Sbuchler's Reviews > The Cutting Edge

The Cutting Edge by Dave Duncan
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's review
Jul 03, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: scifi-fantasy, read-in-2008
Read in July, 2008

Genre: High Fantasy

This is the first in the _A Handful of Men_ series, which is a sequel series to the _A Man of His Word_ series. It's set 15 years later, and while many of the cast of characters is familiar, they are now the "older" generation, while their kids are the teenagers full of daring-do. Unfortunately, as time would have it, the "older" characters from the first series are too old to actively participate or have already passed on.

The premise is that during Rap's justice-for-all and happily-ever-after sequence at the end of _A Man of His Word_ he made a big mistake and totally threw off the balance of power in the world. Most of this book is spent wondering exactly what that mistake was (so I won't spoil it here). It's approaching the year 3000, and the millennium has historically been a very uncertain time magic-wise; both previous millennium celebrations experienced the only two extremely serious threats to the Protocol to have happened. (The Protocol is the treaty that keeps magic out of politics - mostly - and keeps wars from being fought with magic; the last time it was used in war, an entire race was eliminated. Supposedly.) Given the approach of the millennium, and Rap's mistake (whatever it was), things are poised to take a very nasty turn.

This book is mostly set-up - introducing new and old characters, and getting you used to the "status quo" before things get really going, presumably in the next book. Having just finished _A Man of His Word_ I was most interested in the Rap and Inos sections of the book, and am incredibly curious how Rap will get his power back to fight the impending threat, but the new characters (the soon-to-be Imperior Shandie, his commoner wife, and the magically-gifted pixie Thaile) have all managed to entrance me too.

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