The Well of Stars by Michael J. Tresca [Review]

Well of Stars1

One of my favorite things about science fiction and fantasy—one of those things that has those genres apart from many others—is the ability to poke fun at themselves with a good heart. The best writers of the genre will embark on a twisted tale and something magical happens. The movie Galaxy Quest is one example and authors Robert Aspirin and Terry Pratchett are two of the stars, two of the brightest shining lights of this little slice of magic.

Well, they were until now.

Their place in the galaxy is being threatened by a new and brightly shining star—Michael J. Tresca—whose debut novel The Well of Stars is everything a fan of fantasy could want, with added humor, a side or dry wit and a dash of snowboarding Eskimos.

The Well of Stars offers us the question—what would have happened if the heroes had done something other than be heroic and destroyed the evil artifact that could end the world? The answer, of course, is things get ugly, very ugly. But never fear! There is help at hand. Well…Sort of… Yeah, they count as help. It’s a motely crew that sets out to save the world. Since the heroes couldn’t be counted on, a group of second string, um, heroes, comes into play. The Ranger is a little lost—and I mean that literally. The dwarf is a bit hard to understand. There might be a few zombies. And the world rests in the hands of these very unlikely people, who are in turn heroes.

Tresca shows that he has a great love of the genre. This book is full of the detail that fantasy readers love, full of the language and sense of scale I expect from epic fantasy. More than that, he does it with such glowing humor I found myself laughing on page one, and I kept up the chuckling straight through. I was halfway down page one in fact, when the dwarf was giving a speech and I thought “What the heck! I can’t understand a word this guy is saying!!!” The very next line in the book is another of our stalwart heroes saying “What the heck! I can’t understand a word you are saying!”

It was love at first page.

I hope, oh how I hope, that Tresca, best known in the sci fi/fantasy community as a gaming guru, casts aside his game guides and only turns out fantasy books. This is by far the best book of its kind since I first stumbled across Another Fine Myth by Robert Aspirin. Yes, it’s that good. So run, fly, gallop or snowboard out and get The Well of Stars right now! You don’t need to eat! You don’t need to sleep. You need to read this book. I promise you will be in love too.

You can purchase ‘The Well of Stars’ on Amazon

By Muffy Morrigan – Follow me @muffymorrigan

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars | Publisher: Three Ravens | Pages: 316 | Source: Publisher

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  • Faeryll

    I may be a little biased because I have known Michael for over fifteen years through RetroMud, where he was one of the creators and still an administrator, but I have to agree with everything in this review. Too many times authors try to take the genre too seriously, following in the paths of Clarke, Tolkein and many others. The characters or subject matter ridden so harsly that it soon moves away from anything people can truly relate to. Michael’s characters are if nothing else, easy to relate to, the humor coming not always from witty dialogue, but through their very demeanor. They all have little quirks and intangibles that not only make them less than heroes, but just like anyone else around you. They may be fantastical, they may be elven or dwarven, or even a pond dragon, but through their humor and short commings they become more human. The book strays from the norm of others in its genre, but that is what it means to be a fantasy.