Act of Will is a boisterous fantasy adventure that introduces us to Will Hawthorne, a medieval actor and playwright who flees the authorities only to find himself inextricably bound to a group of high-minded adventurers on a deadly mission. Will travels with them to a distant land where they are charged with the investigation and defeat of a ruthless army of mystical horsemen, who appear out of the mist, leaving death and devastation in their wake.
In the course of Wills uneasy alliance with his new protectors, he has to get his pragmatic mind to accept selfless heroism (which he thinks is absurd) and magic (which he doesn't believe in). Will must eventually decide where his loyalties really lie and how much he is prepared to do - and believe - to stand up for them.
©2009 A.J. Hartley (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
"[A] clever page-turner... In small, swift ‘scenes,’ Hartley deftly proves that people you shouldn’t trust at your back can be the best ones to have at your side." (Publishers Weekly)
"Act of Will" is a light weight fantasy which introduces us to Will Hawthorne, young actor/playwright turned most reluctant adventurer. The tale is well written with plenty of vigorous sword wielding and many diverse characters. It would have been good to know more about the backgrounds of Will's companions, but that may happen in future books.
Will tells the story in his own brash, outspoken, droll way and often works out his thoughts on life and people in theatrical terms and all this makes for pleasant, amusing listening and it is hard to stop when real life intrudes. The narrators, one of whom was the author A J Hartley, were first class.
I particularly liked the way the character of Will came through - he is streetwise, but in many ways young and naive, at other times wise and intuitive, also very irritating at times. His character expands rather than changes as the book progresses and I look forward to future books in the series to follow his adventures.
Lightly written, cohesive, imaginative story. It is hard to determine if you want to shake young "Will" or hug him.
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