Up to Eric's Home Page To Index Mon Sep 03 08:25:03 EDT 1990

Raymond's Reviews #77

I'm going to be doing lots of short takes for a while to catch up with summer stuff that came out either during my August vacation or the deadline crunch before it...

%T A Knight of Ghosts and Shadows
%A Mercedes Lackey & Ellen Guyon
%I Baen
%D July 1990
%O paperback, US$4.95
%P 345
%G 0-671-69885-0

This amiable bit of fluff follows the adventures of a street musician and Renaissance-faire habitue who discovers one day that his flute-playing is a little too good -- good enough to get him dangerously entangled with an enclave of Elves struggling to survive the rigors of urban life in California. Melodrama, romance and the odd bit of comedy ensue as he is called on to save the day. Despite the male viewpoint character this book is clearly aimed at female fantasy fans, and should please many of them.

%T Jaguar
%A Bill Ransom
%I Ace
%D July 1990
%O paperback, US$3.95
%P 294
%G 0-441-70353-4

This is a bizarre and original but not quite satisfying fantasy by Frank Herbert's coauthor on the trashy bestseller The Ascension Factor. The author doubtless thinks he wrote an SF novel but the premise is incoherent and the appeal strictly archetypal and `literary' rather than through logical coherence and world-building detail. Resembles Herbert on a bad day, sententious leadoff quotes for each chapter and all.

%T The Diamond Throne
%A David Eddings
%I Del Rey
%D July 1990
%O paperback, US$5.95
%P 435
%G 0-345-36769-3

Sigh. OK, I liked the Belgariad, but I found the Malloreon unreadable and this new series has nothing new to offer. Maybe Eddings is one of those sad cases with only one good book in him. This is strictly predictable buckle-swashing as the Queen's Champion in a medievaloid kingdom quests for the cure to a sinister magical disease induced by scheming courtiers. Yawn.

%T A Landscape of Darkness
%A John Blair
%I Ballantine/Del Rey
%D July 1990
%O paperback, US$3.95
%P 247
%G 0-345-36517-8

This cliche-ridden debut novel pits an interstellar mercenary with an attitude against an alien immortal with a thirst for blood. Actually, the writing and world-building is better than you'd expect from that synopsis; Blair might actually produce something interesting if he ever cooks up a more original premise.


The Dungeon #6 (Phillip Jose Farmer), Magic's Price (Mercedes Lackey) More of those interminable fantaseries.

Starstrike (W. Michael Gear) The stench rising from the pages was just too intense...

Up to Eric's Home Page To Index Mon Sep 03 08:25:03 EDT 1990

Eric S. Raymond <esr@snark.thyrsus.com>