Wind Over Troubled Waters
by Francene Stanley and Edith Parzefall
Review by Mel Jacob
Double Dragon ISBN/ITEM#: 978554649592
Date: 24 April 2012
Wind Over Troubled Waters presents an engrossing quest story with an after-the-apocalypse setting. The heroine must seek a ring of power to save the world and overcome obstacles to succeed. Novels with similar themes include Sherri S. Tepper's The Waters Rising, Marc Chadbourn’s three trilogies starting with the Dark Age, and others such as Max Allan Collins’s Waterworld based on the movie. Since the story of Noah, floods have haunted the human psyche. With global climate change, flood stories have grown more popular.
Stanley and Parzefall provide an interesting tale as Cerridwen and Trevly seek the wise woman of Hailing to fulfill Cerridwen’s destiny. Unlike most people who survived the floods, Cerridwen is white and blue-eyed. Most people are brown or black skinned. The pale humans died soon after the catastrophe. Trevly is one with nature, can control animals, and is sensitive to his surroundings at all times. He believes he must help and protect Cerridwen on her quest.
The heroine is a dreamer and a storyteller. Most of her stories concern the past. That her listeners react so strongly testifies more to their unsophisticated nature than the power of the narrative. The stories, with at least one exception, aren’t that interesting.
The strength of the novel lies in the natures of two strong women each on a quest. The second, Sasha, wants to maintain her freedom, independence, and gain power. She has allied herself with two men, Aron, a charismatic former actor, and Boris, a naďve strong man. Her sexuality and allure draw them into a tight net. Unlike Cerridwen, Sasha is less in control than she believes and learns hard lessons. Only her trust in Mother Nature carries through.
The novel gains primarily from the characters. Sasha, Aron, and Trevly are the most interesting ones with Boris close behind. The ambiguous natures of Sasha and Aron leave plenty of opportunity for book 2, Knights in Dark Leather, that will come out the next year. The other two Higher Ground books, Golden Submarine and Long Doom Calling will follow.