Thursday, September 08, 2011

A new Review for Rast

Thanks to Lady Rosalie Skinner, a fellow Muse author, for pointing out I had a new review for Rast on its Amazon Kindle page. Thanks also to 'Unhinged' from Eugene Oregon for the review. If you see this, Unhinged, you must have been reading SF and Fantasy for as long as I have. The lack of something new in fantasy was one of my reasons for writing Rast.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
4.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing!, July 26, 2011
Unhinged (Eugene, OR, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Rast (Kindle Edition)
When you have read as much science fiction and fantasy as I have (I started with Asimov's "Pebble in the Sky" back in the '50's) it gets harder and harder to find new ideas. I was delighted to discover a truly original (at least to me) take on magic in this high fantasy novel.

There are bad times a-brewing in the world of Rast. The old ruler is dying, finally overcome by the magic he has controlled throughout his reign (more about this in a bit). His son and successor, Prince Egon, is uncertain and untested in what he must do to master this same magic, which is vital to the survival of the realm. The prince must not only conquer the magic and learn to use it, he must also marry a princess from a related line of magic-users to produce an heir able to take over when the time comes. Problem is, the woman the prince has loved from childhood is not the one who can give him this heir. If this isn't enough, his kingdom has been invaded, not once, but twice. Fanatic hordes from the north have descended upon his realm, and an anti-magic empire from across the sea has sent a force to conquer with fire and iron.

What impressed me the most about Rast was the author's depiction of magic as a sentient force that must be conquered by those who would use it, and which would eventually and inevitably destroy the user. This was a new one for me, and it is well thought out and well handled.

The sub themes of the conflict between magic and science, the political intrigue, the forbidden love between the prince and the woman he has loved since they were children, all are woven together in a complex plot that requires the reader to pay attention. That attention is rewarded by a well-crafted story.

There are a couple of places where the author gets a little carried away with descriptive passages, but even those are well-written, just a little too long. In general, the world is believable, the characters equally so (I got really fond of Jady) and the action first-rate. If you enjoy high fantasy, you'll enjoy Rast.

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