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The Wrekening    by Jayel Gibson order for
by Jayel Gibson
Order:  USA  Can
Synergy, 2006 (2006)
*   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Jayel Gibson wanted to create a strong female protagonist in her epic fantasy tale, The Wrekening, and she has done just that. Cwen is a feisty female fighter who has become estranged from her family and kingdom. Despite her lack of warm and fuzzy feelings towards her homeland, she and her best friend Talin accept a quest that will save their land from ruin by great stone armies.

The underground stone soldiers can be awakened and controlled by heart shards from the great, dead wyrms, so Cwen and Talin set out to recover all thirteen shards before they fall into the wrong hands. Along the way, new friends are added to their party and misunderstandings are cleared up between Cwen and her father. However, their adventures are very treacherous and Cwen and her friends must rely on their strength and their wit and a little bit of magick to complete their tasks and save their country.

The Wrekening follows the basic story outline of any epic fantasy; however, a major part is missing: the journey. Traveling to complete a quest is usually what makes up the majority of any epic fantasy story, but Gibson tends to plop the reader down at the next bit of action using a great deal of internal chapter breaks. While this does make for a faster read than most epic fantasies, it can be confusing.

What Gibson lacks in plot development, she makes up for in character development. All her main characters are well-rounded and interesting, eliciting strong feelings from the reader. Also, some personal issues between them are not resolved by the end, making the reader eager to find out what happens in the next book in the Ancient Mirrors series.

Though The Wrekening was not bad for a fast read, I prefer my epic fantasies to be meatier. If Gibson had just fleshed out the details of the journey more, this would be a recommended read.

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