The Gifting by Anne Brooke

Title: The Gifting (The Gathandrian Trilogy Book #1)
Author: Anne Brooke
Publisher: Bluewood Publishing
Pages: 298
Characters: Simon Hartstongue, Johan Montfort, Isabella Montfort
POV: 3rd person
Setting: Alternate Universe
Sub-Genre: Fantasy
Cover Rating: 3
Kisses: 4


The mind-dwellers of Gathandria are under siege. For two year-cycles their people have been decimated, their beautiful city ruined. Legends tell of the Lost One who will save them from their enemy – the mind-executioner. Time is running out. Johan and Isabella journey to the Lammas Lands searching for their cousin and lowly scribe, Simon Hartstongue. The elders hope that he is who they seek. But there is one amongst them bound to the enemy, who plans to betray Simon.

Powerful lessons are learned as they travel through the kingdoms of the Mountains, the Air, the Desert and the Waters. Story-telling weaves a protective net around them, but the enemy has absolute power with the stolen mind-cane. To his surprise Simon hears its song and tries to understand his gifting. If you are branded a coward and a murderer, how can you be a saviour? Is Simon truly the One?


The Gifting is a journey for both the characters and the reader. It is the story of a brother and sister who set out on a mission to find the Lost One, the man who will help vanquish the enemy and restore peace to the land of Gathandria. They must travel to the Lammas Lands, through trials and hardships, to find a distant cousin, Simon Hartstongue, a simple scribe who has no idea who he is, nor has any inkling of the power he possesses.

Theirs is a journey of magic and mayhem, of betrayal and deception, of treachery and vengeance. The cousins, along with a little boy who has become Simon’s pupil and one true friend, trek through a land of enchantments, through earth, air, fire, and water, through danger and subversion, as a traitorous heart lurks among them, set upon destroying Simon before he can fulfill his destiny.

Simon’s journey began with the death of his mother, branded a criminal and outcast, rejected and scorned because of his abilities. His gifts led him to the arms and bed of Ralph Tregannon, Simon’s Overlord and protector—his Lord, Master, and lover. Becoming a pawn in a wicked game of power and deception, Simon is seduced into using his magic to help execute the innocent. Branded a murderer and coward, and ultimately forced to answer for those crimes by the one person on whom he thought he could depend, Simon is forced to flee for his life, with the strangers who’ve come to his rescue.

Sometimes pragmatism is branded as cowardice. Sometimes love and the need to be loved make a man commit cowardly acts. Sometimes cowardice is nothing more than a healthy and innate sense of self-preservation. Sometimes courage can be found in compassion, in friendship, and in the desire to right the wrongs of the past. Courage is facing and conquering fears, against all odds, for the good of others.

The Gifting is merely the introduction to the Gathandrian Trilogy; it’s a big world, filled with intrigues and magic, loss and redemption. It’s a fantastical place where almost anything is possible, where a coward can become a hero, where the promise for more excitement and enchantment are guaranteed, and I look forward to seeing where Anne Brooke will take us next, as well as discovering what Simon’s future holds.

Reviewed By: Lisa



  1. I really didn’t like this at all. Something just didn’t ring true about the characters. I suppose. Sadly, I felt it was also a little bit of a cobbling together of stories you’ve heard before all wrapped up in a new covering of the mind executioner.
    It didn’t work for me. Maybe the second volume will be more convincing.


  2. Sorry to hear it didn’t quite suit you, Samuel – but thanks so much for trying it out. I really appreciate it!

    Yes, as you say, I do write in a wide variety of genres, including literary, mainstream thriller, chicklit (occasionally!), comedy, Christian, poetry, fantasy and of course the gay fiction stories – which is by far my most popular genre. I suppose all that makes me rather difficult to place on the shelf! :))

    But I have to admit I’ve thoroughly enjoyed writing the Gathandrian trilogy (of which The Gifting is the first) and I definitely feel it’s stretched me as a writer, which has been a worthwhile experience. I’ve enjoyed the chance to make the prose a little more poetic and go a little deeper into the spiritual side of the writing life. It’s been fun, but I certainly understood that not many of my gay fiction readers would take to it. There’s two more books in that series to come (2nd one currently under consideration at the publisher), but fret not! – I’m also continuing with the gay fiction stories, which I love writing too. In fact I’ve just finished the 4th in the Delaneys gay BDSM menage series, and was hoping to edit it prior to submission this weekend, but my lovely husband is whisking me off to Munich, so it may have to wait!

    Sorry, I’m rambling (it’s the excitement of a holiday!), and thanks again for giving this different genre a go. All good wishes!

    Anne B


  3. I have been a supporter of Anne’s gay fiction for many years and thought she’d really found her niche there. Unfortunately I didn’t enjoy The Gifting much at all I’m afraid. Anne has tried to be original with some of the concepts but I just couldn’t help feeling a lot of it was a rehash of themes I have read before.
    I don’t want to be discouraging but the world of fantasy is a really tough section to break into and I really didn’t think this did well enough. It probably scraped a pass mark but that’s about it. If I could have given it two and a half I would but as it is it’s only a two from me I’m afraid.
    I hope Anne doesn’t continue with it as I cannot see that it is going to lead to success
    and besides I’d prefer her to concentrate on her gay fiction which I do enjoy.


  4. Thank you so much, Lisa – I really appreciate this! And I’m so glad you enjoyed the book.

    You’ll be pleased to hear that I’ve recently submitted the 2nd in the trilogy, Hallsfoot’s Battle, to Bluewood Publishing and am hoping they like it :))

    All good wishes, and thanks again



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