Clemens, James

About the Author:


James Clemens was born in Chicago in 1961.  He now has a veterinary practice in Sacramento, California, USA.



4 out of 5

(3 books)



Wit'ch Fire

Wit'ch Fire

The first book of the Banned and the Banished series.  This book has many of the dreaded fantasy cliches; elves, a bumpkin with a destiny, a Dark Lord, a group of mismatched companions.  However, every once in a while, when it's written well, I do enjoy what I think of as a traditional epic fantasy.  Clemens does a great job of filling that little niche. 

This book follows Elena, a country girl who finds that she is the subject of a prophecy in which she is destined to become a feared wit'ch.  As she flees the dark agents sent to capture her Elena aquires a cadre of guardians of many races and backgrounds. 

This book is indeed written well and will keep you flicking through the pages with glee.  There is a great deal of promise for the rest of the series too.  The downsides are; the cliches, which I happily saw past to the compelling story, and the way in which Clemens adds an apostrophe to words such as wit'ch and og're when there's really no need.

Followed by 'Wit'ch Storm'.

4 out of 5


Wit'ch Storm

The second book of the Banned and the Banished.  In this book Elena and her mixed group of allies set off in search of the ancient city of A'loa Glen to recover the powerful Blood Diary.  Meanwhile her brother, already at A'loa Glen, struggles with his captivity at the hands of the evil mage Greshym.  Elsewhere, the Mer'ai Sy-wen embarks upon her own quest to discover her destiny.

This book has a great deal of excellent character development, as we learn more and more about Elena's motley collection of allies.  It is very much a book where the journey is more important than the destination.  Even if that destination does include the awakening of a dragon!

Followed by 'Wit'ch War'.

4 out of 5


Wit'ch War

The third book of the Banned and the Banished.  Here the main characters of the series split into various teams, each undertaking a quest which will hopefully lead the wit'ch Elena to the Blood Diary.

Clemens continues to develop his characters and in this book I particularly enjoyed the relationship of Er'ril and Shorkan, who are torn between their bond of brotherhood and their stance on opposite sides of the conflict.

'Wit'ch War' leads up to a brilliantly written climactic battle which does the book's title proud.  Unfortunately there is something of an anticlimax regarding the quest for the Blood Diary which may leave you feeling a little cheated.

Followed by 'Wit'ch Gate'.

4 out of 5


Fantasy (here)