Tuesday, May 20, 2008

An Autumn War-Daniel Abraham

An Autumn War
Daniel Abraham
Tor, Jul 2008, $25.95
ISBN 9780765313423

In Machi most of the Khaiem ignore the warnings of their ruler Otah, who fears they day of reckoning is coming soon. He knows the time is coming soon when the magical elementals andat can no longer be enslaved by the mighty poet-mages to do the Khaiem bidding.

While he worries about the changes of losing control will bring, General Balasar Gice, of the neighboring Galt Empire declares a holy war to rid the world of the dangerous andat that he feels will soon be free to avenge their enslavement by destroying humanity. He knows how to neutralize the andat and does so, sending his mighty military across the sea on a crusade. The Poets are divided with some wanting to regain control to save their mighty city state while others want to slink away to safety with their families. One things is for sure, nothing will return to what it was.

The third Long Price seasonal fantasy (see A SHADOW IN SUMMER and A BETRAYAL IN WINTER), takes a fascinating refreshing spin yet continues its deep poignant look at civilization in a fantasy realm. Although the story line somewhat follows the adventures of reluctant ruler Otah and the escapades of aging Poet Maati and his former lover Liat, the prime focus this time is the fanatical ruthless General Gice who believes he has God and right on his side. Daniel Abraham makes a strong case that societal values can be detrimental as well as fostering, but does so inside a great fantasy tale with readers looking forward to whether spring proves the rebirth or the cruelest season of them all.

Harriet Klausner

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