In my opinion, a key ingredient for a great novel is well-developed characters. Without a doubt, Geralyn Beauchamp has created strong characters for Time Masters Book One: The Call. She has created a population that you come to know on a deep level; even some of the minor ones become familiar. Today I want to introduce you to these people. You’ll want to know them better.
Dallan MacDonald. The hero and main character of the novel. He has all the usual qualifications of a hero: handsome, rugged, strong, intelligent, ready to fight for the oppressed and weak. He has a soft spot for kids and treats women with respect, loves his family and his country, takes the roles of protector and leader seriously. Dallan is a fierce warrior but a kind and gentle friend. His major weaknesses are excessive pride, impatience and a tendency to flare up in anger much too quickly. Well, actually, his major flaw is a lack of trust and faith. He needs to develop these, especially faith in the will of the Creator God. Dallan was a MacDonald in Scotland in 1692, and he was pulled away during the Massacre at Glencoe, a true event that involved an edict from King John of England, The Campbells carried out the edict, killing all the MacDonalds in Glencoe. What haunts Dallan is his inability to save his little brother Alisdair; he hates the one who pulled him away too soon, and he blames himself constantly for not saving his brother. By the plan of the creator and in His supernatural ways, Dallan somehow came to know a little girl who bonded with him at that early age. In the dream of vision or whatever it was, he gave her his heart way back then. She still has his heart, and at the time of most of the action of the novel, he feels a tug from that heart, pulling him across time and space to that girl, now grown up. A large portion of the story revolves around his search for the Maiden and the need to rescue her. Until they come together, the pain of the separating increases to a horrible level, and the reader experiences the pain with Dallan.
Shona Elsay Wittard, aka The Maiden. This girl is purity itself, but as the reader meets her, she is terrified at physical experiences that she doesn’t understand coupled with troubling dreams. She is a very lovely girl who wakes up for these dreams and find her facial features are changing. When she looks in the mirror, it takes a few minutes until she looks normal again. And it gets worse and more frequent as time goes on. Is she crazy or is it really happening? Shona doesn’t want anyone else to see it, and she sure doesn’t want to tell anyone. The poor dear feels more alone than she ever has in her life. And the dreams...she is calling for someone, and sometimes she sees the boy from her long past dreams. Every time there is a great deal of pain, but it gets better when she sees the boy. Until it ends. When the pain starts, she often can stop it with music, even singing to herself. Now music is her life. She is an extremely gifted singer an musician; they have even set up a music room for her in the house. Her parents have provided for her very well, but she feels great loneliness. Her only friends are a girl named Kitty, her tutor Julia, and a part-time tutor named Tomy. Then there is a man named Philip, who hasn’t visited since she was a child, but there is some significant connection between him, her parents, and her tutor. Julia says that Shona likes Philip, but she has noticed that his name makes her parents blanch and look worried. Shona loves to spend time at the library. She has decided to trust Kitty enough to tell her about the strange dreams, but not the face changes.
Kwaku Awahnee. Kwaku is the present Time Master, a huge African (Azurti tribe) with a tremendous laugh, a laugh he expresses quite often, even when no one else feels like laughing. It was Kwaku that snatched Dallan from his own time and brought him to the future, 2688 to be exact. The novel is mostly told from ten years later, 2698, and during those ten years, Kwaku has been training Dallan to be the next Time Master. Not everyone agrees with Kwaku’s harsh methods of training. He never lets up on Dallan, and their combat sessions are brutal. Everyone else is afraid of him, but Dallan constantly stands up to him in order to protect the villagers. There is another side to Kwaku, however, one that astounds Dallan.
John Eaton, Lord Councilor. John Eaton is the twelfth Councilor who has been assigned to Dallan. He is a go-between from the Elders who make the decisions for the world population of the time. No one before him had been able to get inside Dallan’s thoughts and get to know him, but John is a little different. This is a man who loves his family and takes his job seriously. John loves God, believes in His will and plan, and believes that He hears and answers prayer. He feels the weight of the assignment and the great need for speedily bringing Dallan to a point where he is ready for his Divine appointment . Unlike the other councilors who preceded him, John is a man full of empathy and compassion, virtues that Dallan senses from the start. That starts a connection in which Dallan begins to open up a bit. John feels the pain, to an extent, that Dallan experiences, and with time he becomes quite close to him.
Lany Mosgofian is John Eaton’s assistant. Lany is much different in his behavior, although he is compassionate at heart. He, like John, is a devoted husband who misses his wife a great deal while on this assignment. He tends to be calmer, at least on the surface, most of the time, so he make a good partner for John. However, Lany does display a dry wit which sometimes forces comments at inappropriate times. There is some kind of connection for him with the Muirarans, but it is only hinted at.
Kitty Morgan is Shona’s best friend. Everyone else wonders why, and most of them cant stand to have her around. Kitty is an total airhead, a non-stop chatterbox, boy-crazy, and klutzy to boot. Her driving skills are terrifying. In spite of her obsession with guys, however, she is a virgin and intends to stay that way until marriage. When it comes to her friendship with Shona, Kitty is true blue and loyal to the end, even when it is a choice between Shona and her sister. As much as she is a chatterbox, she keeps the confidence that Shona shares with her about her dreams and such. Kitty would be an annoying person to have around, but she provides great comic relief. In one scene, especially, when they are a little armor shop. It seems that Kitty and her purse are too much for the little shop, as she knocks things over and breaks them with every move. In the novel, this scene is worthy of Lucille Ball.
Julia is a very odd character indeed, Shona’s overly controlling tutor. Shona’s parents seem to be afraid of her, and they let her pretty much run Shona’s life. Shona trusts her and dutiful obeys her, but here is something shady going on with her. Or is it just my imagination?
There is still a long list of characters with significant parts to play in the tale, but I am afraid I may have already gone on too long and lost some readers to boredom. I hope that’s not the case. In order to avoid spoilers, I left out a great deal. If any homeschoolers or Christian school teachers are reading, I hope you can see this book would be a good on for the characterizations alone.
Once more, I want to direct you to the main blog site for CFRB, where the blog tour for Time Masters continues, and other links are also provided.
Time Masters Book One: The Call by Geralyn Beauchamp
Published by Cold Tree Press 2007
Available through http://www.amazon.com, http://www.coldtreepress.com, and Barnes and Noble
author’s sites at http://www.geralynbeauchamp.com and http://www.shoutlife.com/TimeMasters