Springwar

Tom Deitz, Author
Tom Deitz, Author Spectra Books $13.95 (448p) ISBN 978-0-553-37864-1
Reviewed on: 07/03/2000
Release date: 07/01/2000
Ebook - 390 pages - 978-0-307-43461-6
Mass Market Paperbound - 576 pages - 978-0-553-57647-4
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-20445-4
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Second to Bloodwinter in Dietz's Tale of Eron series, this bulked-up and lumbering fantasy quest traces two coming-of-age journeys to the citadel of King Gynn of Eron, realm of scholar-artists. All of Dietz's principals are frozen fast in near-terminal adolescent angst. Hero Avall, a gifted noble smith, slogs through the frozen Wild, paralleling the course of antihero Eddyn, a flawed renegade genius, thief and murderer, ravager of Avall's artistic masterpiece and rapist of Strynn, Avall's wife. Eron is threatened by barbarous King Barrax of Ixti to the south; to defend their land, Avall and his comrades must learn to wield newly discovered gems with mysterious and frightening powers. An identifying list would help readers to untangle Dietz's mass of stereotypic secondary figures, writhing in the grasp of his wordy attempts to flesh out his several topics: the necessity of war, like a controlled forest burn, to renew society; a Protestant-like religious crusade to overthrow a domineering priesthood; and the power of the creative human mind to change the world. Dietz tries gamely to present a convincing fictional world, but scenes of gruesome violence and unusual sexual groupings may turn off the queasy. Clearly a transitional stage in the saga, this narrative also tends to lose traction and get stuck in inter- and intra-clan political machinations difficult to unravel without knowledge of the previous volume. (July)
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