Up to Eric's Home Page To Index Wed Jun 12 12:07:37 EDT 1991

Raymond's Reviews #115

%T Lion's Heart
%A Karen Wehrstein
%I Baen Books
%D March 1991
%O paperback, US$4.95
%P 410
%G 0-671-72044-9

Most of what you need to know about this book is that (a) it's set in the universe of S.M. Stirling and Shirley Meier's The Cage (RR#3) and (b) it's part 1 of a trilogy. Despair not -- the writing is competent and the world is interesting. The result has many of the virtues of The Cage, even though the writer is detectably a tyro working within genre formulas. If you liked The Cage (and I did, a lot) you'll enjoy this too.

%T Castleview
%A Gene Wolfe
%I Tor 
%D January 1991
%O paperback, US$4.95
%P 279
%G 0-812-50625-1

What happens to a sleepy Illinois town when mythological realms suddenly impinge, in a half dozen different ways, upon everyday life? Wolfe's "Castleview," the most original fantasy of its kind to hit the market in quite a while, is the answer to that question. The best feature of the book is the fidelity with which Wolfe represents the townfolk's attempt to rationalize the sudden appearances and disappearances of humanoid monsters, legendary figures, a talking cat, the Wild Hunt, and (apparently) ordinary people. If you can, resist Wolfe's skillful attempts to seduce you into devouring this book at a breakneck pace; keeping track of the details is essential to appreciating the denouement. [Guest reviewer: Cathy Olanich]

%T Shadow of the Seventh Moon
%A Nancy Varian Berberick
%I Berkeley/Ace
%D March 1991
%O paperback, US$4.50
%P 303
%G 0-441-76055-4

This atmospheric fantasy takes us (with unusual and gratifying attention to historical detail) into 6th-century Anglo-Saxon England, to hear the life-tale of the Dwarf Garroc, who is among the last of his kind. Cursed by Odin after they attempted to steal thw apples of immortality, the Dwarf race is long-lived but barren, and Garroc has turned away from his craft as a skald to wield a sword -- and lives in fear that the berserker-madness that has taken so many of his fellows will devour him as well. How he finds his way out of that fear and to some peace with himself is the matter of this novel. Along the way there is plenty of drama and not a little insight into human character. Fine stuff; recommended.

%T A Book Dragon
%A Donn Kushner
%I Avon
%D March 1991
%O paperback, US$3.50
%P 197
%G 0-380-70769

This is a charming light fantasy, suitable for children of any age. It gives us the tale of Nonesuch, perhaps the world's only miniature dragon, who spends nearly six hundred years learning that books are his treasure and subsequently does doughty dragonly deeds defending a bookstore against a crooked real-estate developer. Manages to be very sweet while avoiding gooeyness and excessive sentimentality. Recommended.

Up to Eric's Home Page To Index Wed Jun 12 12:07:37 EDT 1991

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