ABOUT Wendy Gillissen

Wendy Gillissen
Award- winning author Wendy Gillissen is an author, psychologist and past life therapist in the Netherlands. In her spare time she plays the Celtic harp.Her début novel 'Curse of the Tahiéra' won silver in the Readers Favorite Awards 2009, category fantasy/sci-fi.


A journey through haunted forests, through dreams and time.         
A story of love, magic and the power of forgiveness. 
A Tzanatzi outcast and an Einache shaman are on the trail of an ancient curse.
Will they save their people from destruction?

I always knew there was a story living inside of me – since the age of five, in fact;) When I visited the Greek island of Kefalonia for the first time something happened which I can’t quite explain. As if the spirit of the island opened a door in me which I knew would never be shut again. I feel a connection to the place, especially the Mycenaean ruins (+/- 1600 BC), which has me wonder – did I live there before? Is there is a connection to the mysterious Tzanatzi people’s origins and ancient Mycenae? These are questions I’m still pondering, while writing the sequel to 'Curse of the Tahiéra': ‘The Search for Tzanáta’ – it’s still a mystery, even to me, and I discover bits and pieces of the truth as I go along, so I discover them at the same pace as the reader!

It can be a dangerous thing for a man not to know who he is -
Amazon 5 star review

Author Wendy Gillissen's spiritual adventure 'Curse of the Tahiera' succeeds on so many levels; her characters have personality, depth and personal history, the fantasy environment is vibrant, detailed and filled with mythic wonder and the storyline is absorbing and well paced from beginning to end. Plan and simple it's one of the most enjoyable fantasy books I've read in a long, long time. However my highest praise for Ms. Gillissen's book is reserved for the deep, profound spirituality oozing from her written words; her understanding of the nature of dreams, her innate knowledge of the unseen but sometimes felt lifeforce emanating from the world (or worlds?) around us and the way in which she reveals the spiritual underpinnings and karmic destiny that ultimately determine who and what we are. Many writers have attempted to wed their own personal spiritual paradigm with literary fiction and generally the results are less than satisfying. Either the 'message' overpowers the story to such a degree that the fiction is delivered flat and contrived, or the author is forced to compromise the 'message' for the sake of the tale and the readers entertainment. In both cases both the author and the reading audience are left unsatisfied and wanting.

In the case of 'Curse of the Tahiera' both of these pitfalls have been successfully and masterfully avoided! If you're looking for nothing more than pure fantasy entertainment this is the book for you. On the other hand if you're looking for a generous dose of spiritual insight that will help guide you in answering some of those inner nagging questions and doubts we all carry with us this is also the book for you. Now if you're looking for both, this must be your lucky day!
by Brian e Erland, top 500 reviewer

Captivating from beginning to end

Though much of it takes place in a physical world of forests and stones, the real story of Gillissen’s protagonists, Rom, Yldich, and Eald who journey through enchanted lands northward, is one of kinship and illusion as they struggle to save their people from the destructive power of an entity known as the Tahiéra. Gillissen uses dreams the way that an artist might use watercolors to paint a vivid portrait. Her expressions are at once clear and beautiful as they are abstract and distant, eventually culminating in an ending revelation that is unforeseeable (unless, of course, you’ve “dreamwalked” through the story already).

Rom is haunted by “énthemae” dreams, or dreams of his past which reveal a power in him to confront the Tahiéra. As he learns these things throughout his journey, he becomes acquainted with “ayúrdimae” dreaming, or “dreamwalking”. “Curse of the Tahiéra” is full of mystical enchantments and riveting adventures, but it’s these particular facets which make it different from most other fantasy novels. Gillissen creates a dream world within a dream world; worlds inside of other worlds which are constantly in motion. It might seem complicated, but Gillissen handles them all like a well trained juggler, and the show is spectacular.

“Curse of the Tahiéra” achieves on nearly every level of excitement and entertainment that the genre of fantasy prescribes. It’s enlightening in its connection with real world values of love, honor, and camaraderie and on top of that, its great entertainment. Gillissen’s take on pixies, beasts, and other common fantasy figures is unique and revitalizing. Fantasy novels are all about the journey, and Gillissen is able to weave several into a single amazing voyage that is captivating from beginning to end.
Eric Jones, Bookreview.com

Brims with imagination
Bound for the North through the forest of Gardeth, home of unnatural evil spirits, young Rom, a half Tzanatzi and half human boy, befriends both Yldich, an Einache Shaman, and Eald, an Einache boy. But this is no chance meeting. Little does Rom know that Yldich has had several Yaever dreams about him; dreams that will entwine their fates forever. Yildich believes that Rom can free the Einache people from a rising darkness of evil that has been brewing for five-hundred years, and yet Rom is a mere boy, without a clue to who he really is. He has so much to learn if he, and the Einache people are going to survive.

Together Rom, Yldich and Eald embark on a life changing odyssey as they are thrown into a new way of life, where the veil between his world and the underworld grows thinner each day, and people depend on him. Soon Rom is to learn that this spiritual journey will gain him the courage to learn things he never thought himself capable of, but sometimes uncovering buried secrets comes at a price. Will he be able to face his fears for the final battle and overcome the weight of the world that has been put upon his shoulders?

What a marvellous book. This is a coming of age, young adult tale, filled with a deep spiritual understanding, which I am p
ositive has much to do with Wendy Gillissen's experience as a past life therapist, and her specialisation in dream-work. The depth of Curse of the Tahiéra was so richly detailed with a structured plot, and a believable mystical setting, I found it hard to put down. It's been a long time since I've read a fantasy adventure like this and Wendy Gillissen has a style of storytelling that brims with imagination. It is layered with stories, within this story. She peppers words and expressions from the Tzanatzi /Einache languages throughout, but not in a way that distracts, as some books can. For your convenience these are explained at the back of the book, along with an artistic picture. 
Gillissen drew of the lovable character, Rom. Personally I think this portrait is so good it needs to be moved to the front and not hidden away at the back. All in all the Curse of the Tahiéra is a clever debut novel, and the message is that with the understanding of our dreams anything is possible to achieve."
Sassy Brit, Alternative-Reads.com

A Dreamwalk Through Past Lives
Despised due to his Tzanatzi heritage, Rom made his living as best he could by trading and selling goods in the northern and southern Einache villages alternating between them as the seasons changed. However, while preparing to travel North directly through  the bordering forest, Rom learns that this journey has become increasingly treacherous as an evil presence felt once long ago appears to be rising once again. An old Einache farmer named Yldich befriends Rom offering to accompany him on his journey. Soon Rom learns, however, that Yldich is more mage than farmer having the ability to commune with nature, call upon the animals, and sense the very fabric of all that surround them. When Rom starts to experience his own dreamwalking, he begins to wonder if perhaps his meeting Yldich is something more than a simple chance encounter with a good Samaritan. In fact, Rom learns he may hold the answer to a five hundred year old curse that threatens to destroy the lives of the Einache and Tzanatzi alike.

Wendy Gillissen's Curse of the Tahiera is a unique and fresh offering to the fantasy genre. In this debut novel, Gillissen pulls from her experience as a psychologist specializing in dreamwork and past life therapy. Through Rom the reader slowly discovers the possibilities of past lives and the impact on their contemporary vessels - how decisions made long ago have far reaching implications. While fantasy elements are present, this novel is really a character exploration of a young ostracized man dealing with his negative self view so long forged through the eyes of others and their prejudices. Through Yldich and his own inner journey, he begins to view himself and his past self differently giving context to a life previously without meaning.

Gillissen's pace and plot unfold in an effortless manner keeping the pages turning at a rapid rate. Her detailed and carefully considered narrative and use of Tzanatzi and Einache languages help to envelope the reader into this unique world. The passages where she shares Rom's emotional and physical journey through his first intimate experience
and later love interest are exceptionally well written. Rom's journey to the underworld is especially well crafted besting that offered by Phillip Pullman in The Amber Spyglass.

Curse of the Tahiéra is a complete volume although Gillissen provides a few teaser pages for the sequel The Search for Tzanáta to be published soon. I for one, look forward to its release.

Rating: 4.5 of 5
Todd A. Fonseca