I selected this book knowing that it was originally published in 1978, by an author who was most prolific during that decade. Although that’s also the decade when I started reading sci-fi and fantasy avidly, I’d never read anything by her – and wanted to see what I’d missed out on!
Well… it was OK. However, the plot was firmly within genre tropes, without any strikingly original flourishes. The language was mainly unremarkable – but interspersed with occasional stilted phrases and overly-florid passages.
The main character, Danaer (I’ll call him Dan) is a warrior of the horse tribes of Destre-Y, a country which has long been in conflict with the neighboring kingdom of Clarique, although both groups are part of the land of Krantin. When Krantin is invaded by warriors from over the sea from Maukland, led by an evil and power-hungry wizard who has no compunctions about using men as zombie warriors to gain personal advantage, Dan must try to help form an alliance between Clarique and Destre-Y in order to work together and repel the attack.
It doesn’t hurt that one of the wizards of Clarique is a most-alluring young Sorceress named Lira, whom Dan has no trouble wanting to ally himself with at all. Soon their alliance is more than professional. Together – and accompanied by a fearsome sidekick in the person of the huge but goodhearted warrior Gordyan, they may be able to save their homeland and create a unified Krantin.
Before we get there though, there will be a lot of swords & sorcery.
Since this is clearly advertised as “Book 1” I was afraid that it’d end on a cliffhanger – but I was pleased to find that, no, this book wraps everything up in a nice, fully-resolved manner – it’s fully a stand-alone.
Many thanks to Venture Press and NetGalley for the opportunity to read. As always, my opinions are solely my own.