Fantasy/SF Book Reviews

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Link by Walt Becker

William Morrow, November 1998.
Hardcover, 388 pages.
ISBN: 0688158226.
Ordering information:

Cover of Link
by Walt Becker On a dig near a Dogon village in Mali, Anthropologist Samantha Colby makes a discovery so remarkable that it could change the way we think about our evolution and history. She knows the one man who will understand her discovery is her old boyfriend, paleoanthropologist Jack Austin, whom she left because of his radical theories that alienated him from the scientific community. Jack, busy teaching students on a field research project, flies in to see what the mystery is and finds that his unorthodox ideas have been vindicated. With Jack's help, the discovery leads them to a powerful technology that could change the world. However, Samantha's new lover, Benjamin Dorn, is a greedy arms dealer, and he is funding the project and wants everything for himself. The CIA has also caught wind of the ongoing project leaving Jack and Samantha only a small amount of time to figure out how the discovery connects to the evolution of mankind and where else it will lead.

Walt Becker is a novelist to keep an eye on after this unbelievable debut. Link scores from all angles and helps paint a picture of common scientific principles that may be falling by the wayside to theories that seem extraordinary, but may have merit. From the Pyramids in Egypt to the rain forests of South America, Becker tells a powerful tale that turns our unsolved archaeological mysteries into a thrilling science fiction adventure. Highly Recommended.

Sky Trillium by Julian May

Del Rey, September 1998.
Paperback, 371 pages.
ISBN: 0345380010.
Ordering information:

Cover of Sky Trillium
by Julian May The fantasy world of the Black Trillium was created by Fantasy/SF superstars Julian May, Andre Norton and Marion Zimmer Bradley. In this third book in the series, Julian May goes it alone to tell the continuing story of the three Princesses Kadiya, Anigel and Haramis. Each sister owns one of the three talismans, which together form the Sky Trillium which can save the World of the Three Moons from destruction by the evil forces that are gathering to annihilate the world. The planet appears to be tearing itself apart with terrible earthquakes, strange weather and flooding occurring with increasing intensity and frequency. The three sisters face obstacles on all sides: Anigel's talisman is missing, and Kadiya's talisman has ceased to work at all. To make things even worse, the evil (yet attractive) sorcerer Osgaroth is not quite as dead as everyone thought he was at the end of the last book and it seems as if he is part of the evil that is overtaking the world. The three sisters must use all their talent, wits and determination to find the answers and save their precious world from destruction.

Sky Trillium is an interesting story which continues the story of the three princesses readers came to know in Black Trillium. The character development of the three sisters, especially of Anigel, and the insights into the creation of the world and the explanation of the Ancient Ones are welcome and make for a satisfying ending to the Trillium tale.

Song for the Basilisk by Patricia A. McKillip

ACE, September 1998.
Hardcover, 314 pages.
ISBN: 0441004474.
Ordering information:

Cover of Song for the Basilisk
by Patricia A. McKillip Left for dead when a conquering force killed his once-powerful family, a boy is renamed Rook and sent to a remote island to be raised by the bards, great musician-poets. He can't remember his past, but he has always been troubled by strange dreams. He sets out on a journey and, after several adventures, he recovers his childhood memories as well as his extraordinary inherited magical skills. He returns to the city of Berylon and takes a job as a music librarian at the castle of the evil Basilisk, who destroyed Rook's family and subjugated the countryside. Rook becomes involved with Court intrigue and soon realizes that it is his destiny to confront the Basilisk and his powerful daughter Luna in a test of magics which will determine the fate of the country.

The first thing that will strike the reader about Song for the Basilisk is the beautiful cover art by Kinuko Y. Craft, which captures the idea of the story perfectly. Music and magic are the themes of this book, and they are interwoven flawlessly into this tale of a man looking for his roots. Even the writing has a musical, lyrical quality that will charm fantasy lovers and music lovers alike.

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