Fantasy/SF Book Reviews

The Eyes of God by John Marco

Daw, January, 2002
Hardcover, 688 pages
ISBN: 0756400473
Ordering information:

The Eyes of God
by John Marco The youthful King Akeela is determined to wage peace as fiercely as his late father waged war. In order to finally end a long war, he travels to Reec, the city of his age-old enemies, to form an alliance. He is accompanied by the Bronze Knight, his childhood friend Lukien, who was raised with Akeela after Lukien rescued the young Akeela from street toughs. Lifelong friends, the two men are inseparable. Akeela agrees to marry Cassandra, the beautiful daughter of King Karis, and they return to Liiria, against the advice of Lukien, who senses that the marriage may not be a good idea. But the marriage goes forward, and tragedy ensues. Despite their best intentions, Lukien and Cassandra fall in love. When Cassandra falls deathly ill, Akeela sends Lukien and two companions on a desperate journey to the faraway desert land of Jador to find The Eyes of God, two mystical amulets which can reportedly cure any ill and bestow immortality. But the extraordinary quest is just the beginning of this compelling fantasy tale, which is full of adventure, political intrigue, battles, magic, mystery and forbidden love.

John Marco, critically acclaimed author of the Tyrants and Kings trilogy (The Jackal of Nar, The Grand Design and The Saints of the Sword) returns with another breathtaking epic fantasy which is sure to cement his reputation as one of the hottest new fantasy authors around. Always inventive, Marco takes the standard quest device and takes it a step further by asking the unusual question: what happens after the quest is completed? In this case, quite a bit. The characters change and evolve in complex ways over the course of the book. From the quiet Akeela who harbors an obsession with his wife, to the beautiful Cassandra who pays a terrible price for her eternal beauty, to the quiet bravery of the long-suffering Lukien, all the characters are vividly portrayed. John Marco is a major fantasy talent who is sure to garner more fans with his newest series. Highly recommended.

--Claire E. White

Enchanter by Sara Douglass

Tor, October, 2001
Hardcover, 511 pages
ISBN: 0312875827
Ordering information:

by Sara Douglass This is the second book in the six-part Wayfarer Redemption series by bestselling Australian author Sara Douglass, which is now being released in the United States. In Enchanter, Axis Sunsoar has discovered his true heritage -- that he is a powerful enchanter of the birdlike Icarii. His life is linked with a mysterious prophecy; Axis is destined to play a large role in the fate of the world, which is on the verge of destruction. Axis must battle his two half-brothers and his love for two very different women: the lovely Faraday, who is the abused wife of his half brother Borneheld, and the mysterious Azhure. Icarii family ties are complex and full of intrigue -- there is betrayal, conspiracy, jealousy aplenty in this family. And Axis has great challenges ahead of him if he is to fulfill the prophecy and save the world he loves.

Sara Douglass is new to American fantasy fans, but she has quite a following in Australia. Her world building abilities are excellent, and her high fantasy epic will also have plenty of appeal to romance lovers. There is magic, adventure and passion here, as well as a skillfully told story and vivid characters. Lovers of epic fantasy have quite a treat for them with the release of Sara Douglass' works in the United States.

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