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Deathstalker Return
Simon R. Green
Roc, 474 pages

Deathstalker Return
Simon R. Green
Simon R. Green was born in 1955 in Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, England. He obtained an M.A. in Modern English and American Literature from Leicester University and he also studied history and has a combined Humanities degree. After several years of publishers' rejection letters, he sold seven novels in 1988, just two days after he started working at Bilbo's bookshop in Bath. This was followed by a commission to write the novelization of the Kevin Costner film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. He is a British Fantasy Society (BFS) member and still finds time to do some Shakespearean acting.

ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Drinking Midnight Wine
SF Site Review: Beyond The Blue Moon
SF Site Interview: Simon R. Green
SF Site Review: Deathstalker Destiny
SF Site Review: Swords of Haven
SF Site Review: Deathstalker Honor
SF Site Review: Twilight of the Empire
SF Site Review: Deathstalker Rebellion
Simon R. Green Tribute Site

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Cindy Lynn Speer

Many years ago, Owen Deathstalker and his friends saved humanity and created a golden age, one that is now endangered from within as well as without. There is a prophecy that states that when they need Owen again, he will come back, and boy, do they need him.

In a past book (Deathstalker Legacy), Owen's descendant, Lewis, fell in love with his closest friend and King's betrothed, Jesamine Flowers. He gave up his status as Paragon and Champion to run away with her. He and the crew of his ship form a motley team. There's Rose, a psychopath who can't get enough of killing, who is bound mentally with con man and coward Brett Random, as well as the reptilian Saturday. They all have one goal -- to find Owen so that he can stop the Terror, a rather frighteningly described eater of worlds.

Meanwhile, King Duncan has his own problems. While mourning the loss of his best friend and wife to be, he was very isolated from the world. Finn Durandal took full advantage of this, and has sown seeds of dissent among Duncan's former allies, seeds that blossom with the revelation that the one who was meant to be king before Duncan is still alive, just hidden because of Duncan's plotting. But is this "king" a real king, or merely more of his clever schemes?

Deathstalker Return is a very light hearted swashbuckling adventure. A lot of things are played for fun. Brett's overwhelming cowardice is often quite funny, as is his strange relationship with Rose. They make the world's most unlikely couple, as they try to learn from the bound they have -- she to love and he to be a little more brave.

Personally, the highlight of Deathstalker Return was the worlds they visited on their search for Owen. A favorite was a world made of metals. The trees were gold and silver, and every aspect of that world was some sort of metal, except for its primary inhabitants, the dragons. I also thought the monsters were ingenious, from beautiful to creepy, Simon R. Green's menagerie of creatures is very imaginative. I think that the scene where the group tries to recover the Deathstalker Steading (all the nobles have or used to have flying castles, and the Deathstalker one was crashed) and a whole slew of humanoid monsters comes after them, hoping that Lewis holds the key to returning them to humanity. I also thought the Madness Maze was interesting. It's a place where if you exit it alive you'll find yourself possessed of super powers.

You certainly can read this book by itself. Green gives you plenty of context, but I think that you'd probably enjoy it more if you read the book before it. If you're in the mood for a cleverly imagined, fun space adventure, then you'll want to consider strapping in with this band.

Copyright © 2004 Cindy Lynn Speer

Cindy Lynn Speer loves books so much that she's designed most of her life around them, both as a librarian and a writer. Her books aren't due out anywhere soon, but she's trying. You can find her site at

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