Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Let's talk about Francis Porretto...

and his books.

Some people write books that inspire.  Some write books to teach us something or to make us think, while others write books that are rollicking good fun.

Very few writers manage to do all of these things at the same time.

Enter Francis Porretto.

Francis does that and more.  He gives you big issues to ponder through the struggles of his characters and he allows you, the reader, to sort out your own answers.
Disclaimer:  I'm probably one of the worst book reviewers in the history of the world.  It reminds me of the book reports we had to do in high school in which I was equally bad.  My struggles center around the thought that someone should just read a book and be done with it and not have to say all sorts of flowery deeper-meaning flotsam and whatever.  I don't do flowery and I save my deeper meanings for conversation, not writing.  Hell's bells - I can't even handle commas and I'm writing a review of books written by some modern day genius?  Is that not weird? 
However comma challenged I may be, I do recognize good books when I read them and Francis Porretto writes good books.
With that being said, read the following anyway because I struggled mightily.

Many of you already read Mr. Porretto at his blog Liberty's Torch and you've seen the right hand column lined with his books (great cover art by the way.)

Now if you're anything like moi, your first thought may be, "I don't like science fiction."  However, I have come to learn that I do like science fiction.  Many of my favorite books are, in fact, classified as science fiction such as Fahrenheit 451 and 1984.  I've also learned that there is all sorts of sub-genres  gathered together under the umbrella of science fiction.  Just a quick peek at the Wiki entry on science fiction is enough to completely flummox the most intelligent of people.

What I've discovered is that I want to read a book with characters with which I can identify.  I also think most people feel the same way.  So let's skip the classifications that pigeonhole books and just say the books Mr. Porretto writes are worth reading.

I started my Porretto journey with Which Art in Hope.  Even though the characters are sometimes spinning about in space, I was perfectly capable of relating to them as they struggled with questions regarding morality and ethics.  His underlying theme is individual freedom leaning heavily toward libertarianism.

Some people find this to be his best work, but I was much more enthralled with his Realm of Essences trilogy starting with Chosen One, into On Broken Wings, and (so far) my all time favorite, Shadow of a Sword.  I highly recommend you read them in order. 

In Chosen One we meet Louis Redmond, a man of impeccable character and great brilliance who lives in fictional Onteora, New York.  Guided by his mentor, Malcolm Loughlin, we follow the challenges Louis must face and the decisions he must make.     

On Broken Wings continues the story of Louis and we meet Christine D'Alessandro, who Louis rescues from a ten-year enslavement by some very nasty people.  He helps Christine regain her self-esteem and grooms her to be the next "chosen one" after his untimely death.

Christine and Malcolm continue on in the third book, Shadow of the Sword, with the introduction of American politics, which is probably why it is my favorite.   We meet Stephen Sumner, a third party candidate running on a constitutional platform, and we follow his journey on the campaign trail. 

I'm getting ready to start The Sledgehammer Concerto by Francis which he describes as:
Three siblings.
Children of the dark.
A mystic reaved of his faith, who holds the power to heal the wounds of the soul and dispel the anguish of the dying; 
A genius warped by abuse, who strove to bring desire itself to heel, and succeeded beyond her wildest hopes;
And a visionary of freedom hidden in plain sight, whose tales of courage in the face of oppression brought him worldwide fame and a most unpleasant official notice. 
Sounds good to me!  

Just today, I discovered this at Liberty's Torch which hopefully will move you to action. The following was taken directly from Liberty's Torch and the links are Mr. Porretto's links.  To order his other books, please go to his website Liberty's Torch and click on the books listed on his sidebar.

 Francis has given you a gift:

From Liberty's Torch:
I've recently decided to try Amazon's "KDP Select" program for my eight novels, which required that I de-list them from all other sales outlets for the duration. Until further notice, if you're interested in one or more of those books, please go to Amazon for them. The image-links on the right sidebar have been modified accordingly.

Also, from September 9 through September 15, the e-book editions of Chosen One, Which Art In Hope,, and Priestesses will be available for a mere $0.99 each. The prices will revert to their usual retail levels on September 16.

I'm still at work on Polymath, the kinda-sorta continuation of the "Realm of Essences" series, and -- God willin' an' the creek don't rise -- should have it ready for publication around the end of this year. For those hoping for a novel based on "The Warm Lands," never fear: that, too, is on my workbench. Finally, a few test readers asked recently about Powers Of The Air, which I began some time ago but has languished in desuetude since then. I promise you that I haven't abandoned it; I've merely been rethinking it. It will be completed, just not quite as soon as I originally intended, nor in the fashion I once envisioned.

You didn't really think you would escape a pic of a kitteh reading, did you??

Kitteh shows amazement at a Porretto book

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