Praise

Praise for the “Legacy of the Stone Harp” series

“An entertaining story… the authors’ stylish and poetic narrative, coupled with a cast of endearing characters make this a real page-turner that epic fantasy fans will enjoy.”

Publishers Weekly

The Stoneholding

“In The Stoneholding, Anderson and Sebanc introduced us to the compelling world of Ahn Norvys. Now, in Darkling Fields of Arvon, the addictive story continues in an action-filled quest with the fate of this complex world hanging in the balance. Narrated with authority and replete with engaging characters, this terrific second installment is well worth the read!”

Daniel Kalla, bestselling author of Pandemic, Blood Lies, and Of Flesh And Blood

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“A genuinely thrilling beginning to what is sure to be a resounding epic. Anderson and Sebanc craft their tale in a voice that is fresh but also very familiar, like an ancient melody with new lyrics. There is something deeply satisfying about The Stoneholding. It’s a wonderful read and I look forward to the next book in the Legacy of the Stone Harp.”

Elizabeth Haydon, author of Rhapsody and The Dragon’s Lair

“After Ferabek and his armies destroyed The Stoneholding, young Kal Wright receives his Investiture as High Bard and sets out on a journey to find and restore to his throne the missing Prince Starigan. Captured by his enemies, Kal realizes that to achieve his goal he must escape and lay claim to the Talamadh, a legendary golden harp that can restore Harmony to the world. The second volume in this series (after The Stoneholding) follows in the epic fantasy tradition of Terry Brooks’s “Shannara” series and David Eddings’s “The Belgariad” titles. VERDICT This…fantasy enjoys colorful world building and likable characters and should appeal to both YA and adult fans of epic fantasy.”

Library Journal

The Stoneholding and Darkling Fields of Arvon kept me mesmerized! The richness of the prose and depth of the characters puts these works on par with the finest high fantasy written. I found myself sneaking away for hours at a time to immerse myself in the story. So much more than just a good vs. evil tale, The Legacy of the Stone Harp truly brings home the lessons of how sacrifice and virtue are integral to our existence. Well done! Count me among your biggest fans.”

Gus Lloyd, host of Seize the Day, The Catholic Channel, Sirius XM Satellite Radio

The Darkling Fields of Arvon gives us the ongoing quest of young Kalaquinn Wright as he continues his mission of restoring the sacred harmony between heaven and earth. As he passes through dark geographical and psychological territory, he meets numerous unexpected trials and distinctly drawn personalities of all kinds. There is heroism, horror, pathos, humour, and always drama. The authors once again have integrated the power of Story with deep understanding of the classical role of the epic as vital poetics. The majestic beauty and freshness of their language, their symbology, the original songs and poems, the flashes of dazzling inventiveness is altogether a phenomenon—and a sign that great narrative is yet possible in our times. “

Michael D. O’Brien, author of the “Children of the Last Days” series.


The following is praise given to The Stoneholding after it was originally published by the authors, Mark Sebanc and James G. Anderson writing under the pseudonym “Mark James” . The book was published under the imprint “Stoneharp Press” (October 2004) as the first book of the Talamadh series, with cover art by the famous Tolkein painter Ted Nasmith.

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The Stoneholding is one of those rare discoveries: a world of fantasy that is both as familiar as a folktale, yet still refreshingly new at every turn… Stunning artwork, demanding prose, and a world of great beauty and breadth. A debut not to be missed.”

James Rollins, best-selling author of Map of Bones

“Never have I read such a gripping tale that transported me to another world. This is surely fantasy writing at its best and doubtless will become an American classic.”

G.P. Taylor, author of the New York Times best-selling Shadowmancer, Wormwood, and Tersias

The Stoneholding is an extraordinary novel, brilliantly imaginitive, a real tour-de-force. I highly recommend it.”

Douglas Preston, New York Times best-selling author of Tyrannosaur Canyon

“The plot and the intricate descriptions of an enchanting landscape drew me further into the charms of this excellent first novel by Mark James. Those who appreciate plot-driven works of fantasy (or any “ripping good yarn”), and who subscribe to J.R.R. Tolkien’s theories of storytelling in his essay, “On Fairy-Stories,” will find here a treasure of greater substance and better quality than most offerings in fantasy today. . . The Stoneholding and its engaging fantasy landscape provide the enjoyment and delight which Tolkien so earnestly wished to inspire in readers of his own works, and which he expected from others writing in the same genre. I heartily recommend it.”

Guy Trudel, C.S.B., DPhil., Professor of Medieval Studies, Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies, University of Toronto.

“When I read it, I enjoyed it thoroughly, marveling at Mark James’ talent for creating memorable characters, a very compelling plot, and a consistently sustained faery world rich in lore, names and mystery. While it’s comparable (naturally) to Tolkien, the author is clearly drawing from the wider Celtic traditions, and in ways Tolkien never explored. The concept of the harmony which protects Good is marvelous and deep. I cannot imagine what more a discerning reader could ask for in a work of fantasy.”

Ted Nasmith, illustrator, J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion

“A joint collaboration between two writers (Mark Sebanc & James G. Anderson), The Stoneholding really does prove the theory that two heads are better than one. From the first page, this novel delivers; supplying thrills and spills at the drop of a hat, whilst retaining a veneer of authenticity with its Celtic backdrop. The writing is so seamless it is certainly not apparent that two minds are at work here.
Brewing with atmosphere, and featuring engaging and charismatic characters, The Stoneholding…  is also one hell of a yarn. I look forward, with anticipation, to Book Two.”

Theresa Derwin for BookPleasures.com

“The tale is a splendid one, no surprise there. But what I was especially taken with was the precision of expression, and that’s fitting, since, as everyone knows, each step in any journey is as important as the last. You will enjoy The Stoneholding in the large as well as in the small – fitting for a story written in the great and necessary wake of that master of the sacramental imagination, J.R.R. Tolkien!”

David Craig, Professor of English and Creative Writing, Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio

“The vivid and tightly written prose draws you in right from the start and the pace does not let up as you travel with this strong cast of very real characters through a rich and complex world as they struggle to overcome seemingly insurmountable difficulties. I’m really looking forward to the rest of the trilogy.”

Sharon Ells, Head of Collection Development, Ottawa Public Library.

“Vast in scope, profound in its cosmology, this first book of the Talamadh stands head and shoulders above the swarm of new fantasy literature that has emerged during the past half century. Indeed it is not so much fantasy as it is a mythology rooted in the ultimate Real. That its author also tells a gripping story and consistently exhibits a mastery of language, freshness of invention, erudition and wit, ensures that long after 99% of contemporary imaginative literature is forgotten, this series will be read and reread. A maximum bravo!”

Michael D. O’Brien, author of A Landscape With Dragons, and of the “Children of the Last Days” series.

“The novel The Stoneholding by Mark Sebanc and James AndersonJames is one of fast paced adventure set in a fantastical world full of mythical creatures, magic, and beautiful settings. The ancient world of Ahn Norvys, one full of legend and lore, is falling into darkness… Mark James shows a talent for creating colorful characters, a deep, compelling plot and perhaps, best of all, a beautiful world full of legend and mystery. Wonderfully written, The Stoneholding is a novel for any fantasy lover.”

Sarah Leslie, What If? magazine May-June 2005.