IN THE TRADITION OF THE EPIC FANTASY NOVELS OF THE LAST FIFTY YEARS
THE LAND The first part of the trilogy ‘Hope’ tells of the arrival of Squire in Thorland and ‘The
Quest for the Teeth of the Upper Jaw’.
THE PROPHECY After many centuries, Squire has returned to Thorland, summoned there by
the good Wizard Tobin in order to fulfil an ancient prophecy.
THE PEOPLE As the quest begins, the other members of the company described in the
prophecy join Squire. They also encounter many friends who assist them on the quest.
THE MAGIC Tobin gives Squire a shield to protect him in times of great danger, but warns that
whenever he uses it he will also get a glimpse of his own world – an unpleasant experience.
THE QUEST Their quest takes the company to every part of West Thorland. Every time they
locate one of the teeth, they also receive instructions for finding the next tooth. Throughout the
quest, the wicked Wizard Gordeve tries to abduct Squire, destroy his friends, and thwart the
Read the first chapter of Hope here
|Windows on our World, Part 1: Hope
by Les Bill Gates
In the first part of the fantasy trilogy, Windows on our World, Hope, is set in the
fictitious Thorland. It is an easy read where Lord of the Rings meets National
Treasure with vocabulary not above the average English reader.
Squire finds himself in Thorland after being summoned by the wizard Tobin to
fulfil an ancient prophecy. Together with a company, selected by the prophecy,
he set off in search for the teeth of the upper jaw which belong to the golden
skull. The quest leads the company through beautiful descriptive scenes of
the country by means of clues hidden with every tooth. But like all quests, there
everything in her power to overthrow the company.
There is a strong universal theme of good and evil, camaraderie, and trust. At
times the dialogue seems unnatural, but does not deflect attention from the
story line. There is enough intrigue to keep you turning the pages.
The characters are interesting, although, except for Squire and Jippers, they
do not have any body to them. Descriptions are done with precision, but they
lack a certain humanity and you find it difficult to relate to them.
My final conclusion is that the first part of the trilogy, Windows on our World, is
an entertaining read and I will recommend it to anyone who would like to sit
back and relax for a few hours. I am waiting, with baited breath, the next book.
Yolande du Plessis
|Author: Les Bill Gates
The ancient prophecy of Thorland is about to be fulfilled as a man known only as the Squire arrives by way of a
giant eagle. Though the man does not remember who he is or where he comes from, he accepts the
explanation of Helge, the woman who has been tasked with helping him on an important quest. With the help of
the wizard Tobin, his apprentices, an archer, and three Luchorpans, Helge and Squire must locate the teeth that
belong to the golden skull in order to reinstate its magical powers and protect Thorland from the evil Gordeve.
Numerous obstacles stand in their way, for Gordeve has begun breeding a terrible cougar, which carries
malicious intentions toward Squire and his friends. She has spies in even the safest of places, and she holds a
secret capable of corrupting even the most loyal of men. But even beyond Gordeve's schemes there are
dangers, for someone is stalking Squire and his band, and their travels take them into remote, sometimes
unfriendly, lands where the threat of war overshadows their quest.
Windows on Our World enters into the familiar fantasy realm of quests and wizards and curious creatures. No
time is wasted in getting the heroes underway, and by the second chapter, Squire and Helge have already set
out to find the rest of their party. In some cases, the action almost seems to move a little too quickly, putting
expediency above the development of situational tension or character evolution. Very little is known about the
characters themselves other than their present occupation, and their feelings are sometimes lost within the
shared point of view structure.
• The style of writing might be a little spare for some readers, but others will be pleased by the clarity of
unembellished prose. There is no need to search for meaning within the words, as the author's intention is
made clear through his choice of phrasing. This helps drive the story forward and, though we reach the ending
with many questions, we know that the story will be continued in the next volume, where Squire's party will
continue searching for the golden teeth.
Les Bill Gates is a teacher, and former principal, at King George VI National Secondary School in the Solomon
Islands. He holds a mathematics degree from Oxford University and a Certificate in Education from Exeter
University. He has traveled extensively and plans to pursue a career as an author, continuing the Windows on
Our World series with the second book, Faith.
Reviewer: C. Noël Rivera, Allbook Reviews.
|Windows on Our World. Part I: Hope. By Les Bill Gates
Similar to the epics Mahabharata and Ramayana, the classics of Indian literature, Windows on Our World is a fantasy trilogy in the tradition of fantasy novels of recent era created by
Les Bill Gates, the pen name of Leslie William Gates. Hope is the first part and the remaining parts, Faith and Love will eventually appear, so says the author. The story is told in twenty
chapters. Squire, the legendary saviour and the expected one, arrives in Thorland. He helps the good wizard Tobin to find out the missing teeth of a golden skull that has magical
powers to bring in peace and prosperity for the people of the land. Gordeve, the wicked wizard, sister of Tobin and the antagonist is also after the teeth. The fat and flesh of the book are
the numerous adventures of Squire and his friends well equipped with suitable weapons of the time just as the characters of the American serial film 'A Team.’ After having
encountered with evil forces the team redeems the teeth of upper jaw. The bone of the story is the eternal conflict between the good and the evil. The story ends happily and beautifully.
But the readers may ask for: 'where are the teeth of lower jaw?' That is the magical effect of this volume and a pointer to author's craftsmanship. The book has all the elements of an
interesting book such as an ideal theme, good story, beautiful sceneries, life-full characters, fantastic events, fighting and stunts, magical scenes, humorous dialogues, simple and
common language studded with elegant phrases and idioms, route maps, happy ending etc. Careful and colourful crafting of those components makes the book wholesome and
worthy of reading
While J.K.Rowling's Harry Potter series have unnatural and abnormal fantasies, Les Bill Gates has reined the imagination and has kept it within the boundaries of logic and reason.
Les has made even an animal, mule the Faithful a lively character very unlike of JKR. The book is a pleasant reading for the readers - children, adults and the aged - having leisurely
time at hand. While reading the saga of Squire and his company we are reminded of the films: 'Connan the Barbarian', 'Red Sonja', 'Ladies of Amazon', 'Death Stalker.' The book has
the potential for being made unto film. We did not feel quite happy with the main title and the sub title. Title given to a book must be crisp, catchy of onlooker's eyes and compassing to
the content of the book. Squire as a hero needed little more virility and vitality. The price of the book seemed little high - J.Kaval
Reviewer: Joseph Kaval - Editor and publisher of the international literary journal Katha Kshetre.
Les Bill Gates, masterminded adventurer, takes his readers on an unforgettable journey through the
imaginary Thorland. Led by Helge, a small group venture into unchartered waters, where dangers
lurk moment by moment from ferocious cougar ‘eyes’ to rats, locusts and bears. Gates keeps his
readers on edge as he unfolds this magnificent story page by page, introducing fascinating
The story unfolds as Squire, declared shield-bearer, arrives unexplained into Hanlin Forest in West
Thorland, sheltered by Helge, who declares him the long lost prophet and the key to its fulfilment.
Despite his protests, Squire is convinced to join the expedition, as the shield-bearer, his acquiesced
title, proves capable of his calling, despite a few lax moments, which bring lightness into the story to
relieve its ferocious tensions as the quest for ‘gold’ and ‘hope’ surges forward.
Crammed with adventure, puzzles to solve, adversaries to defeat and with the Luchorpans’ (they are
nice and small) help, the mission is wild, juxtaposed by Vinny, the joker, challenged by Gordeve,
wicked ‘war monger’ and her Kobalos, aided by Tobin, the Wizard, who swoops into the scene at
inopportune moments. A beautiful queen and a sweet touch of romance complete the plot; a light
desert following a hearty meal, Gates has contemplated every moment superbly.
This delightful fantasy world of Thorland is complete with maps and people groups, an outstanding
work by Gates; master adventurer in his own realm, who deserves every success forthcoming with a
breathtaking journey for readers, a sequel to follow. This story is akin to Lord of the Rings and the
reviewer can see it becoming a ‘block buster’ movie in due season.
Congratulations to Penrose Publishing for a splendid edition. I highly recommend readers take this
opportunity to purchase a copy or download a digital edition from this publisher.
Marie Seltenrych, Irish/Australian author, publisher, owner of Aussieoibooks.com.au
“Hope” is a classic fantasy. It is the first in a trilogy, known as Windows on Our World.
The classic quest begins as a man wakes from a dream to find himself delivered by an eagle into a strange world, and into the centre of a prophecy. Apparently he is the long-awaited
Squire who will fulfil an ancient prophecy, guided by the Wizard Tobin. On a quest to find each of the teeth that must be returned to an ancient skull, Squire and his group of friends
move from one scenario to another, through Thorland, to combat the evil Gordeve with her plans to rule the land.
The story is full of wonders. Stories that reveal a world, piece by piece, are always fascinating. The names of the places within the world and the names of the characters echo the
names in our own world and the worlds of other stories and other fantasies. They conjure up images and the echoes of scenarios. The themes of good versus evil, and of
camaraderie against a shared evil are also reassuringly familiar.
The plot moves reasonably quickly. There are references to veiled, mystical undercurrents which keep the story intriguing, and strong plot twists. And there is no shortage of creatures
and landscapes both fearsome and friendly. The narrative is reasonably sparse, emotionally. Imbued as I am with the writings of the likes of JRR Tolkien and David Eddings, I
missed the emotional intensity of plot conflict points. But then, if Gates had built each of his climaxes to that extent for each tooth, the story would have gone for thousands of pages.
Maybe there needed to be a different set of objects to find, with less of them, than the number of teeth in a mouth! Or maybe the plot is fine as it is and it moves quickly and succinctly
from point to point with just the necessary build to make sense and excitement. I certainly felt myself drawn back to it, as each chapter heralded the next.
Originally I found the dialogue rather strange, perhaps stilted. But then it fits with the style of writing which, itself, seems to be setting a more formal atmosphere of ‘old-world tale’ and
continues throughout the book.
I grew to like each of the characters, despite the fact that, again, they are described only sufficiently to make the plot work. But by the end of the book, I found myself glad for each of
them as they participated in the final gathering, sad at not meeting them all again in another piece of the adventure and quite relieved that there was to be a sequel so that I could join
them on the next part of their quest.
This is a book that an advanced primary school reader could read. It really is a kind of fairy tale. That did not, in any way, reduce the pleasure I had in reading it. It simply indicates that
this book will reach a wide audience, who will enjoy it for what it is – an intriguing, exciting, easy-to-read fantasy.
Review by Bronwyn Ritchie