Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sword in the Stars by Wayne Batson

Just one review this week at SFFWorld, at least so far, but it was a book that I really enjoyed. A book I enjoyed more than I expected to be quite honest, which is always a nice thing.

Sword in the Stars by Wayne Batson is the first book in his new Dark Sea Annals series, and the first book he's published aimed at an older crowd.

Below the cover shot is a snapshot of the review:

While Alastair is going though his trials of redemption, the Gorrack Nation is an ever threatening presence to the realm of Anglinore, ruled by King Morlan’s much more benevolent brother King Aravel. Aravel is cautious to trigger a protracted conflict against the Gorracks, but his brother Morlan all but begs for outright war. To say Morlan and Aravel compare a bit to Cain and Abel is understating their relationship. Morlan’s jealousy-bordering-on-hatred of his older brother, older by mere minutes much to Morlan’s consternation, fuels his entire story thread in Sword in the Stars, and is very much a fall to temptation and darkness in Biblical proportions. I thought this the strongest aspect of the novel, Batson managed to convey the anger and jealousy in Morlan very effectively so much so that while his reaction to the feelings may be difficult to empathize with, the feelings themselves are relatable to an extent. In particular, the scenes detailing Morlan’s interaction with the Satan figure in the story were powerful and believable.


There’s a lot Wayne put into this world that will be familiar to or resonate with seasoned readers of fantasy, but I appreciated the creative touches he put to everything that made it his own. A depth of history enriches the world of Myriad as do character types like Shepherds, cleric-like magical protectors; the (sometimes frustrating) winged-folk known as Windbourne; and the Sprite-like Willowfolk among other elements that are best discovered by the reader rather than revealed by this reviewer.

Also, a friendly reminder that KatG conducted an interview with Wayne and that further discussion with Wayne is ongoing in the thread at SFFWorld Kat started ‘announcing’ the interview.

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