Thursday, October 3, 2013

Through Kestrel's Eyes (Earth's Pendulum) / Yvonne Hertzberger

Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin

Genre: Epic Fantasy / Historical Fantasy

Approximate word count: 110-115,000 words

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Yvonne Hertzberger is a native of the Netherlands who now resides in Stratford, Ontario with her spouse in a 130 year old brick cottage. She is an alumna of The University of Waterloo, with a B.A. in psychology and an Hon. B.A. in Sociology. She has always been an avid student of human behavior and this is what gives her insights into the characters she develops in her writing.

Her first Old World Fantasy novel Back From Chaos: Book One of Earth's Pendulum was published in 2009. The second volume Through Kestrel's Eyes is currently available. The third book in the planned trilogy "The Dreamt Child" is pending. Ms. Hertzberger is also a contributing author on the staff of Indies Unlimited. Learn more about her at her website.


“Through Kestrel’s Eyes, the sequel to Back From Chaos in the Earth’s Pendulum trilogy begins seventeen years later. The peace that followed the end of the Red Plague is shattered when the lords of Gharn and Leith are toppled by traitors, throwing the land into chaos.

Liannis, the goddess Earth’s seer, her apprenticeship interrupted by the death of her mentor, must help restore the Balance. Until it is, Earth’s power is weakened, preventing Earth from sustaining the rains needed for good harvests. Drought and famine result.

Liannis battles self-doubt and the lure of forbidden romance and deep loss as she faces tests that take her to the brink of her endurance. 

But Earth sends a kestrel that allows Liannis to see with her eyes and a white horse to carry her, both with the ability to mind-speak. 

Time is short. The people will starve if Earth cannot heal and the Balance cannot be restored.”


With this installment, the Earth’s Pendulum series has turned into a sweeping epic, as we are following the political workings of at least three different demesnes (kingdoms). Bargia and Catania are doing well, with strong leadership and good harvests; Gaelen has proven to be a good king. Liethe, however, has been overtaken by a ruthless overlord, and Liannis has succeeded in spiriting the remaining family away into safe houses.  Gharn’s leadership is threatened by traitors and Lord Dugal pleas with Bargia for assistance in regaining his deposed title. Gaelen must choose which problem to address first while trying to prepare for the impending famine caused by the on-going drought.

We are told this story through the eyes of Liannis, who has been thrust into her seer position too soon, after all, she is only seventeen. However, Earth is the most important character in this story. Leithe ends up being a festering boil that affects all the surrounding kingdoms as Earth is the living embodiment that these kingdoms live on. As a result the whole One Isle suffers from drought and Liannis must figure out how to cleanse and heal Earth with Gaelen’s help to restore the sociological balance of the inhabitants. 

I found a couple significant editing issues. At the beginning of the story Gaelen’s inner council room in Bargia is booby-trapped and that issue was never resolved, the problem was just dropped. Secondly, there were so many players and kingdoms that even the author gets confused at one point; Klast was not sent to Leithe, but to Gharn. It was hard to keep track of these and when this happened it threw me out of the story because I had to go back and check whether I was mistaken or not.

The environmental topic is timely and the series name, Earth's Pendulum, is intelligently relevant. The implications of this story should be heeded. This book has it all: conflict, strife, mystery, politics, drama, heartbreak, tragedy, and joy. I could have used a little more romance, but that is just me. I do feel like that will happen in the next story, which I am looking forward to despite the issues I had with this installment.


I would highly recommend reading Back From Chaos (the book in the Earth’s Pendulum trilogy) first.

Format/Typo Issues:

A small number of copyediting and proofing issues.

Rating: *** Three stars


Anonymous said...

Thank you. I appreciate your feedback on the inconsistency. I had no idea and it is something no one else has picked up on. that will definitely need to be remedied. Still, I am happy you enjoyed the story - and yes, there will be a wee bit more romance in the third and last installment.

?wazithinkin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
?wazithinkin said...

Thank you for dropping in Ms. Hertzberger. I can't wait to see how this saga works out, and I am anxious for Liannis to outwardly accept how important Merriest really is to her. She knows she is unlike any seer before her and readily accepts those differences. IF Earth doesn't all her to bond with Merrist I may have to curl up in a corner somewhere. IJS...

Sorry, I spelled Merrist name wrong!!! My bad! :( I need my own editor 24/7.