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The Seer King by Chris Bunch, Warner Aspect
Bleak Seasons: Book One of Glittering Stone by Glen Cook, Tor
Einstein's Bridge by John Cramer, Avon
Serpentwar Saga by Raymond E. Feist, Avon
The Memory Cathedral by Jack Dann, Bantam
The Legend of Deathwalker by David Gemmell, Corgi
Cormyr by Ed Greenwood and Jeff Grubb, TSR
Waking The Moon by Elizabeth Hand, HarperPrism
Assassin's Quest by Robin Hobb, Bantam Spectra
The Waterborn by J. Gregory Keyes, Del Rey
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Shadow Moon by George Lucas and Chris Claremont, Bantam Spectra
A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, Bantam Spectra
Magnificat by Julian May, Knopf
Dawning of a New Age by Jean Rabe, TSR
The Dragon King R. A. Salvatore, Warner Aspect
Passage to Dawn by R. A. Salvatore, TSR
Exile's Challenge by Angus Wells, Bantam Spectra
City of Bones by Martha Wells, Tor
Rage of a Demon King by Raymond E. Feist
The Dragon King
R. A. Salvatore, Warner Aspect

Salvatore, concludes his saga, Crimson Shadow with the final chapter in the war against the evil sorcerer/king,Greensparrow. It's a sequel to Sword of Bedwyr and Luthien's Gamble .

Salvatore writes quite compeling action-adventure novels and this one is no different. When the series first started, it was a refreshing change of pace from his more popular TSR-based Drizzt series. The hero, Luthien Bedwyr, was inexperienced and alone among a sea of enemies. By the third book, Luthien has become a legendary warrior capable of defeating any opponent. Ho-hum. The suspense is gone. Worse still, the evil wizard is reduced to a bumbling fool who constantly underestimates his opponents. How many times does the big, bad, evil army have to get routed before the evil wizard realizes that he's in trouble? Once? Twice? Well, here in The Dragon King, Greensparrow makes this mistake over and over and over. Hardly the actions of a powerful and feared wizard who conquered several nations.

The Dragon King is an OK read but definitely not Salvatore's best.


Passage to Dawn
by R. A. Salvatore, TSR

[Cover] The latest book in TSR's very popular series about Drizzt, the renegade drow, this one begins about six years after the previous novel. Now, we find Drizzt and Cattie-brie off sailing the oceans, hunting pirates. (I'm still not sure what the logic was that took our heroes from the frozen north to being sailors but... hey, its a minor point). It's not long before Drizzt once again has to face his past. This time, it's the Fiend, Errtu (whom Drizzt defeated in an earlier series). Errtu, out for revenge, has managed to get his talons on the spirit of a former companion of Drizzt to be used for bait. Salvatore makes a weak attempt at trying to convince the reader that the companion in question is Drizzt's father but its pretty obvious that it's really the barbarian, Wulgar (thought to have been killed in a previous book).

Regardless of the underlying plot, Salvatore manages to captivate me for over 300 pages before reaching the climax that reunites Drizzt and his companions for the epic battle with the Fiend. The outcome is really never in doubt, but it's still a great tale that keeps the reader wondering how the plot will be resolved. One question remains... what can Salvatore do next? There is a brief mention of a new Drizzt novel by another author (Mark Anthony) but no hint whether Salvatore intends to continue his best selling series.


The Waterborn
by J. Gregory Keyes, Del Rey

[Cover] Billed as the next great epic and in the tradition of Robert Jordan, this novel does have a very interesting and complex background. Rather than the traditional European feel to this fantasy, Keyes has chosen to set his novel against a Mesopetanian-influenced mythos. Unfortunately for me, the plot doesn't captivate my imagination as much as the background does. The result is a novel that feels like it fails to deliver its potential. I guess Del Rey is going to have to keep looking for its answer to Robert Jordan.


City of Bones
by Martha Wells, Tor

[Cover] The back cover promised a novel of intrigue and adventure. It wasn't lying. The novel is set against a complex background of political intrigue and social chaos in a fantasy world where, sometime in the past, the land has been blasted into a hostile desert with only a few isolated pockets humanity clinging to large city-states. The political in-fighting, combined with the chaos of a poverty-ridden class society, is actually more interesting than the main story. The central plot of the beautiful noblewoman and the talented lower-class thief/merchant is fairly average fantasy. However, the background material and a cast of secondary characters (who are much more interesting) still makes City of Bones a worthwhile read.



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