Reviews Logo
The Seven Isles of Ameulas
Casey Fahy
Writers Club Press, 443 pages

The Seven Isles of Ameulas
Casey Fahy
Casey Fahy was born in Hollywood, California, five minutes before his twin sister, and has two smarter older brothers. The author lives in southern California where, when he isn't writing, he's feeding his pug Caesar, or sculpting, maintaining his website, and making a general mess of his home. He is the author of several novels, including The Bot Story, which is also available from Writers Club Press. Though his main focus as a writer is on his novels, he's written thousands of movie descriptions that appear on sites all over the Internet. He's also written several cover stories for Schwann DVD Advance magazine (on Victor Fleming, Ridley Scott, and the history of Disney animation), and a now-legendary hair-piece for Grand Royal magazine on the ancient history of the "mullet" (a word he and the Beastie Boys helped get entered into The Oxford Dictionary of the English Language).

Casey Fahy Website
ISFDB Bibliography
Publishers page for The Seven Isles of Ameulas
Author's website
Chapters 1-13 of 30 of The Seven Isles of Ameulas
Other writings:
1, 2

A review by Georges T. Dodds

Doesn't it seem that every other fantasy these days is a story of brave but naive individuals rushing off to snatch the powerful artefact-of-the-week before Mr. Nasty uses it to toast civilization as they know it? Just like cloning Dolly the sheep, literary cloning of Tolkien et al. tends to lead to arthritic literary offspring. While the writing in The Seven Isles of Ameulas, Casey Fahy's first genre novel, has its problems (e.g., exclamation-mark-rich conversations, at times jarring plotline shifts and loose threads), it is redeemed by being fairly unconventional and weaving together a number of distinctive narratives and character psychologies. For one price you get large-scale wizardly landscape rearrangements, alternate dreams worlds, political intrigue, troubled love affairs, and high-seas adventure, amongst others.

The sorcerer-prince Trinadol Gheldron returns to Ameulas to claim his throne and receive his dead father's warnings: "The thing you love most will be your curse" and "Beware the crimson..."  He finds a loving wife, Neuvia, and everything is rosy, until they are crowned, and then things turn bad -- crimson-bad -- as the Cronus Star, source of power to his ancestors glows blood crimson when he picks up his sceptre. Given such an obvious portent of evil, rather than endanger others, Trinadol sends everybody away and uses his powerful magic to physically isolate himself, but in doing so dooms himself to a slow descent towards certain death. Neuvia who had stuck around honing her magical skills and has been meeting Trinadol in the dreamworld of Wyndernia, cannot bring him to see his self-destructive ways. Meanwhile one of the evil Drugor's minions, Blox, has become mayor of the Ameulentians' capital, and is preparing Drugor's arrival. A message reaches Nil Ramesis, sailor and innovative ship-builder, and his friends: Trinadol will die if he is not saved. However, there is the matter of various physical and magical barriers Trinadol has surrounded himself with to overcome -- will they arrive on time or even alive? and if not who will be left to defeat Drugor?

While the literati can consult the author's lengthy discussion of the "philosophical underpinnings" of the novel, what both drew me most to the novel and simultaneously most disconcerted me were the different voices of what could almost be stand-alone stories: (i) Trinadol returns and reacts to his doom, (ii) Neuvia grows emotionally and in magical prowess in the magic forest, (iii) the conspiracy in the capital, (iv) the voyage of rescue. Thinking of the differences in voice, I came up with who I might have cast to write each portion and to define the varied "feels" of different portions: The first, dark fantasy (Clark Ashton Smith to write it, Gustave Doré to illustrate it). The next a pastoral fantasy (William Morris or Richard Jefferies to write it and some Pre-Raphaelite painter to paint Neuvia). The next a story of intrigue (Katherine Kurtz of the Deryni books to write it). And the last a sea-adventure (Robert Louis Stevenson or more recently Björn Larsson to write it, and Frederick Remington to illustrate it). These different voices might be less jarring and have perhaps been used to greater effect if the different portions had been presented as narrated by their main character; however, they were, by novel's end, fairly well if tenuously linked.

The Seven Isles of Ameulas is an enjoyable and more than just paint-by-numbers first genre novel by an author who has shown himself capable of handling a number of incongruous themes in an interesting and largely non-derivative manner. So, if you were going to spend your money on the nth mirror image of The Lord of the Rings, divert your investment to an author who, while he may need to hone his craft a bit, is at least trying to present something a bit different.

Copyright © 2002 Georges T. Dodds

Georges Dodds is a research scientist in vegetable crop physiology, who for close to 25 years has read and collected close to 2000 titles of predominantly pre-1950 science-fiction and fantasy, both in English and French. He writes columns on early imaginative literature for WARP, the newsletter/fanzine of the Montreal Science Fiction and Fantasy Association and maintains a site reflecting his tastes in imaginative literature.

SearchContents PageSite MapContact UsCopyright

If you find any errors, typos or anything else worth mentioning, please send it to
Copyright © 1996-2014 SF Site All Rights Reserved Worldwide