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Book Reviews

Hi! I write one book review a week both for my newsletter and for a newsletter at The Site Fights. I've decided to post them here, too. If you don't already, I suggest that you subscribe to my newsletter--there's a lot of good stuff in it.


Firebird


by Mercedes Lackey


Firebird--the legendary creature of Medeival Russia, made of fire, who turns to a beautiful woman and whose singing lulls men into an enchanted sleep.
Ilya is the son of a greedy and suspicious minor tsar. When Ilya's father's cherries are stolen from his prized orchard, Ilya is determined to be the one to find the culprit. To his suprise, it is the Firebird, thought by all to be a myth. Ilya keeps the culprit's identity to himself, and so is rewarded by the Firebird with the gift to speak to animals--a very useful skill when Ilya is forced to run away from his home.
In the course of his journeys across Russia, Ilya hears of a beautiful girl held captive by an evil wizard. When he sees her, he is certain that he has found the love of his--but has he? And of course, the wizard is bound to present a problem...
Firebird is full of twists as unexpected as those of the mazes so common to Russia at that time. With all the enchantment of a fairytale and Mercedes Lackey's usual masterful skill at creating the perfect plot and storyline, Firebird is a must-read for fantasy-lovers. For, as with all fairytales, it is the ending that is the best part.


Fortress in the Eye of Time


by C.J. Cherryh


Once, long ago, a great empire had been built by the Galasieni. They built the city of Galasien, on the banks of the river Lenualim, and ruled for many centuries. Two great powers existed in Galasien; the royal line, and the wizards.
To become a wizard required much, but resulted in nearly ultimate power. Power that could be used for good, but could also fall into the wrong hands...
Thus began the story, Fortress in the Eye of Time. Through the fall of the Galasieni Empire, the rise and fall of the Sihhe kings from the north, and finally the division of the land into two countries; Ylesuin and Elwynor, one ruled by a Sihhe regency, the other by the house of Marhanan, Galasien, later called Ynefel, stood. Hidden within its walls was the wizard Mauryl, the most powerful wizard in all history.
Yet Mauryl had an enemy, an enemy that could only be defeated by a man long gone to his grave. So Mauryl instead created a Shaping, a young man who could carry on Mauryl's work. The man was named Tristen.
Mauryl was finally defeated by his enemy, an evil wizard named Hasufin, and left Tristen to fend for his own in a harsh and unforgiving world, with Hasufin to defeat...and his own heritage to face.
Fortress in the Eye of Time is a very long but very good book. The first in C.J. Cherryh's "Fortress" series, Fortress in the Eye of Time is filled with twisting side plots, action, intriuge, mystery, betrayal, and love.
Unfortuneatly, while Fortress in the Eye of Time has many good aspects, there are a few degrading qualities. The first part of the book moves very slowly, and it can be a little confusing at times. If you like non-stop action and little talk, or if you want a book with a very fast pace, this book is not for you!
However, it is still very enjoyable if you can sit through or even enjoy little side trips, talk, or even politics, the way I can. I would immidietly suggest Fortress in the Eye of Time to any lover of deep fantasy.


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