Tolkien + Tudor England: A Review of Gateway to Fourline by Pam Bronson



For Tolkien fans, and readers of fantasy fiction, Gateway to Fourline is one to pick up. It is not a book of magic in the usual sense. The magic is very light consisting of dream scenes, sudden appearances of creatures and humans, and soulful orbs. It is the blending of two worlds. One tangible and set in the present day; the other seemed to be set back in time. I enjoy the historical world of  Tudor England. It that world I imagined as I read Gateway to Fourline. It is also a dystopian world.

A college student, Natalie is away at a private school. Tuition is coming due and her parents are having trouble meeting their mortgage and paying their bills for them, Natalie, and their other children. If Natalie wants to stay in school (and from all accounts this is a good school for Natalie) she must find the money. Where to find substantial sums?

Enter Estos, Annin, Sister Barba, and others from Fourline. They are refugees; they are in exile. Their world as they know it has been destroyed; there is a rebel faction barely holding on to existence. A youthful king, Estos and the rest must come back for the sake of their former world, for the sake of the rebels. An evil ruler, an oppressive regime, chaos and danger. Natalie becomes one of them, or so she appears to be. She passes messages, plots and plans with the rebels, and becomes a game changer. Along the way she falls in love and ultimately is torn between staying with her new friends or going back to her world. Straddling both is impossible.

Other than world building which to this reader was either missing or needed enhancement, Gateway to Fourline is well-written and immensely enjoyable. The one thing that I did not like was the ending. Whoa! What about Soris? How can you just leave the story so suddenly? I felt like I was missing something….like my copy was missing pages. Nevertheless, I understand why the ending was like it was, why an epilogue would not have not worked.

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