Tove Foss Ford
The enigmatic Menders (he actually has many names, but this is his primary one) lives on the planet Eirdon. He's an assassin who is very, very good at his profession. Summoned to the queen's chambers, he anticipates commendation and reward of the coveted position of Court Assassin; but instead he is assigned to guard and train a newborn princess - a babysitting role which seems vastly below his abilities and contrary to his goal of becoming the greatest assassin who ever lived.
Viewing his career as over and his 'reward' as exile, Menders is angry and confused and deems his job unworthy of his special abilities. But guarding and guiding the child proves to be more than challenging because Princess Katrin is no ordinary child, and it soon becomes evident that the role she's prophesied to play in the kingdom is one that will require every ounce of his abilities if she's to live to grow into her own special powers.
Weaving Man is no simple, linear read but features a host of characters who hold their own strengths, flawed personas, and confusion about their roles in their kingdom. Menders has never failed a mission in his many assignments - but this, his most important position yet, is about to challenge everything he knows. Tove Foss Ford weaves a delicate plot and series of events to both highlight the challenges and enlighten readers about the emotional processes each character goes through to achieve their goals.
In effect, assassin Menders has become an instant and unwilling father. As he faces injury and possible blindness, madness, nightmares and waking dreams, his world coalesces around his duty to Katrin and his special function of keeping her safe. As years go by, the atmosphere of the kingdom is deftly honed and refined, and readers drawn into Menders' story and Katrin's coming of age will find that the looming prophecy and maelstrom of danger that descends upon the world makes for a compelling read.
Part of the reason for this strength lies in Ford's ability to easily juxtapose emotional reactions and logical rationales and thought processes with an attention to environment that gets right down to the smoke, dust, and unwashed bodies of this kingdom. Readers receive an extra dimension of reality as they experience its tastes, smells, and textures; and they become involved in the reason why Katrin's people only live in and know about a small section of the greater planet they reside on. Readers should thus expect a good degree of attention to detail which may belay staccato action in favor of lengthy description at points; but all to good purpose.
The result is a multi-faceted story that goes beyond palace politics, re-careering, a child's coming of age, or a distant queen/mother to create a complex world of evolving purposes and ever-present dangers.
Fans of Patrick Rothfus will find much the same attention to slowly building superior characters, setting, and story in an approach that bodes well for the potential of more books in the series.
Diane Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
"Weaving Man: Book One of the Prophecy Series," by Tove Foss Ford (Eirdon Books)
Ford, who lives in Troy, has written the first book in a science fiction series set on the planet Eirdon. If you're a fan of "Game of Thrones," you'll enjoy this book with all its characters and multiple points of view that will take you far away from the ordinary routine of Earth. It's a quick read, despite its length; if readers stay with the early chapters, they will be rewarded with an exciting character-driven science fiction story that will make you long for the next book in the series.