Sunwielder – is yet another Groundhog Day

Posted: February 13, 2015 in 4 Star Reviews, Fantasy, Fiction
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4 of 5 Just-Let-Me-Die-Already Stars – Sunwielder by D. Wallace Peach.

This is a great book. An epic story, which reminds me quite a bit of The Return of the King. But instead of wizards and magic, this book has a strange kind of time travel. A device that is given to a young farmer, to change his path. To alter his past, and his future.

The story starts with the young farmer, Gryff, living his happy life, on his farm, with his wife, and the rest of his simple family. Then, men come and burn his world to the ground. They kill his entire family. Even raped his wife, and hung her up, naked in a tree. Gryff finds her, and buries her. Then, he lays there by the stone grave, dying of his own wounds.

He wakes up in some old woman’s cottage. Her own granddaughter laying dead, next to Gryff. She nurses him back to health and gives him the Sunwield. It’s a medallion that she places around his neck. She explains that, if he wears this medallion, that he can change his path. He can roll back time, to save his loved ones, and in the process, save her granddaughter as well.

The old woman and her people sort of remind me of Native Americans, in their belief system. They’re very Zen, and spiritual. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit, if she was a total pot head. With wind chimes, and dream catchers hanging in her cottage.

Of course, Gryff doesn’t understand a goddamn word she said. He figures she’s just some raving lunatic. But he’s at least grateful that she saved his life. He tries to get some rest, and when he wakes, he finds himself back at his farm, doing his chores. Gathering eggs, and such.

What the fuck is happening? He has no fucking clue. He’s not aware of the Sunwield at all. He has no control over it. It just saves his life over and over. There’s like 30 notches in this Sunwield. So, it’s like 30 lives. Every time something bad happens, he can feel it getting warm on his chest, and then time goes all wobbly, and switches back to before everything went wrong, giving him an opportunity to change his future.

But what good is such a device to a simple farmer? None at all, really. So of course, I’m not really surprised when soldiers come to his farm, and force him into service for the king. Because war is coming, and they need all the bodies they can get. Plus, Gryff is a horse breeder, so he agrees to go with them, to train the horses they purchased from his farm.

Gryff makes the perfect soldier, because he is pretty much invincible. Whenever he dies, he gets to come back to battle with forethought of what’s to come. So he quickly raises in the ranks, and soon has command over 600 horsemen.

So, what I’m saying is, this book turns into a medieval version of All You Need Is Kill. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, mind you. It still makes for a great story, full of love and hope and valor.

I really enjoyed reading it, even though I could tell as soon as he met the old woman’s vibrant and alive granddaughter, he’d end up ditching his wife. I mean, he really didn’t have much choice. The Native American chick was a warrior, and he was thrust (heh, I said thrust) into battle with her. What else were they gonna do, play patty-cake?

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