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Raymond's Reviews #166

%T Soulsmith
%A Tom Deitz
%I Avon
%D November 1991
%O paperback, US$4.99
%P 449
%G ISBN 0-380-76289-7

Another solid fantasy from the author of the popular (unnamed) series that began with Windmaster's Bane. Deitz's strong characters, realistic writing, and affection for the South Georgia country this novel is set in all help this book a pleasure to read (though it starts slowly; persevere).

%T Shadow's Son
%A Shirley Meier
%A S. M. Stirling
%A Karen Wehrstein
%I Baen
%D November 1991
%O paperback, US$4.99
%P 442
%G ISBN 0-671-72091-0

All three of the Fifth Millennium authors come together in this book to give us the strongest work set in that milieu since The Cage (RR#3). Part of this book overlaps in time with Lion's Soul, but they're told not from Fourth Chevenga's point of view, but from Megan Whitlock's rather more complicated one. The major plotline turns on Megan's attempt to locate and rescue her son out of Arko, but there's much more going on here. Especially don't miss the hilarious scene in which Sh'kaira drags Chevenga off into the bushes...

%T Flameweaver
%A Margaret Ball
%I Baen
%D December 1991
%O paperback, US$4.99
%P 374
%G ISBN 0-671-72095-3

This charming, original fantasy has a setting unusual for the genre --- the northwest frontier of the British Raj, around 1884. Tamai is a failed sorceress in the hidden mountain kingdom of Gandhara. When the magic of Gandhara proves no match for repeating rifles in the hands of the Tsar's Cossacks, Tamai essays a perilous journey south through the mountains in search of modern arms. The adventure story that follows blends elements of high fantasy with Kipling's India -- and, in fact Kipling himself, then a newspaper correspondent, plays no insignificant role in the action. This is fun stuff, and I hope for more work as inventive from Ms. Ball.

%T Mother Lode
%A Zach Hughes
%D December 1991
%O paperback, US$
%P 208
%G ISBN 0-88677-497-7

Another competent but unexceptional space opera set in the same odd future as The Book Of Rack The Healer and The Stork Factor. When Erin Kenner musters out of the Exploration Service and heads home to a long-awaited reunion with her father, she find he's died scant weeks previously, leaving her very little outside of a battered Mule-class mining ship and directions to a solar system outside known space. So she turns asteroid miner. The plot thickens when she strikes more than gold in them thar asteroids...

Up to Eric's Home Page To Index Mon Feb 17 10:10:17 EST 1992

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