Erich’s Plea: Book One of the Witchcraft Wars – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat
‘Two months ago he had arrived at Ostland’s Zeaburg prison complex and been taken to this subterranean dungeon with its smooth stone walls, mazes of corridors, little or no lighting and the constant smell of death, blood, waste and decay in his nostrils. He had been alternately beaten and tortured for hours on a daily basis. His own screams blending with the cries, screams and moans of the other, unseen, sufferers in Zeaburg’s nightmarish torture chambers. The horrors here were so great that even the rats eschewed Zeaburg, although the fleas showed no similar scruples and were an additional constant torment. His body was covered head to toe with tiny bites from the multitudes of the awful creatures. Slade would not have believed it was possible for a place like Zeaburg prison to exist if he had not seen it with his own eyes. It well deserved its evil reputation. Zeaburg also had a reputation for being inescapable; no one, in all its long history had ever escaped from its confines, except in death. Slade had never believed half the rumors that had surrounded Zeaburg before, now he saw clearly they were all true and worse. He also knew why so many of those imprisoned here died and, it was said, were glad to, death being preferable to daily life in Zeaburg.’
Einreich Gudmundson is the second son of the High King Erich. Much to the disappointment of his father, he has renounced his life as the Crown Prince of Vestland and now calls himself Slade. He will now be a member of the druids of the Sacred Grove, dedicating his life to serve Freyita. That was all before he was captured and taken to Ostland’s Zeaburg Prison. His committed crimes are still a mystery to Slade but the punishment is completely real. Only when he sleeps is he able to find peace from the pain of the beatings he has endured in his two months of imprisonment but even sleep becomes disturbed by the dreams of his father begging for his help.
How can Slade possibly help his father the king while stuck in this hole of hell? He can only try to keep his mind as clear as possible and practice the training taught to him by the warrior-monks of the Black Lotus and pray for some form of help along the way. And help does come in the form of a being that calls himself ‘Trunk.’ In his dreams his father told him to follow the trunk and Slade is sure this is who he was referring to. So with the help of this larger than life ‘trunk’ as well as help from a few other unlikely allies, Slade finds himself attempting the impossible…an escape from the inescapable prison of Zeaburg.
This book is full of mystery, suspense, witchcraft, magic, dishonesty, espionage…I could go on and on. The characters are colorful not only in appearance but also in character. Author Tracey Alley has written a very enjoyable book and I really hope that Erich’s Plea: Book Two is just around the corner for me to read. I’ve gotten into the story and characters and can’t wait to see what will happen to them next.
Review Stir, Laugh, Repeat at Amazon.com