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Alaric Swifthand
Steve Lazarowitz
Crossroads Publishing, 250 pages

Alaric Swifthand
Steve Lazarowitz
Steve Lazarowitz reads and writes fantasy and SF, as well as SF Site reviews. His work has been published in a number of online 'zines including The Wandering Troll, Jackhammer, AnotherRealm and Planet Relish. His first short story anthology A Creative Edge: Tales of Speculation is available from Darkstar Publications.

ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Dream Sequence and Other Tales from Beyond
Crossroads Publishing

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Jonathan Fesmire

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If you enjoy speculative fiction and spend much time on the Web, chances are you've heard of author Steve Lazarowitz. If you hadn't before, now you have and believe me, if you read his fiction you won't be sorry.

Lazarowitz is master of the plot twist and nothing shows this better than his once-serialized novel, Alaric Swifthand. The novel, comprised of three novellas (the first two were previously published in Dragonsclaw, but the third is new), reads like a serial. Almost every chapter ends with a cliffhanger and includes a plot twist that throws the reader off.

With such a structure it would be easy to lose plot continuity, but the story remains strong and cohesive. By the end of each section, it seems that events had to happen as they did.

Alaric Mason, later to be called Swifthand for a battle he had not intended to fight, lives in a dangerous world and often finds himself thrust into situations more perilous than he could conceive. Almost everyone he meets has a secret, sometimes shocking, sometimes deadly. His adventures lead him to a powerful magic sword, rat people, and maidens in peril.

The setting is medieval, but the book is filled with modern sensibilities. Though this could have cut into the story's credibility, it does not. It actually works very well and rounds out some of the already interesting characters.

With swift action, surprises, and thought-provoking problems, Alaric Swifthand is a joy to read.

Copyright © 2000 by Jonathan Fesmire

Jonathan Fesmire has travelled to France, Germany, Estonia, Finland, and Ireland. He enjoys speaking French and learning bits of other foreign languages, but most of all, he loves writing, and has sold fiction to Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine, SpaceWays Weekly, Jackhammer, and others.


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