Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The High House by James Stoddard


Synopsis From Dust Jacket:

Some say that Evenmere was built by God to run the universe.  That without it's loyal servants-Brittle, the butler, Enoch, the clock-winder, and Chant, the lamp-lighter-it will all run down.  To young Carter Anderson, scion of the Master of Evenmere, the High House is home, and the servants his friends.

But Carter has an enemy, too: the Bobby, a devil in constable's clothing, who tempts him to an act that puts the house-and the universe-at risk, and which brings exile from the place he loves.

Now, ten years after his father's disapperance, Carter has been summoned back, for the house has been besieged by the Bobby and his anarchists, and Carter, though relectuant and unrepared, must assume the responsibilites of Master.  Yet before he can become Master, he must learn the Seven Words of Power, reclaim his father's Lightning Sword and Tawny Mantle, and regain the Master Keys lost years ago.  To do all that he will have to undertake, not one, but several perilous journeys through corridors, to kingdoms from which there may be no return...

I enjoyed this one.  It's a far flung fantasy that takes place in one house that takes you days to travel from one hall to the other and along the way you discover kingdoms growing out of the rooms, halls, and terraces througout.  In one section you could fnd yourself fighting changeling creatures that may resemble a love seat one second then a horrific alligator like creature that is trying to devour you, by the way you are fighting along side of talking tigers.  You can travel to the edge of a vast sea that is both beautiful and deadly or talk to a dinosaur like creature living in the attic.  It's a story of intrigue and deception but one that retains a sense of redemption and homecoming.

Now with that being said, I think I would have loved this book when I was 13/14 years old.  I have to admit that I found myself getting lost at times, the large sections of traveling were so detailed and a little dry at times, that I found my attention wandering a bit and when something brought me back to the story I would realize I had no clue what had just happened so I would go back and reread a pharagraph or two..  This was the stuff I loved as a teenager, or maybe I just had the patience back then. 

I do have to say that I enjoyed this book enough that I will have to pick up the sequel, The False House, which I didn't know about until I visited the author's website.

8 comments:

Michelle (Red Headed Book Child) said...

It sounds quite unique and the I'm a sucker for cool covers. I have never heard of the author before.

brizmus said...

This sounds super fun, even if it was a bit dry at times. I tend to still love the books I loved as a teenager, and this really sounds like one I could get into! THanks for bringing it to my attention!

carolsnotebook said...

I love the cover, but the story sounds a bit much for me. Thanks for the review.

Alexia561 said...

Haven't heard of this one before, so will have to check it out. Loved your review, as it sounds right up my alley. Thanks!

Stephanie said...

I love the idea of different worlds being opened by various parts of the castle! That is really intriguing to me.

Staci said...

This sounds like a great fantasy book for sure. I've never heard of it until your review and it does strike me as one that one of my middle school students would love!!

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Sounds like it was quite the path to take to get to the end. It sounds like the House movies where the different rooms where different worlds or times.

Thanks for the great review!

Simcha said...

This sounds like a fun book. I'll have to check it out. Reminds me of something by Diane Wynn Jones