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The Whirlwind in the Thorn Tree (The Outlaw King Book 1) by [Hunt, S. A.]
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The Whirlwind in the Thorn Tree (The Outlaw King Book 1) Kindle Edition

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Product Description

Product Description

From award-winning author S. A. Hunt comes a blockbuster fantasy tale inspired by such old-school fantasy classics as Stephen King's The Dark Tower, C. S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia, and Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time.

After coming home from a stint in Afghanistan, veteran Ross Brigham learns that his father has passed away. Dearly departed Dad was a famous fantasy novelist, and the 300 fans that show up for the funeral demand that Ross finish E. R. Brigham's long-running magnum opus.

Ross and two of the author's devotees investigate his untimely death and discover that he might have been murdered...and the time-bending gunslingers of Dad's steampunk novels might be real.

As they try to acclimate to the arid deserts of the author's fantasy world, the three damaged heroes become pawns in a war for humanity's survival. The Muses have grown tired of immortality and now incite atrocities on Earth, trying to lure down a leviathan from the stars.

Can Ross and his new friends stop the scheming satyrs before both worlds are eaten?

About the Author

S. A. Hunt has been writing and making art for almost twenty years. He is a "Mentor of Poetry, Prose, Art, and Performance" with the National Creative Society; he is also a US Army Veteran. He lives in Summerville, GA.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1430 KB
  • Print Length: 488 pages
  • Publisher: Madman Press; 4 edition (Feb. 22 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #188,607 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa0ca087c) out of 5 stars 221 reviews
42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0cdb348) out of 5 stars As a long time fan of the Dark Tower series March 11 2013
By clchauvin - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really wanted to dislike this book.


I plan to come back and complete my review when I've completed the book but I will tell you this; I have really enjoyed this book so far. It is terribly difficult to put down. I'm sitting at work anxious to get home so that I can read some more.

When I first read the synopsis, it seemed like an attempt by some unknown author to ride on the coat-tails of such a beloved series... I actually thought it to be quite offensive. I actually got the book for my Kindle to prove myself right!

I've, thus far, only proved myself wrong.

This book is extremely well written. The story is easy to follow, very original, and difficult to predict. Being difficult to predict is a very good thing.

I truly hope that this is not the last that we see from S. A. Hunt.
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0cdb594) out of 5 stars Excellent pacing, exciting world Feb. 25 2013
By Kelketek Rritaa - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Whirlwind in the Thorn Tree conveys a very likable character in its protagonist Ross, a war veteran who comes home to find his life has fallen apart while he was overseas.

On top of everything else, his father has passed, and an mob of fans of his book series seem intent on getting him to finish the final book. Ross reluctantly agrees, and goes to dig up his father's old notes when he finds himself following a trail to another world.

The novel's pacing is pristine, and S. A. Hunt never leaves you enough time to get bored through the whole text. Each of the characters is especially likable, and has good depth. It's quite easy to find yourself rooting for them and sympathizing with their plights.

The novel recognizes and pays some tribute to its influences as well, but in subtle ways that make you laugh. In fact, I found myself chuckling several times through the book, as Mr. Hunt sprinkled several bits of witty banter and humorous circumstances throughout the novel to give contrast to the more serious events.

The world has a good originality to it, and both indulges in the best of the fantasy genre while poking fun at some of its more self-important edges. The only complaint I have is that it ended too early-- but it hasn't really. This book is the first part of a trilogy, so more story is on the way. I look forward to continuing along with the adventures of Ross, Sawyer, and Noreen.

The book satisfies a well developed taste palate and does not disappoint.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0cdb558) out of 5 stars An immersing experience in another world May 8 2013
By W. M. Beck, Jr. - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Prepare yourself to enter a new world. A world that is at once both wholly familiar and completely alien. In his book, "The Whirlwind in the Thorn Tree," S.A. Hunt pulls you into a reality that is so well fleshed out, it would seem as if it had been observed by him instead of imagined.

When his father dies suddenly, Sidney Ross Brigham is asked to carry on the man's legacy, a long time running series of fantasy novels. He reluctantly agrees, and from that moment on, what he thought to be reality begins unraveling. Before long, he's thrust into a world beyond his wildest dreams, and despite being so utterly foreign to him, it also feels strangely like home. It is here that his true identity, his true destiny, are to be found.

All throughout is a strong supporting cast of characters that are interesting in their own right, and contribute their unique personalities to the story. Hunt takes great care to keep each one of them an individual, and the different perspectives and themes they interject into the plot help to keep everything fresh.

Where this book truly shines though is the massive amount of detail and thought that have gone into the creation of a completely new world. The pages are full of songs, customs, food, geography and race after race of "people" that are so engrossing you feel as if you are reading a National Geographic about another dimension.

The only real criticism I can give is the amount of figurative language used. There are a few times when the metaphor and simile become a little distracting, and take away from the experience of reading, but all and all, the plot and setting are so engrossing that you can't put it down.

So for anyone who has ever gazed out the window, or looked up into the starry sky and said, "There must be something more out there," this is a book that is sure to send your spirit soaring over untold vistas and great expanses of fantastical imagining.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0cdb84c) out of 5 stars ... e-books and so far have discovered a handful of good ones. I've found only one book to be ... Nov. 18 2014
By Nice story. Well written - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Since retirement I primarily read free e-books and so far have discovered a handful of good ones. I've found only one book to be exceptional (see my Amazon review of Blood Song by Anthony Ryan) but this is the second. I set aside an entire day to compose this review of S. A. Hunt's The Whirlwind in the Thorn Tree to give it its due. It actually took me two days. I hope I did justice to it.

First, it is quite well written and edited with some potential criticism for overdoing description (see below). Most of the story is told from a first person point of view that reflects how a real person would think without resorting to silly exaggerations or gratuitous gore/hyperbole/sex which many would-be writers think necessary. On this point the author is brilliant because the dialogue between characters, as well as the character's imagination when facing a dilemma, is readily believable. Humor works well throughout the book because it is interspersed in down-to-earth dialogue that frequently incorporates real life references like familiar restaurant chains and music. The author also uses curse words occasionally and vernacular phrases common to American society these days, making the context very familiar.

Second, the storyline is modest in proportion and not grandiose as is popular these days with the success of series like Game of Thrones. You get to know the characters quickly and well enough to care about their experiences. Hunt's parallel world is believable if you are willing to suspend belief on portal passage and quasi-human creatures, which you must be if you are checking this out. The pacing is excellent. Short titled chapters encapsulate action into full-bodied sequences just like scenes within acts in a play, showing a great sense of timing on the author's part. A major component of the storyline is the uncompleted series of fantasy novels written by the main character's deceased father, which Hunt brings into play by occasionally sprinkling short excerpts from the father's books between chapters. These references are very effective because it helps tie threads together and makes you want to see the "original" series completed, the apparent end game for the series. Embedding "stories within a story so that the final story can be told" is a yeoman task to do well, but it works here.

Third, Book 1 is an excellent prelude to Book 2, leaving you interested in what happens next but satisfied that you have enjoyed an adventure without evoking resentment over being manipulated into buying the next volume. In fact, I took several days to read Book 1 because I didn't want it to be over. That must be testimony of a reader's delight, as is the fact that I paid $3.99 for Book 2 (which is more than I have paid for a book in many years).

Fourth, and most important, the writing is highly creative and inventive while telling a good story. I read that Mr. Hunt was an artist for many years before picking up the pen, and that is quite apparent in his writing style. Many of the scenes are embellished with action words and colorful references that strike me like a painter rapidly splashing a canvas after he has finally captured the subject in his mind's eye. This author's rush is most vividly portrayed when the main character is forced to experience an hallucinogen: the stream of conscious struggle to figure things out goes a mile a minute. In that sequence, and in some other places, the author uses writing techniques that go against the grain of what is taught in writing classes, but he gets away with it. He uses Italics, broken thoughts, typography and even color to portray emotional or drug-charged thinking. To some this technique may look like editing flaws but it is not; to fault it would be like criticizing an impressionist's painting as a bad reproduction of a photograph. Mr. Hunt must have been exhausted after writing these sections. I was certainly floored reading them, reminding me of the first time I read Lawrence Ferlinghetti's wonderful poetry about living in America. Perhaps I reacted so strongly because a few times in my own literary career I have experienced a similar writer's rush, although Mr. Hunt's combination of an artist's eye and a writer's mind burns more potent fuel than I can muster (see for yourself by looking up Thomas Lombard's free books on Amazon and Smashwords).

Fifth, this book is hard to pin down as its genre. It is fantasy, for sure, but epic? Contemporary? Dark? Western, perhaps? Yes to all, and it also flirts with horror and steampunk. I think Mr. Hunt would be delighted with this observation, as I suspect he would not like being pigeonholed.

I did have one major criticism which almost lead me to toss this book after a few chapters. Early in the book Hunt goes heavy on description, flourishing words like rapid paint strokes by an artist overeager to flaunt too many flowers in bright colors. For me it started out as too much of a good thing. Overdescription is a tendency often shown by new writers, but some readers may not be as turned off by it as I am. Fortunately, I stuck with The Whirlwind in the Thorn Tree because this "problem" gradually improved by mid-story. I think that happened because Mr. Hunt's innate talent took over as the story came together, what I call the story writing itself. I don't expect to see him overly rely on flowery, gratuitous description in future volumes.

In conclusion, what we have here is a terrific introduction to a fantasy series that could become exemplary in the fantasy genre. Book 2 is available and Book 3 is projected. It is exciting as a reader to participate in the baptism of this potential classic series.
38 of 49 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0cdb8ac) out of 5 stars What to say....? May 8 2013
By b_williamson - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found this book on a random Goodreads thread after doing a search for books "similar" to the Dark Tower series. Sounded reasonably interesting, so I thought I'd give it a shot.

First of all, a certain amount of respect is due the author for completing a work of "art" and putting out there, come what may.

Also, it is a fairly interesting idea for a story. That part I did enjoy very much.

The one thing that really (really) bothered me throughout the book was the similes and metaphors. There were way too many, in my opinion, and most of them were borderline ridiculous and/or made no sense, especially in the context they were used. Not knowing the author's intent, I can't say whether he thought they added "flourish" or if he wasn't confident that his descriptions weren't sufficient for the reader, maybe something else entirely. Regardless, many times I felt like he was building a good picture of a scene, or setting a good mood...only to have it completely ruined by an off-the-wall, unnecessary simile tacked on to the end. For me, it actually made finishing the book a struggle because it felt like that got in the way of just telling the story.

There were a few other minor areas that might benefit from some polishing, but the simile/metaphor issue was the big one.

This could be an enjoyable series, if continued. I just hope the author scales back (or drops completely) the glaring "flourish" and just tells his story.