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Wolves of the Gods
Book Two of the Timura Trilogy

Allan Cole
Del Rey Books, 387 pages

A review by Wayne MacLaurin

Wolves of the Gods is the second book in Allan Cole's Timura Trilogy. Book One, Wizard of the Winds (When the Gods Slept, in the UK), introduced us to the wizard Safar Timura just as he was about to destroy his former friend Iraj Protarus. Then it jumped back and built up the history.

Wolves of the Gods picks up shortly after the Prelude of Book One ends. Timura has called down his great spell on Protarus and destroyed his city and most of the great armies.

However, as we quickly find out, Protarus has survived and is out to seek his revenge on Timura. Bound by the Spell of Four, Protarus is now a werewolf-like creature who lusts as much for blood and death as for revenge on Timura.

Timura, once he is forced from his peaceful retreat, begins his quest for Syrapis. The legendary home of the great demon-wizard Asper, Syrapis becomes Timura's goal in the hopes of finding a cure for the ills of the world (OK, that over-simplifies it drastically but it's the general idea). Timura's quest for Syrapis and the pursuit by Protarus dominate the plot.

However, Wolves of the Gods is Book Two in a trilogy and Allan Cole spends a great deal of time building up a number of other sub-plots during the "quest." Most importantly is the rapid maturing of Palimak. The half-demon child that Timura adopted at the end of Book One continues to provide a great deal of mystery to the plot. We begin to see the outline of possible future promise for the character, but Cole -- ever the cagey writer -- doesn't give much away here. Palimak should play a much more central role in Book Three.

Others characters drift somewhat into the background. Kalasariz, the human spy-master who played a significant role in Book One is relegated to a "three stooges" role with Luka and Fari for most of the novel, but maybe he'll have a greater role in Book Three as he is one of the more inherently dangerous foes that Timura has. I, for one, am hoping Cole won't pass up the challenge Kalasariz could present.

As with many fantasies of the "quest" type, Wolves of the Gods centres around the travel from point A to point B and all the dangers in between. But Cole has managed to liven up what might otherwise have been merely a running gun battle. There are some terrific supporting characters (watch for a witch that is certainly more than she appears) and a couple of absolutely wonderful scenes -- including a reappearance of Methydia's Circus of Miracles where Cole takes the opportunity to have some fun with some great storytelling as Timura rejoins the Circus for a grand performance.

Wolves of the Gods is not intended to be a stand-alone novel and doesn't work as such. It is act two of a three act play and, when taken in that context, works wonderfully. I suspect that when Book Three appears, Wolves of the Gods will prove to be a worthy bridge between the setup and climax of the Timura Trilogy.

Copyright © 1998 by Wayne MacLaurin

Wayne MacLaurin is a regular SF Site reviewer. More of his opinions are available on our Book Reviews pages.

Wolves of the Gods
Allan Cole
Allan Cole's science fiction and fantasy works encompass the Sten Chronicles, the Antero series, and -- most recently -- The Timura Trilogy. His historical novels include A Reckoning For Kings: A Novel of Tet and A Daughter of Liberty.

Allan Cole Site
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Wizard of the Winds

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