The Madness of Hallen
By Russell Meek (thekhaladastone.com)
The Madness of Hallen is the first instalment of a four- book saga – The Khalada Stone series. The stones themselves hold the memory and power of an ancient warrior leader. Supposedly lost in the mists of time, they have become a legend remembered by few and believed in by even fewer.
Ohrl, the main character focus, is a young man who feels that his life is really just beginning. He has a loving family, friends, a girlfriend and has been accepted to train with a renowned sword master. This is not to last as people are searching for the stones. When their search brings them to Ohrl’s home town, his family’s link to them becomes apparent. His brother, Faerl, is kidnapped and Ohrl’s destiny is changed dramatically.
Set in a low tech imaginary world, the story refreshingly has no elves or magical animals. There are the very handy ‘firelights” and, of course, the magical mind powers of the stones themselves, but most of all it is an engaging storyline with characters who grow on you.
The blurb tells of the stones’ origins and the basic premise of the story to come but it does not do the opening novel justice. Indeed it could almost be off-putting. So ignore it, for if you enjoy the fantasy, swords and sorcery genre, this is a series you may wish to read.