Monday, September 3, 2012

The Skybound Sea-Sam Sykes

The Skybound Sea

Sam Sykes

PYR, Sep 4 2012, $17.95

ISBN 9781616146764

Lenk the Swordsman and de facto by omission leader of a band of mercenaries (Denaos the thug, Asper the priestess, Dreadaelon the wizard, Gariath the dragonman, and Kataria the shict) knows he and his team have been fortunate to still be alive. Their enemies have been formidable at sea (see Tome of the Undergates) and on land (see Black Halo).

However, Lenk also realizes their biggest obstacle comes from within as in spite of the evidence to the contrary the sextet remains somewhat distrustful of one another; each assumes any of the others would stab not defend your back with only the payments keeping them together. The voice reminds Lenk to beware of betrayal. Still their adventures have changed each of them as the object of the six is no longer the fee though they expect payment in full, but to save the world from the return of the Kraken Queen as fee collection would be nonexistent if the world died. This evil’s horde includes dangerous malevolent monsters, quisling humans, and super inhuman soldiers. However, it is the first of thousands of demons to rise from the water that has Lenk and crew doubting their chances of collecting their money.

Once again, the scope changes as the mission becomes apocalyptic in nature in the third Aeon's Gate sword and sorcery. The storyline is fast-paced as the six continue to bicker but with a nod to the Tuckman Group Development Model, they have gone through the phases of Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing. Though their banter at times seems somewhat off as if they reverted back to the sea adventures of the Tome of the Undergates, fans will enjoy this engaging epic fantasy.

Harriet Klausner

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