Indie Author Ring

Words to the Wise Book One: The Awakening

Alone, confused, without any recollection of his past and roaming the plains of an alternative eighteenth century environment in which the supernatural thrives, The Wanderer begins to unearth the truth about God, the nature of the human soul, the horrors of his own past and his connecton with a dark apocalyptic future.
Including cursed villages, castles infected with revenants, spectral monks and Lovecraftian creatures, 'The Awakening' is book one of the 'Words to the Wise' saga and ventures into a possible reality that greatly mirrors our own contemporary world but which is also steeped in the Gothic motifs of myth and the supernatural.

Reviews from Amazon

I was looking for a new author to try and I came across this book. At the price it was I decided to give it a go and was so glad I did. Its a wonderful Fantasy story that is set in the real world. You follow the journey of a man trying to search for who or even what he is. This story takes the reader across Europe in search of answers. He meets some great characters along the way and stops off in Interesting places. I found the writing to be very good and in the chapter set at Melk Abby I was so Impressed by the descriptions used that I could of just re read that chapter again straight away.

Although dealing with subjects such as heaven, hell, God and what it means to be human, this is not a religious sermon - far from it in fact. What it is is a thoroughly entertaining and in places downright scary Gothic fantasy horror story.
What sets this story apart from many other self published novels is the quality of the writing. I don't think I have read such beautifully elegant prose in quite some time and I am in fact struggling to think of anything comparable. The vocabulary is extensive, the metaphors and similes are original and appropriate and the world the author weaves is rich, dark, foreboding and believable.

Cornelius Harker's dark Gothic fantasy introduces us to the Wanderer, who cannot recall his past and faces a hopeless future as a wretched, habitual drunkard. The novel takes us with him on a quest to find out who and also what he is. This gloriously wide-ranging story includes a stricken village, sorcerer, haunted abbey, dark and gloomy castle, ancient curse, sinister but entrancing female, oh, and blood - buckets of blood. It is Gothic after all. However, this is no stereotypical, gratuitous blood bath but a thoughtful look at some of the deeper questions faced by us all such as the nature of Godhead and the meaning of life and death - does death merely curtail life or does it give a meaning and sense of purpose to it?
The author has a unique voice amongst contemporary writers and uses some truly beautiful imagery. Even if this is not your usual genre I would urge you to read this book, if for no other reason than that Cornelius Harker is a simply superb story teller.

Reviews from Goodreads

This is a wonderful first book by a talented author. His character, The Wanderer, is a habitual drunkard at the beginning of the book and has no memory of his previous life. We accompany him on a journey to find out who and what he is. This Gothic tale includes cursed villages, a haunted abbey, a grim castle and a femme fatale with a blood fetish. It's not just gore to the knees, though, but a thoughtful look at deeper issues - life and death, Godhead and mortality. Wonderful stuff.

Cornelius Harker is a master story teller but I feel his greatest strength is his knowledge and use of the English language. He can cast a spell with words and light up a dark Gothic chamber with a phrase that will make you hold your breath at its beauty. When the imperative of the story draws you back, the darkness is deeper and the horror more profound because the light of that arresting phrase has gone out.

It's the first in a planned long saga so we are given little hints to hold on to. Cornelius is subtle. I look forward to more - writing of this quality is rare and precious.

The plot itself was quite dark, so if you like that style you will love this book. I'm not sure that I could summarise it adequately so I will leave that to others. There was a lot of attention to detail throughout the book and the one essential I look for in a great book was missing: however it was a necesary ommision. I love to get a feel for the characters and that was missing with the main character of this book. This was due to the fact that the character himself was searching for his own sense of self, so the fact that I was on that search with him shows how well written the book is. Hopefully the next books will uncover this.
This is a beautifully written book, the words and phrasing are so eloquent that I savoured every word.
I love fantasy but wasn't prepared for the dark horror that both captured and terrified me in equal measure.
I can't wait to start the second in the series 'Words to the Wise Towards Darker Climes' which I have downloaded straight away onto my kindle.

The wording that the author uses really helps to paint the scene and express the emotions of "The Wanderer" in relation to what is happening. I love the way the books is told by "The Wanderer" to another individual for me it gives the book a different edge than if we had been going through the story with him as it was happening. I loved everything about this book, although if you read this be prepared to be reading at least one more book, it is not a stand alone book unless you don't mind the story being unresolved.

This book was chosen for our Goodreads group and I am so glad it was. I already had the sample on my Kindle, and I know I would have definitely eventually got around to reading it and subsequently downloading the full book, because I was hooked from the first few pages of the sample. It's not often a book comes along that you feel a connection with. You can like a book, you can love a book. But sometimes you can feel more than that, a passion almost and that's exactly how I felt about this book. I am not sure what genre this book falls under, sometimes though the writing is to such a high standard, like this one, that the genre hardly matters. It wasn't just the writing style though, I really did love the story too. It pulled me in so quickly and I found right from the beginning that I really did want to know what happened to The Wanderer.
I know the book won't be to everyone's taste. For me personally though it felt like one of those books that deserves to be a modern classic.
I am afraid my impatience won't allow me to delay reading book 2 and I have already bought it.