These last couple of weeks I’ve been enjoying reading an excellent fantasy with a strong, independent minded heroine. This is ‘Requim for a Forgotten Path’ by Robert Wingfield.
This is a funny, spine chilling, evocative continuation of the adventures of Ankerita, the eponymous heroine of the first in this series.
I really like this heroine. She is brave, determined, resourceful, loyal, generous, and – decidedly bossy. After all, she’s been around for five hundred years, has been a murderer (of her abusive husband) cursed, drugged, buried alive,become the thief of someone else’s body, then befriended, enslaved, idolised, exploited, and relentlessly hunted down by the sinister Fantasia and her company of thugs . People who have been about for a few decades must seem novices at life to her.
If this young woman ended up as a beaten wife in the early sixteenth century, as we know she did from volume one, then there would have been no hope for the rest of us…
The tale is fast moving and runs smoothly, through every sort of adventure, mundane and arcarne. The writing is full of vivid word pictures but – and this isn’t the contradiction it might appear to be – I was particularly drawn in by the concise, matter-of- fact style. I think, like me, many people will find themselves fully believing in these wild, Gothic adventures through different dimensions and time. Through this combination of humour and readable but sophisticated approach, I really was drawn in and carried along by the tale.
Besides this, I was kept grinning broadly and sometimes laughing out loud by the humour. This is a compliment from me, because often I can read a whole comedy book, and only smile.
The plot took a lot of unexpected twists and turns, and this was an unusual treat for me, because I do find a lot of conventional fiction rather predictable, especially in the way it depicts relationships,and those between men and women in particular. Here, you really don’t know what is going to happen.
Finally, some quotes:
””Farewell, my beautiful darling,” he said sadly, and placed a kiss on her cold lips. “If only..”
The eyes flicked open as he lingered. “If only what, thou odiferous shardborne piglet?”Her cold hand lashed out, and hit him firmly across the
“It’s a parking ticket. You have to like pay a fine.”
“Ah,” said Ankarita,”A pox upon that…”
”The journey became an ordeal. The old man gave off a dim glow which led them down a labyrinth of passages. Jo tried to continue marking,
the walls as they continued to keep up, but the old man was moving too swiftly. They went up sloping passages and down spiral stairways and along twisting tunnels. There were many branches that showed up n the glow of the old man’s ghost light, too many even to try to remember a route. There would be no going back…’
A great read and recommended for all who like a strong, independent heroine and an original, spine chilling and witty fantasy.
Available from Amazon Com –
and from amazon.co.uk on