Merewyrm’s Tooth is the debut offering for new author Oliver Paglia. It’s a Fantasy novel set at some undefined time and in an undefined universe, a situation which whilst giving free licence for creativity also lays traps for the unskilled author. It is here where fantasy authors learn their skills quickly or disappear into obscurity if their ambition over reaches their ability to control characters and worlds in a realistic manner. Paglia has demonstrated remarkable skill and restraint in his worlds and characters and he gives us a wonderful tale for those who love the mystery and magic of storytelling and want to pass it on to the next generation.
The story is fairly standard fare for the genre and involves a quest in search of a mythical object, the Merewyrm’s Tooth of the title, in order to save the day. But while the fantasy genre thrives on familiar formats and characters it also demands originality in the handling. Merewyrm’s Tooth provides just the right amount of the familiar with its use of existing legends but interlaces those with some new and original creatures.
The characters are realistic and well driven but it’s the set pieces that really bring this book alive. The battle with the Satyrs is beautifully handled and slips some unseen twists deftly into the mix to throw the reader off guard.
Merewyrn’s Tooth is classic story telling and sets the bar high for any books the author may be planning next.