Disclosure: This book was received as part of the LibraryThing Early Reviewer Program.
Without looking at the author notes in the back of the book it was clear from the beginning that this was originally not an English-language book. I suspected this based on how some of the early character interactions were structured. Editorially, it tightens up considerably later in the book into more commonly used (Americanized) sentence and paragraph structures.
It quickly develops along classical fairy tale lines; a fatherless prince, druids, and magii. Magic is commonplace, but not everyone is ‘Endowed’ with that talent. There are other woodland residents; some friendly, some indifferent, and some downright malign. A sudden increase in evil and dangerous creatures set the stage for destruction.
Pursuing an artifact that may save his people Vragio finds himself – or, rather is found by Nik, an unlikely geek – in the current time. His journey, it seems, has led him through not only magical layers of the Universe, but also of Time. Weres and Witches and darker creatures still exist, but appear in very different forms. There doesn’t seem to be a magical veil from which to draw Energy, but Vragio finds there is, in fact, a little magic left in this time.
The story plays out in nearly classical fairy tale fashion. Without leaving spoilers Vragio does find the Sword of the Northern Ancestors and heads back to his own time in space. There are many, many loose ends by the end of the book implying, if not requiring, additional books in this series. I look forward to seeing where these characters go. Even with the trials of translation they have been made full and rich enough to care about, and despite the somewhat predictable progression, I want to see where the story takes me next.
Wonderful, Classic, Super-Science Fiction! No worry about hard science or techno-geekery. A collection of short stories from the 1950s pulp magazine o...moreWonderful, Classic, Super-Science Fiction! No worry about hard science or techno-geekery. A collection of short stories from the 1950s pulp magazine of the same name. Early work by writers who have become icons of the genre, written without pressure or pretentiousness are a true joy to read. Pure, delightful, speculative sci-fi. Shorts make it an ideal book for the nightstand or the break room when you only have a few minutes to read. You will be transported into the alternate realities (and some futures) as envisioned by great creative minds a generation (or two) ago. Well worth reading in small bites -- all the better to savor the taste and texture of each story individually.(less)
A very nice surprise! I don't knowingly start series in the middle, but as a reviewer I get what I get. In this case it was engaging enough that I'm...more A very nice surprise! I don't knowingly start series in the middle, but as a reviewer I get what I get. In this case it was engaging enough that I'm going to hunt up books one and two, and wait and watch for book 4. I want to see the progression of how they got from wherever to here. The book is the third of a stated Trilogy, but the ending is a clear and unambiguous opening for a book Four.
Strong, smart, resourceful female characters. Without having the backstory from books One and Two I'm still missing some key pieces, but the fundamental basics of each character's thread become clear enough. The interweaving of circumstance that link Caitlin, Jules and Sofia are as complex as the shattered world in which they live. Politics, society, and general order are all in a state of flux and potential upheaval. Each of these women has a Cause -- and in working toward them, end up on paths that cross and sometimes coincide.
This isn't exactly a techno-thriller, an action adventure, or a political intrigue novel, although there are elements of all three. There are very few true surprises, but it's not so predictable as to be a 'formula' book. As a stand alone it's not quite rich enough in detail to make the events of the previous books clear, but it's skillfully written and moves fast. As I said before, it was engaging enough that I *will* find and read Without Warning and After America.(less)