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Game of Knights

January 06th, 2016

by Cherie Thiessen

With fifteen different points of view in forty-five short chapters, hospital it’s nearly impossible to render a viable synopsis of David Korinetz’s fourth fantasy novel, prescription Warlock: Chronicles of the Daemon Knights (Red Tuque $16.95)  with its serpentine plot and non-stop action.

Ships are wrecked in storms, evil sea captains are plotting murder, assassins with incredible powers are lurking everywhere, armies are about to invade. There’s danger around every sand dune, tree and corner.

David Korinetz says he decided on this multiple-storyline approach after reading Game of Thrones.

“I like to keep the story moving,” Korinetz says, “and that’s why I try to keep chapters to ten pages or less. Terry Brooks also heavily influenced me. He tends to use multiple story arcs. I like to get into the head of each character to show how they see things a little differently than everyone else.”

Halflings are small human-like characters who use their fetches to travel at will. A fetch is an apparition of a living person. A wraith, according to The ElfKing, is a bodiless soul that for some reason has chosen to remain in the world of the living.

A warlock, on the other hand, is a sorcerer, a necromancer and a practitioner of the dark arts. “They were vile abominations,” explains the ElfKing, “neither dead nor truly alive, but always extremely dangerous.”

Emperor Gamel is one such vile abomination. He hasn’t let being dead stop him from conjuring up evil. He was so close to obtaining the four elfin amulets that would have granted him unlimited power and eternal life if not for the Daemon Knight, Sir Rodney Vincent, who further thwarted the warlock by getting the girl, the beautiful Empress, Magdalen, who is now pregnant with his child.

If the warlock can only move into her baby’s body when he or she is born, then he will have it all. While Gamel conspires to get his hands on Magdalen, having pulled himself out of the dark void and into the body of the Carpathian King, Brian, who is quite a schemer himself.

Will the wizard Aldus ever find a rare Blue Elf to help him break the spell that Gamel cast on him, the spell that has rendered the benevolent old wizard magicless? Can his apprentice, Robin, ever learn as much as his master?

Will Shaun, the big Icarian shape shifter turned into a were-beast by the swamp witch survive his capture by the Herrenvolk and his subsequent wounds while fighting as a gladiator?

Why does the Princess hate Jack so much? Once an assassin but now an ambassador, can Jack be trusted? Will the Balorian halfling, Hugh, and the Blue ElfKing be able to help stop the warlock?

Warlock seems to be set in medieval times, equivalent to 10th century Europe, but according to the author, the time “could be in the distant past or in a distant apocalyptic future.”

Clearly Korinetz is an incredibly imaginative writer, but how does he keep track of it all? His first novel was rewritten five times; the second and third, twice. This one was written in one go, but he says he spent more time fleshing out the outline—nearly two years.

“I typically do a 10,000 word outline,” he told me. “I spend three to four months working on one for each book so I can get the plot worked out. Once that is done, I focus on individual chapters and the characters who own them. I have a character book where I keep notes about the basics and update the character when things change.”

Korinetz’ first three books, FireDrakes (2007), Sorceress (2009), and Halfling (2011), formed The FireDrakes Trilogy, while Warlock continues the Chronicles of the Daemon Knights as the first book in what will be the Warlock Trilogy.

The second book in the second trilogy, Prophet, is ready and that’s a good thing; few readers will be happy about the way Warlock ends suddenly unless they have the next book on their radar.

“Leaving multiple threads of a story open has more or less become a standard practice in the fantasy genre,” says Korinetz, “and I know this from the hundreds and hundreds of books in this style I have read over the years.

When Korinetz wrote his first book, FireDrakes, he did not know that he would end up with a trilogy. With Warlock, he did. “I know how it will all end,” he says, “but I am still working on the details of how to get there. I expect to have the next book out by the end of 2017 and the third in 2019.”

In addition to the map he provides at the front of the book, I’d like to see Korinetz include a character page with a short description of each because I found myself doing far too much backtracking. Even readers who have read the last series are going to need some reminding when the next trilogy comes out. If you’re an impatient reader like me, it could be better to wait until all three books in this new series are finished. For that matter, starting with the FireDrakes Trilogy would make sense, too, although Korinetz insists that’s not necessary. 978-0-9783824-3-8

Cherie Thiessen reviews fiction from Pender Island.

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David Korinetz

David Korinetz is the founder of Red Tuque Books, a book distribution company for Canadian self-published authors and small presses. Founded in 2009 with over 440 titles represented, it offers assistance and encouragement to self-published authors. It publishes catalogues as well as an annual anthology through The Canadian Tales Writing Competition, now in its sixth year. Korinetz says he puts in 4-7 hours a day for Red Tuque and 1-3 hours per day for writing. He also sells his works at fairs and markets in Penticton where he is known by his droopy wizard hat. For more info, visit www.redtuquebooks.ca

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