Up to Eric's Home Page To Index Sun Jun 09 23:29:17 EDT 1991

Raymond's Reviews #106

I've been busy with my own book for months now, but I'm finally out from under and Raymond's Reviews will start appearing regularly once again -- but mostly short takes until I catch up. This is January releases #3.

%T The Horse of Flame
%A Josepha Sherman
%I Avon Fantasy
%D December 1990
%O paperback, US$3.95
%P 345
%G 0-380-75815-6

Like her previous novel, "The Shining Falcon," Josepha Sherman's latest work, "The Horse of Fame," builds its tale upon and within the cosmos of Russian folk myth. Sherman's writing is far from scintillating, but she clearly has a broad knowledge of Russian folk tale, with its numerous leshys, hags, and other magical and magic-weaving forest denizens -- a knowledge that she uses to full advantage. Moreover, by comparison to the vast majority of fantasy novels, which are crammed with shop-worn Celtic motifs, Sherman's simple Russian story feels like a breath of fresh air. Hopefully, her stories will inspire other fantasy authors to tap the mythic treasures of non-Celtic cultures. [This by guest reviewer Cathy Olanich -- ESR]

%T The Hawk's Gray Feather
%A Patricia Kennealy
%I Roc Fantasy
%D January 1991
%O paperback, US$4.95
%P 400
%G 0-451-45053-1

Having introduced us to the planet-hopping, high-tech culture of Keltia in her first trilogy, "The Tales of Aeron," Kennealy begins with this book, "The Hawk's Gray Feather," the tale of Keltia's ancient history. This "history," which is yet another retelling of Arthurian legend, has virtually no science fiction elements about it, because it is the story of Keltia's struggle to be free of a sorcerous oppressor who has (conveniently) forbidden high technology. Consequently, it does not read like science fiction. It reads more like a competent, unpretentious Celtic fantasy -- a Celtic fantasy more faithful to the spirit of the Arthurian legends than most of the novelizations currently available in the marketplace. [This by guest reviewer Cathy Olanich -- ESR]

%T Lavondyss
%A Robert Holdstock
%I Avon Fantasy
%D January 1991
%O paperback, US$4.50
%P 388
%G 0-380-71184-2

"Lavondyss" is Robert Holdstock's second novel about a Herefordshire wood with energy flows that permit the generation of mythagos, flesh-and-blood avatars of archetypal figures, by the unconscious minds of visitors. Unlike "Mythago Wood," his first novel Holdstock based on this premise, "Lavondyss" largely ignores the whys and wherefores of mythago generation to tell a haunting tale of a young girl's shamanic journey through Britain's neolithic ice age. Holdstock's blend of history, fantasy, and myth holds the reader's interest, while his prose style paints images that linger long in the reader's memory. Fantasy lovers will be enthralled, and readers normally indifferent to the genre may well find much to savor -- and to think about. [This by guest reviewer Cathy Olanich -- ESR]

Up to Eric's Home Page To Index Sun Jun 09 23:29:17 EDT 1991

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