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Touched By The Gods
Lawrence Watt-Evans
Tor Books, 384 pages

Touched By The Gods
Lawrence Watt-Evans
Lawrence Watt-Evans is the author of The Lords of Dus series (The Lure of the Basilisk, The Seven Altars of Dusarra, The Sword of Bheleu and The Book of Silence), as well as The Rebirth of Wonder (Wildside Press/Tor 1992), Split Heirs (with Esther Friesner), and the Three Worlds trilogy, among many others.

Lawrence Watt-Evans Website
ISFDB Bibliography

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Jim Greer

What does it mean to be touched by the gods? That is the fundamental question surrounding Lawrence Watt-Evans new book, Touched By The Gods.

The book follows the life of Malledd, a smith from a small village in the middle of the Domdur Empire. Malledd also has another avocation, however. At his birth, a priest comes to announce that Malledd is the legendary Champion of the Domdur, chosen by the 100 Gods and given boundless energy (he never tires), extraordinary strength and the ability to inspire others, particularly in battle.

As a result, Malledd gains a certain notoriety, in his village at least, which doesn't really sit well with him. All he wants is to live a normal life but the priest's visit has denied him that.

As well, the Domdur Empire has been at peace for two generations and is ruling the world quite nicely all on its own. There doesn't seem to be a need for a champion any more, so Malledd seems to have been denied his normal life for no good reason.

But, of course, there is a reason. Trouble is stirring in the Eastern lands and soon insurrection and an ancient nightmare have risen, plunging the world into chaos. The Gods' oracles have fallen silent and no one, including Malledd, is sure what to do.

Watt-Evans has constructed a clever, thought-provoking story that moves with good pace. The characters are slightly static, but well-drawn and interesting. There is enough mystery and intrigue to keep the reader glued to the story. In fact, even though Touched By The Gods is essentially a war story, it is the questions raised by the story's events that drive the book. Who is the mysterious force behind the insurrection? Why have the gods fallen silent? What will/should Malledd do?

Overall, Touched By The Gods is definitely a recommended read. It will keep the reader interested and entertained.

Copyright © 1998 by Jim Greer

Jim Greer has been a journalist for 12 years. He is currently doing free-lance work so he can spend more quality time chasing his 2 year old around.

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