Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Gods Return-David Drake

The Gods Return
David Drake
Tor, Nov 2008, $25.95
ISBN 9780765312617

After the great victory espeically over the Palomir Empire (see THE MIRROR OF WORLDS), Prince Garric, Princess Sharina and wizardess Tenoctris thought they would have time to mentally and physically heal from their ordeal. The triumphant threesome figured to the winners go the spoils; in this case Garric ruling over the united isles. Instead no rest for the weary as their Palomir enemies refuse to accept the last defeat should have meant the end of the war.

Instead the Change that led to the trio’s win also brought radcial Change to the pantheon of the Gods; the Old have vanished while other divine beings replace them. In this context, the desperate Palomir turn to their forbidden dieties with prayer and rituals culminating with human sacrifice. Their Gods listen and send forth the horde of Rat Men. At the same time the Sky God heeding a ritual from the sea bring forth the Worm devourer of entire villages. Adding to the victors’ woes is the hypnotically powerful myserious Scorpion King.

The exciting finish to the Crown of the Isles (see THE FORTRESS OF GLASS) is fast-paced as the bone tired Garric, Sharina and Tenoctris battle on three fronts against extremely powerful adversaries. That however is also the problem with the otherwise exhilerating story line as the brave heroes seem to cast off their mental exhaustion and physcial bone weariness with a shrug too easily, which in turn reduces what at first seems like three invincible opponents. Still fans of the series will enjoy THE GOD RETURN even if ther oic triad does not.

Harriet Klausner

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