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Broken Crescent
by S. Andrew Swann

Category: Fiction / Fantasy
368 pages; ISBN: 075640214X

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner


Broken Crescent
S. Andrew Swann
Daw, May 2004, $6.99, 368 pp.
ISBN 075640214X

At one time Nate Black was one of the best hackers in the world, getting into systems that if caught could get him life in prison. Now he is a college student majoring in computer programming when he gets a series of emails from a totally anonymous person referring to him by his hacker name Azrael. He tries to ignore the notes until the day he is pulled into a portal that transports him into a medieval like world where the race of man treats the Ghadi like animals to be used, discarded and slaughtered.

Once the Ghadi were intelligent until the College of Man learned the magical words that transferred them into little more than dumb animals that can be trained. In this world the College of Man rules the kingdom in everything but name as they are effectively a church that has the power to decide what can be taught to the masses. The King and a scholar in the college are planning a coup, not caring that it will mean mass slaughter of both man and Ghadi. Nate, who has learned that the Ghadi are not what they seem, uses his computer programming spells to construct a spell that will hopefully level the playing field.

S. Andrew Swarm has created an imaginative work of speculative fiction. The protagonist is an adaptable person who refuses to be enslaved by the College of Man, the king or the gods who manipulate them all like puppets. Readers will root for the Ghadi to overthrow the chains of their oppressors with the help of Nate who they believe is their messiah. BROKEN CRESCENT is a superlative reading experience and this reviewer would like to see more books written about this true hero and this imaginative world.

Harriet Klausner


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