Carolyn Kephart
Her Writing Site


"Carolyn Kephart may not be a great name in fantasy, but she should be!"  ~Dark Moon Rising Magazine

Read First Chapters of WYSARD, LORD BROTHER, and QUEEN OF TIME

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                          First Edition Covers                                                             Newest Edition Covers
Media Reviews of the first editions of WYSARD and LORD BROTHER

The following excerpts critiqued the paperback first editions of 1999 and 2001,
and were not posted at Amazon or other bookstore sites.

Reviews of WYSARD

 "WYSARD is Carolyn Kephart's debut novel, and what a debut. If you're looking for a new author with the potential of Goodkind and Jordan you've found it ... The author has created the frame for a world to rival the best and is building as we go along, making the culture and the people seem wonderfully real. Magic is also part of the story but the tale is driven forth by the story itself, and the magic is just a part of the whole. If you're ready to be drawn into a new and wonderful fantasy world, I would highly recommend that you check out this book." Sffworld

    "Extremely vibrant storytelling ... characters are complete and complex ... settings are photo-realistic, described with such clarity that every object seems tangible, every action seems to be taking place at that moment ... You may curse the fact that you will be left hanging at the end of WYSARD. You may be thrilled that there are even more adventures to come. Like many of the weapons in the book, it is a double-edged sword. Unlike some of the unfortunate characters we see dispensed in a flurry of blood and steel, the reader is in a win-win situation. With a book this involving and entertaining, the promise of a second volume can only be good news. Just be patient. It will be worth the wait." The SF Site
    "... this multi-layered, engrossing, well-written fantasy presents a unique world, with a polytheistic society not based on any mythology now extant. Kephart weaves a vivid but marvelously complicated tapestry of actions and interactions, of magic and malice, and of heroes and helpers ... I loved the story."  Crescent Blues Book Views

    "A masterful fantasy by an extremely talented author, WYSARD is certainly not to be missed. Ms. Kephart has created a beautiful world, complete with many different civilizations, peoples, laws, and creatures. She's given it life, imbuing it with feudal hostilities, caste grudges, religious debates and politics. Throughout the novel, we learn much about this world, but it never takes over the storyline or does more than register in the reader's mind. The focus remains on Ryel, on his quest and his destiny.
     "I know without a doubt, WYSARD will be placed on my keeper shelf after I finish rereading it and if LORD BROTHER is anything like its predecessor, it too will be a must read." In The Library Reviews

    "On the surface, this is a classic tale of good versus evil, of young innocence encountering the evils of the world, and having to conquer them to achieve certain goals. But Ms. Kephart’s style turns this story into something much more. We really get to know these characters, not through endless descriptive passages to which so many authors resort, but rather through their actions and interactions with others. And Ryel is no single-dimensional character either. Over the course of the two books he grows as a result of his experiences, changing from a somewhat naïve dependent boy to a powerful Wysard capable of amazing healing abilities and magic as well as into an insightful, worldly man. Once again the author’s word choice is superb, allowing her phrasing to carry the quality of the prose to a level on par with classical literature." TopDragon Fantasy Book Reviews

    "A solid grasp of story and setting, including the socio-economic and ethnic frameworks crucial to a good fantasy ... and Kephart has created a wonderful foil for her hero in the henchman of his nemesis: Lord Michael Essern is a strong character who deserves a closer look. One note about Kephart's fantasy is the absence of dragons, elves, fairies, talking swords, and so forth. Her plot and scenes are driven entirely by human and demonic forces, which some readers may prefer."  The Bookshelf: Science Fiction and Fantasy

     "A great read with characters you truly care about. Carolyn Kephart has created a fantasy world of intrigue and turmoil. The story is fast-paced and interesting, with a strong character in Ryel who is continually learning and changing, but whose core values stay the same, even under trying times." Rebecca's Reads

    "This book has all the elements of a superior fantasy novel, including the creation of a unique, full-blooded world. WYSARD's world is more like four worlds, since there are four great cities described. Another element is the battle of good against evil, with the good not being perfect, and the evil tempting its characters. The book will make the reader think and wonder, not only about the storyline, but about the nature of life, death, and fate. As in real life, there are no easy or simple answers.
     "The author keeps the action flowing while revealing the inner workings of the wysard's mind. The language and imagery of the book are rich and eloquent. The plot has a satisfying amount of twists and keeps the reader turning those pages ... I'm hooked." Sirius Book Reviews

    "WYSARD is billed by the author as 'a tale of love and magic,' and that it is. Surprisingly, the love is not just the romantic love that we conjure when the word is usually bandied about. Instead the focus on relationships, sexual repression and lust, friendships, family, and passion, bring the theme of Eros to life in subtle, and not-so-subtle ways.  
    "The world Kephart has created is life-like and enchanting. The life-styles of the city of Markul, the homeland of Ryel, and the city of Almancar (where much of the action of the story takes place) are flavorful, colorful and realistic. Kephart immerses the spellbound reader in her world with artistic flair." Dark Moon Rising

     "A well-written, intelligent fantasy with a beautifully crafted world ... A book to ponder, savor, contemplate but not rush through at breakneck speed, WYSARD adds new dimensions to the fantasy genre by adding new concepts, or by looking at old concepts in a fresh manner. Concise but lyric, the prose complements the tale." Crescent Blues Book Views


      "As well-written and enjoyable as WYSARD is, this second novel is an amazing step forward. There is a palpable maturity and confidence in Kephart's latest effort that impresses and entertains. With the second volume of this continuing saga, she has truly hit her stride. Fans of WYSARD (and there are multitudes) are going to be even more firmly attached to Kephart by the last  page of LORD BROTHER.
     "Kephart has a firm grip on the features that keep readers coming back for more. True, she has a wide range of alien settings, ranging from the frozen, forbidding Steppes to the lush world of The One Immortal -- all vividly portrayed. And, she has no dearth of fascinating characters, weaving such lethal creatures as the priestess Theofanu and the gentle Belphira into the complex tapestry of her dark fantasy. But, it is her talent for leaving questions unanswered and desires still unfulfilled that holds readers rigidly await for the next morsel of the tale. Look for no last-minute wrap-ups here; Kephart is too wily for that. 
     "Relish the rich fantasy. Wince at the danger and adventure. Be ready for the next volume in the series, because, if Kephart continues as she started, the best is yet to come." The SF Site
    "Every so often, I turn from my penchant for re-discovering the classics of fantasy fiction and from my never ending attempt to devour the popular titles of the day, to try the new and the lesser-known novels of the genre. Carolyn Kephart has provided me, and many other fantasy readers with a superb first novel, WYSARD. She has since followed up with part two, LORD BROTHER, the two of which were originally intended as a single novel.
      "The writing style is pure joy. The author has obviously chosen each word with great care, for there are no parts of the story, sentences, or even words that do not advance the telling of the tale. Lyrical phrasing results in a similarity to poetry in the way it conveys enormous emotion within a few lines. The reader dares not skim any for fear of losing the trail of the plot. This book is not thick and yet at its conclusion, we feel as if we have lived through, and truly enjoyed, an epic. And we know that there is more yet to come, for the mission is only just now becoming well defined.
      "I am anxiously awaiting the second volume of this tale in order to complete the story. Those readers that are growing tired of huge, multi-volume epic fantasies, would do well to read Carolyn Kephart. It is my firm belief that we will be hearing much more from this new fantasy talent." TopDragon Fantasy Book Reviews

    "LORD BROTHER, the stunning sequel (literally the second half) of Carolyn Kephart's beautifully crafted novel, WYSARD, returns us not only to the quest of Ryel Mirai, but also to the art which is Kephart's prose.
     "Kephart tells a great story. The scenes are vivid and detailed, real enough to envision. It's quite easy to lose yourself in the story; I had a hard time putting it down! I think one of the greatest accomplishments of the book is that you don't see the next thing coming. The story twists and turns, leaving you surprised and excited, but never startled (well, except once...). The ending, however, is surely the best part of the book. I had never even considered an ending like Kephart gives us in Lord Brother. And, to top it off, it's a Lady or the Tiger ending. The story is complete, but the ending leaves several things open. If Kephart does decide to publish further books about Ryel and his world, I'll be waiting eagerly. If not, then the ending of LORD BROTHER leaves a lot up to the readers, and should spark some interesting discussion among Kephart fans.
    "I would wholeheartedly recommend LORD BROTHER, and if you missed it, WYSARD. The two are a beautiful tapestry woven of exquisite prose and detail. The heroic fantasy is told anew with a flawed protagonist who learns and grows before your eyes." Dark Moon Rising

    "An action-packed sequel delivering even more layers to a fantasy world with a character-driven plot. Ryel is a great hero, and I look forward to more from Carolyn Kephart." Rebecca's Reads

©  Carolyn Kephart, 2020