01st Sep 2008
kicking fandom’s ass since 2000
01st Sep 2008
The key to a good story for me is whether or not I want to sink back into the story to find out more about the history of the world and how it works. I want to know more about Derr’s world. I want to know what makes its leaders tick and, most of all, I want to know what happens to the characters after this story.
Dieter is the general for one of the Sacred Four armies of Kira. The surrounding countries tremble with fear at the very mention of his name. One night, his army is attacked by a brother from the country of Salhara and taken prisoner. The prisoner claims to have no name and refuses to give a name, or take the name that Dieter tries to force on him. After saving Dieter from an attack from another country, Illussor, leaving the rest of Dieter’s army dead, the prisoner is weak and near death himself. Dieter lets him know that he will save his life if he will take the name that he is given, Berhat. Berhat still does not want the name, but it’s the only way for him to survive.
Now, the Salhara people drink a potion called Arcen to gain their magic. Arcen comes in different colors, depending on its strength, and leaves a taint on the body in the form of changing the user’s eye color. Kiranians view the people of Salhara as being poluted by their use of Arcen. The people of Kira shun magic and rely on physical strength and weapons. Illussor uses a different form of magic, the most powerful of which is called a Scream. It was a Scream that destroyed Dieter’s army and only Berhat’s use of Arcen saved them from being casualties as well.
So, Dieter is taking Berhat to the capital of Kira to face his punishment, but there are other forces at work which will try even the fragile bonds of prisoner and captive.
This world is so richly textured and lush that it would take me forever to go into details about the politics, people and the reasons for their behavior. Suffice it to say that this is an example of fantasy world building done well. The magic systems are logical, there’s a consequence for each action and the whole thing just flows wonderfully. Once gain, Derr has proven to be a master at what she does. It’s hard to construct a world that is so rich and lush that works on all levels. Fantasy fans should not hesitate to add this one to their collections.