Wind Rider's Oath
by David Weber
Category: Fiction / Fantasy
498 pages; ISBN: 0743488210
Rating: 9/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
Wind Rider's Oath
Baen, May 2004, $26.00, 498 pp.
Though badly outnumbered hradani horse stealer Bahzell Bahnakson persuaded Sothoii leader Baron Tellian to surrender to him rather than lose to him, as Bahzell is the War God’s champion (see THE WAR GOD’S OWN). As part of the agreement reached by Bahzell and Tellian, he allowed the Sothoii to go home in peace in one piece.
Named by his father the hradani chief as ambassador to the Sothoii, Bahzell travels to the Wind Plain. Being extremely tall, he sees this as an opportunity to obtain a large steed, something the Sothoii are noted for and why they detest the hradani for stealing and eating their horses.
Surprisingly several Sothoii accept Bahzell as a windrider—the first hradani to achieve such acclaim. However, between the surrender when they outnumbered the enemy by 30 to 1 even if he is the War God’s favorite and the honor of windrider bestowed upon a hradani, many Sothoii purists are outraged; this outsider has battered their pride in their heritage. An insurgency surfaces further stirred by the Goddess Queen of Hell and those who recently lost power plotting assassination to bring down the current rulers including Bahzell.
WIND RIDER’S OATH is not up to the level of excellence normally achieved by David Weber especially with this sword and sorcery fantasy series. The story line contains too many subplots that lack action and seem more like gates to future sequels. The prime tale centers on the heroic Bahzell who learns how hard it is to be a God’s champion as challengers come from everywhere. Fans of the series and Mr. Weber will be a bit disappointed, but need to consider that hradani threads go through WIND RIDER’S OATH.
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