Reviewed by Kim Anisi for Readers' Favorite
The White Tower by Michael Wisehart is the first book in The Aldoran Chronicles. In this world, the use of magic is forbidden because the Great Wizard Wars wreaked havoc in Aldoran, yet the ones who judge and persecute wielders of magic use magic themselves - and often people without magic are accused of being wielders just because they know how to use herbs. It is like a witch hunt - the victims are often not guilty of any crime. This is the world Ty grows up in. His parents are not his real parents, and Ty carries a secret with him: he suspects that he knows how to use magic. Then the Black Watch turns up in his village, and Ty learns that his foster father is part of a group that helps wielders to escape punishment for having special gifts. Many characters come together in this novel, some wield magic and some are magical when it comes to their charming characters. Some fight for magic, some fight against it - but none of them can stop the world from changing.
I have to admit that I was wary of all the comparisons that have been made about The White Tower by Michael Wisehart. It has been said readers of certain famous fantasy writers would enjoy this book. And usually books that claim such things suck. This was not the case here. I would not call it the new Song of Ice and Fire and I would not call Michael Wisehart the new Robert Jordan. It is a fantasy world that can stand on its own and if the following books in the series keep up the quality of book one, then this series will make its own name, gain its own fans, and won't have to compare itself to anybody else's work. I am glad that I picked up this book even though I was skeptical. I loved how you got to see the different perspectives, i.e. there was not just a focus on one single character - though it soon becomes obvious who the heroes and villains are. It was fascinating to see how one character acted, and then learn what kind of effect it had in the life of one of the other characters whose point of view readers get to see.
In addition to some interesting plots (the main plot and the many sub-plots), the writing is very well done and makes it easy to dive into the world of Aldoran. You will forget time, and the world around you will, for some time, not have any influence on you. It's the kind of book that makes you live inside the book, become friends with the characters, and even wish you could really be part of that world. I can honestly say that I haven't read such a good fantasy novel since I've read the works of some more famous names.