Regular readers of my blog should know the drill by now; on Tuesdays, I post links the reviews I uploaded to SFFWorld the previous night. Today is no exception, but rather an addition since I posted two(TWO!) reviews last night. Orphan’s Alliance by Robert Buettner and Shadowbred by Paul S. Kemp.
Orhpan’s Alliance is the fourth book in Robert Buettner’s highly engrossing and entertaining Jason Wander series.
This story is set a year or two after the events of the previous novel, though it features very much the same cast of characters – Howard, Ord, Munchkin, and Jude as well as a minor character and potential romantic interest for Jason (Mimi). Buettner has naturalistically progressed these characters from the previous novel, Jude becoming more entrenched in the military, Munchkin and Mimi becoming bureaucrats. Without infodumping the reader and halting the quick narrative pace, Beuttner provided us as the reader with the right amount of information to give a clear picture of each character. This would also serve to welcome new readers to the fold, too.
Paul S. Kemp returns to his Forgotten Realms character Erevis Cale in Shadowbred, the first in the Twilight War trilogy:
The novel starts off really well with the return of a long forgotten floating city and a superb re-introduction of the character of Erevis Cale. Kemp delivers Cale through the eyes of a young, scared boy who sees Cale as “the Shadowman” of local legend. This iconic imagery reminds readers of how ambiguous a character Cale is and is just a teaser of neat things to come.Remember, don’t forget to vote in SFFWorld’s annual membership poll for your favorite 2008 read(s)!
Cale walks a tenuous line dividing his nature and a promise he made to his deceased friend, Jak. As a result of this promise, Cale tries to fight the dark thoughts his god Mask imparts, but fighting those urges to kill and derive power from his god prove difficult. In much of the Forgotten Realms, individuals swear fealty to one of many gods. In Cale’s case, his god Mask is the god of thieves and shadows and Cale is the First of Mask, so this struggle against his god is even more difficult.