by Sean McMullen
Category: Fiction / Fantasy
512 pages; ISBN: 0765307979
Rating: 9/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
Tor, March 2004, $27.95, 512 pp.
In ancient times to control the deadly Torrean Storms that had made sea voyages almost impossible and to also manage other weather related magic from the ether, sorcerers create Dragonwall, a magical ring encircling the globe. The sorcerers soon discovered a by-product of their wall, etheric energy that can fry their opponents or anyone that they believed resisted their God-like prowess as absolute power corrupted even the most moralistic absolutely. Over time the ability was lost.
In the present, efforts are being made to regain control of Dragonwall with several individuals concerned about the abuse of power by the sorcerers trying to do so. Terekel the Elder and her three allies vow to destroy the ring rather than allow its magic to be reactivated at quite a cost to people. However, this is no band of brothers thriving to help mankind get out from under a yoke. Instead each member of this quartet has personal goals that are not necessarily in concert with what the team needs to do for any chance at success. If they fail to submerge their personal agendas for the better good of all, the soldiers of the Dragonwall sorcerers will destroy them even before they confront the real powerful mages.
This sequel to VOYAGE OF THE SHADOWMOON is a rousing epic fantasy that one moment is an end of the world duel of magic between good and evil, and the next is a Three Stooges slapstick scene. The back and forth twists work even while the characters change lead position. Fans of satirical epic fantasy will appreciate this wild ride that lends with a world still out of equilibrium.
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