does so with aplomb and great style. There are so many effects of each action that must be taken into account and so much additional detail to the plot that requires a well thought out story line. Obviously, D.B. Jackson is natural storyteller whose has devoted years to honing his craft. The easy readability of the book along with the gut-wrenching experiences of the characters create a riveting tale. Once begun, I found it extremely difficult to put down again and the story has been on my mind again and again since finishing.

Islevale

The characterizations are well done and will draw readers into their hopes and dreams as well as their worst fears. Even the enemies of the main characters are so well crafted as to have a sympathetic vein of their own. Time’s Children is also full of fantasy creatures based  in myth and legend, and a few uniquely fascinating ones as well, like the Tirribin, child-like in appearance, ancient in years, they feed on the years of humans and are given a large role in the story. The terrifying Belvora, a huge bird-like creature that hunts humans only by order of a malevolent master and make an early appearance in this dark tale of desperation and lost time. The beautiful cover done by Jan Weßbecher is a breathtaking piece that I found myself admiring repeatedly as Tobias’ story unfolded.

paragraph break imageExcerpt: *She said nothing to the Walker, did nothing to draw his attention to the creature above them, for that would have meant his death. Instead, she bided her time, spoke to the Belvora herself. A mistake. It never occurred to her that a Belvora would be clever enough to invoke the Distraint. Most of them were thick-headed, and single-minded in their pursuit of the kill. Not this one, though. This one had been quicker than she. Among creatures of their kind –Tirribin, Belvora, Arrokad, Shonla, and others whom humans in their ignorance referred to as demons –the Distraint was highest law. Punishments for violating a Distraint could be extravagantly painful. Or so she had heard. She had never fallen afoul of an invoked oath; she had been subject to only a few in the hundreds of years she’d been alive.

The ability to Walk through time is rare talent. There are many more with abilities of spanning or crossing, but a time walker is much more rarely found. The experience of Walking and the constraints placed upon its use, due to its aging the Walker, are genuinely frightening. The rules in this magic system are quite clear. Those with the ability to span, moving instantaneously from one place to another, Crossers, who can move through solid matter, or the rare walker, the ability to travel in time, all who have been trained for since childhood for generations at Windhome keep. The best school of training Ilsevale, Windhome Palace has been Tobia’s home since he was five years old. He’s an excellent student and is not surprised to be ordered to the court at Hayncalde, in Daerjen. Before he can even set foot aboard a ship to leave, Tobias is being tracked and is in grave danger, the ripples of what he has yet to do already hot on his heels. This book doesn’t shy from detailed violence, giving the book a very dark theme. There are torture scenes which will leave you gasping with the character and weeping with him in despair. Time’s Children is the first is a series of what is set to become three books. The ending of the first only solves the smallest of the problems Tobias faces and will leave you wanting the next installment immediately. Time’s Demon is slated for a May 2019 release by Angry Robot Books.

Highly recommended for lovers of dark fantasy, portal fantasy, and grim flintlock.

Synopsis: 

Fifteen year-old Tobias Doljan, a Walker trained to travel through time, is called to serve at the court of Daerjen. The sovereign, Mearlan IV, wants him to Walk back fourteen years, to prevent a devastating war which will destroy all of Islevale. Even though the journey will double Tobias’ age, he agrees. But he arrives to discover Mearlan has already been assassinated, and his court destroyed. The only survivor is the infant princess, Sofya. Still a boy inside his newly adult body, Tobias must find a way to protect the princess from assassins, and build himself a future… in the past.

 

About the author:

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D B JACKSON is the Crawford Fantasy Award-winning author of more than twenty novels and as many short stories. He has written epic fantasy, contemporary fantasy, the occasional media tie-in, and historical fiction. David has a Master’s and PhD in US history. His books have been translated into a dozen languages. He and his family live in the mountains of Appalachia in the United States.

 

 

From www.DavidBCoe.com:

Thieftakercollage250Yes, David B. Coe is also D.B. Jackson, author of the upcoming Islevale Cycle, creator of the Thieftaker Chronicles, and the inventor of “TriCorn Punk.”™ The Islevale Cycle is a new time travel/epic fantasy series. The first book, Time’s Children will be released by Angry Robot Books on October 2, 2018. The Thieftaker books combine urban fantasy, mystery, and historical fiction in a series set in pre-Revolutionary Boston, and they’re a helluva lot of fun. But because all of these books are written under a different name, they’re described at a different website: www.dbjackson-author.com

 

 


Print Length: 528 pages
Publisher: Angry Robot (October 2, 2018)
Publication Date: October 2, 2018
Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Language: English
ASIN: B079KT566R
Cover art by Jan Weßbecher
Map by Argh! Nottingham Set by Argh! Nottingham

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