I had the privilege to read and review my friend Carolyn Golledge’s book Sunweavers: The Brothers. Carolyn was a mentor of mine in my LOTR fanfiction days in junior high, so I was thrilled when she approached me about reading and reviewing her book. I’m pleased to say, her writing was as good as I remembered 🙂
In Book One, Carolyn Golledge sets the stage for her six-part series Sunweavers by introducing us to two pairs of brothers: Sunweavers Taran m’Connor and Bren m’Fetrin, and Kerell Lerant and his foster brother Parlan Hollin, who are loyal to the emperor. Power-hungry Emperor Grouda is seeking to harvest the youthfulness of the Weavers, a people deeply connected with all living matter. With the help of the Spider Lords, Grouda removes m’Fetrin’s soul from his body. In order to save m’Fetrin, m’Connor must prove his innocence to Lerant, convinced that m’Connor is to blame for attacks targeting children of the city. Lerant already doubts the truth and morality of the war against the Sunweavers, but is constrained by guilt over his brother’s death (though Carolyn hints Parlan’s not finished yet!) and worry over his brother’s family. However, when Lerant finds proof of m’Connor’s innocence, Lerant breaks his allegiance to the Emperor. Strange abilities begin to manifest themselves in Lerant, giving m’Connor more hope than the Sunweavers have had in a long time.
Two minor quibbles: though the book’s mysticism is fundamental to the story, it sometimes drags. Secondly, because Carolyn introduces many new names and places in the first few chapters, it is difficult to grasp the setting for the first hundred pages or so. But don’t give up until you get to the golden heart of the story: the compassion and brotherly love that promises beautiful victory. The main draw of the story is the brothers and the perils they face in getting back to each other and leading their families and allies to victory. Carolyn’s greatest strength has always been her characters. There are always strong women and noble men, and the best part is the growth of their fierce devotion to each other, stemming from their desire to do the right thing. It’s satisfying. When hope glimmers on the horizon as Lerant and m’Connor overcome each obstacle and learn to trust each other, you’ll be cheering.