Richard Purtill........................

Book Reviews and Biography

Book Reviews

The Gryphon Seal and The Eleusinian Gate by Richard Purtill. Review by Barry R. Hunter,, issue 104, November 1, 2006.

Though billed as Books one and two of the Lost Tales of Kaphtu, The Gryphon Seal and The Eleusinian Gate are quite distinct from one another. The Gryphon Seal is the story of young Victoria Marsden, an English orphan in the time of Edward VII, and her adventures in that time as well as her adventures in Kaphtu and ancient Greece. The latter are made possible by time travel thanks to a ring bearing the seal of the Gryphon.

Richard Purtill has an ease about his storytelling, his characters are instantly likeable, and the flow of the action is swift. Whether interacting with king or commoner in her own time or adventreing with some of our favorite mythological characters of The Kaphtu Trilogy, Vicki is sensible, shrewd, stalwart and strong. She learns bull leaping and other talents in ancient times that serve her in good stead in the tough times of Edwardian England. All in all, The Gryphon Seal is a wonderful re-immersion into the soothing waters of Purtill's Mythos.

Purtill follows this with a total immersion into ancient times with The Eleusinian Gate. This one features everyone who is anyone in the Kaphtu saga. The basis of the book is the love story of Hades and Persephone and the latter's joining her lover in the Dark World. Persephone's controlling mother, Demeter, is angrily searching for her daughter while the other Olympians shield the pair and try to limit the damage that Demeter might do.

It quickly becomes the business of the Olympian, Chrysieis, and her mortal friend, Alceme, to find Persephone and then to make certain she went willingly with Hades. Meanwhile, Demeter has cast blight on their grain crops and mortals are becoming dying hostages to the fates of the gods. This will all come to a head at the Eleusinian Gate-- the most powerful of the gates between  the three worlds: the Dark World of Hades, the Olympians' Bright Land, and our own Low World.

The Eleusinian Gate is more completely akin to The Kaphtu Trilogy than The Gryphon Seal but both are worthy additions. Couple these with..the trilogy and our gods and goddesses are truly with us once again. I thank Richard Purtill for taking me back to younger days in such a pleasureable way.

This excerpt copyright Barry R. Hunter. Used by permission. To read the complete review, click on the link below .

The Golden Gryphon Feather by Richard Purtill. Review by Barry R. Hunter  Baryon 18, May 1980.

This is hyped as the successor to the works of Thomas Burnette Swann. Purtill makes this advertising valid as the book proves Swannish in Subject and atmosphere.

Purtill attacks this tale of Kaphtu (ancient Crete) and the young Athenian princess sent to the island of  King Minos as tribute and her successes as Mistress of the Dancers Before the Throne, the fabled Bull Dance. Purtill does end things a bit abruptly and leaves much unsaid and done making a sequel necessary to justify this novel. The manner of this too swift close leaves no choice. While I deplore such a situation (I would much prefer a more complete work), a sequel is not to be despised.

These pages bring our gods and goddesses and mythological creatures back to us. The future looks brighter now in an area of personal interest. If such times and creatures as these never were, I wish they had been. We must wait for Purtill to give us more knowledge of them.

This excerpt copyright Barry R. Hunter. Used by permission. To read the complete review, click on the link below

The Stolen Goddess by Richard Purtill. Review by Barry R. Hunter, Baryon 20, Summer 1981.

Purtill’s second fantasy equals or betters the excitement and interest of his first. It is still early enough in his career to repeat the fact that these fantasies reside in the area so richly developed by Swann. It is easy to warm to such a subject matter and style.

The Stolen Goddess concerns Ducalion, the son of Alceme who was Britomartis’ friend and fellow bull dancer in the previous book. Ducalion goes to Kaphtu in search of adventure. There he meets the current Ariadne, falls in love with her, and becomes involved in the dance of the bulls. Of course, a union between the two faces perils both from the meddling of the gods and mortals – including the kidnapping of Ariadne by her father, Theseus. Then, too, there is fallout from the goddess Demeter whose daughter was taken by Adis, Lord of the Darkness.

But Ducalion has a few things going for him as well. Among these are the machinations of Apollo and some timely aid from others as well as his own skills. Purtill has shown he has a lot going for himself as well. These and future books should continue to build a reputation and prove favorable for all concerned.

This excerpt copyright Barry R. Hunter. Used by permission. To read the complete review, click on the link below

Richard Purtill Biography

Richard Purtill is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Western Washington University, Bellingham, Washington, and the author of twenty published books, including seven fantasy and science fiction novels. He has made more than twenty visits to Greece, and lived several years in England. His stories have been published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Fantasy Magazine, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, and The Year’s Best Fantasy Stories.

He is a popular presenter at conferences and conventions, and has been guest of honor at Mythcon in San Diego. He is a member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the Author’s Guild, and the National Writer’s Union.

Available for Publication

Richard Purtill is currently shopping the manuscript of The Athenian Owl Enchantment. Also available for publication is Beyond the Rock of Sybil, a new follow up novel to Enchantment at Delphi. Interested publishers may contact the author for more information at:

Publication Schedule

Fiction: The Kaphtu Trilogy was published in large size quality paperback editions with acid free paper, and featuring full color cover art by fantasy artists George Barr and Don Maitz. In 2005, the first of the Lost Tales of Kaphtu books, The Gryphon Seal, saw print. New for 2006: a new fantasy, The Eleusinian Gate: Lost Tales of Kaphtu. Like the Kaphtu trilogy, each of the Lost Tales stands alone, and the entire Kaphtu series can be read in any order.

Philosophy: J.R.R.Tolkien: Myth, Morality, and Religion was issued by Ignatius Press in 2003. C.S.Lewis’s Case for the Christian Faith followed from Ignatius Press in 2004. Lord of the Elves and Eldils: Fantasy and Philosophy in C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien was released by Ignatius in 2006.

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