Windcatcher

Book I of the Stone War Chronicles

Fiction - Fantasy - Epic
332 Pages
Reviewed on 04/09/2016
Buy on Amazon

Author Biography

A.J. Norfield lives with his loving family on land but below sea level. He tries not to worry too much about climate change and the melting of the polar ice caps. His wife and two rascals of children keep him engaged and grounded in life while he pursues goals of publishing a story that has been stuck in his head for years.

As a longtime forest and mountain enthusiast, he often wonders about his flat surroundings and how to escape them. In his free time, if available at all, he enjoys a wide variety of gaming, reading/writing, drawing and socializing. His interest in (dragon-fantasy) novels has followed him throughout his life ever since he was young enough to read. It was this interest—with a number of broken nights thanks to his daughter’s sleeping schedule—that eventually lead to his current undertaking to write his own dragon-fantasy series ‘The Stone War Chronicles’ and put it out into the world.

Inspired by established names like Anne McCaffrey, Terry Goodkind and Naomi Novik—to name only a few of many—he is ready to show the world what he has to offer.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite

When one of their most sacred monasteries is attacked by a force of unknown origin, the royal family of the Tiankong Empire requests aid in tracking down and reclaiming their sacred ancient relic. Under the command of his brother Gavin, Raylan and his squad must undertake this dangerous mission for their kingdom’s trading partner. He would soon discover that the ancient relic holds unexpected life; a creature buried in legends, one not seen in their world for more than two hundred years.

Windcatcher (Stone War Chronicles, Book 1) by A.J. Norfield is an epic fantasy built on the dragon theme and a world where other ethereal creatures exist. The writing is effortless in its liveliness, describing the world that Norfield created easily and imaginatively. Personally, I found the pace was moderate in general (except for the fight scenes). On the other hand, I found myself connected to the story and its characters, entertained by Norfield’s inventiveness in using and incorporating the classic dragon theme into the plot. Characterization is solid; Gavin, Xi’Lao, Raylan, the dragon Galirras, as well as other sub-characters are well developed, and have sufficient depth in terms of their emotions and relationships.

The ending provides a suspenseful cliffhanger and an insight to another great plot that readers can anticipate in the next book. Windcatcher is the cross-generational book a reader of any age can devour and fantasy fans will find it a satisfying read. I look forward to reading more of the adventure that is available in the Stone War Chronicles.

Amelia

Amelia's review on Goodreads: Apr 14, 16
4 out of 5 stars: Really liked it
bookshelves: action, fantasy, dragons
Read from April 07 to 14, 2016

I really enjoyed this story. The characters are strong, and I was able to become attached to and invested in them. Yes, I enjoyed it very much and hope to read on.

An author who can make me care enough to laugh and/or cry has done their job! :)

Elisabeth

Elisabeth's review on Goodreads Nov 09, 15
5 out of 5 stars: it was amazing
bookshelves: action, adventure, dragon, dragons, epic-fantasy, fantasy, fiction, magic
Read in July, 2015

What a great start - excited to see more books in the series. Watching the dragon grow is wonderful and the scope of the adventure increases page by page.

The author does a fine job of getting you invested in the characters and their story, then takes your breath away as they face peril after peril. Part of why you'll love the characters is how they manage to overcome obstacles in clever ways.

The only bad thing is the wait for the next book in the story.

Ashley Nestler

Ashley Nestler's review on Goodreads Apr 09, 16
5 out of 5 stars: it was amazing
bookshelves: book-blog-reviews
Read from April 08 to 09, 2016

"Windcatcher: Stone War Chronicles - Book 1" captured my attention from beginning to end. Many times fantasy, especially with delicate cultural topics, can end up being poorly researched and written, but this was not the case with this novel. Instead, author A.J. Norfield had a strong grip on his story and the cultural aspects that it involved. While reading the novel I felt that I could visualize the setting of the story through his descriptions and his own mind's eye. None of the descriptions were excessive or tiresome to read, and it showed me how mature a writer Norfield is. A great example of his descriptions is as follows:

"But these new sounds were the unwelcome, the loud cracks of thick wood splitting apart. They forcefully invaded his hearing as he felt his life slip away. And as his heart gave its final beat and the world disappeared into nothingness, Master Wen realized - to his horror - the sanctum doors had not merely been opened...they had simply been shattered by a single punch."

He is also a very compassionate person, and his dedication page warmed my heart:

"For my two greatest - and most wonderful - distractions in the world and she who takes care of them."

However, my favorite part about this novel was the emphasis put on the mythical creature of the Dragon. Using this mythological aspect and bringing it to life warmed my heart. I have not read a novel that captured the essence of dragons as well as this book has, and mixing both cultural and mythological aspects gave this novel power. On A.J. Norfield's Goodreads page he talks about how he is trying to give life to a story he has had in his mind for years, and with this book he has done just that. All of his characters are well developed, and the storyline wasn't lacking in any way. This novel is full of action and adventure and fantasy fans will eat it right up. While reading this novel, I could easily see the storyline being converted into a movie because of how in depth it was.

I highly suggest this novel for mythology buffs as well as fantasy fans, and I will be reading the sequels in this series as well. This series is bound to go far.

Sissy Lu

Sissy Lu's review on Goodreads Mar 30, 16
4 out of 5 stars: really liked it
bookshelves: 2016, dragons, action-adventure-fantasy
Recommended for: fantasy lovers, dragon enthusiasts
Read from March 15 to 30, 2016

This book was one action packed moment after the next and that is no lie!

We begin the story with a wonderful prologue which gives insight to the importance of the main focus of this tale, which is an ancient relic. It is protected within a monastery and hidden away, until something horrible happens and it is stolen.

Once we hit the first chapter we meet Raylan, who is a soldier beneath his older brother Gavin's command. We are introduced to them at length, which allows us to become invested in them. After this we meet several other supporting characters, too.

Soon, they are part of a mission to extract an ancient relic that must be protected and return to the monastery at all costs. Except, when said stone-like relic is found and Raylan is drawn to it, it begins to react oddly to him. It softens and then the unexpected happens...

A dragon hatches.

There was action before and a story before, but once the dragon is hatched things really kick up into high gear. For a while I found it a touch difficult to really submerse myself into the book and that is not because the story lacks detail or action, but I felt at times that there was too much action and then not enough world building, not enough political intrigue or further insight on the other side. Then, I stopped reading and mulled over my thoughts for a while, this is an action-adventure-fantasy tale about a dragon and soldiers... The writing is good, the characters interesting, so what if it's just action? That was my thought and I stand by it. For me, yes, I absolutely wish there was more of the aforementioned, but you know what? This was still a good story.

There is peril after peril and just when you think there will be a calm, think again. There is action until the very last page. So, if you're looking for adventure and action, check this book out. There is another on the way, too!

3.5 stars

Tinatin

5.0 out of 5 stars
A very nice story, with a well-build world and balanced characters
By Tinatin on March 18, 2016

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

A very nice story, with a well-build world and balanced characters. The story reads very nicely, finished the book in three days and it gives some nice story-lines for the upcoming books. Looking forward to finding out more about the world AJ Nordfield created and the adventures of his characters.

Josh

5.0 out of 5 stars
Here be dragons
By Josh on November 3, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

Considering this is the first foray into authorhood, this is an impressive first outing! As expansive of a realm that is created, it is immersive, storytelling is engaging and creative! If you are in the fantasy adventure genre as fans, think of a spot, in venn diagram-speak, where Aragorn intersects with Game of Thrones, LOTR and Dinotopia (but -distopia). I'd say this isn't a young reader-safe story...early teens at least.