I love the poem "The Hound of Heaven" (one reason I so liked Doris Bett's Souls Raised From The Dead) and so I truly enjoyed The Sands of Ethryn. Lakin introduced us to some of the phrases of that poem on the first page, and like a good musician established a rhythm and repetition of those phrases throughout the book. Her use of phrases from the Bible and poetry and the constant circling of the two plot lines, reminded me of a concert.
One thing did bother me: since Lakin is a careful
writer, I could not understand her using phrases that make one think she
is endorsing the concept of reincarnation alongside all the Scripture
she is quoting. Or maybe she was saying reincarnation is as real as this
magician and magic. But I did not think she meant that, and indeed,
when you reach the end of the book and see what she had to say about the
inspiration for this story, she does not. In fact, I was thinking of
the same Star Trek episode she was while I read some of the scenes.
I can recommend this book to anybody who enjoys fantasy.
Sunday, May 4, 2014
A Shadow On The Land by Krystine Kercher: I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book with a plot that strongly reminds you of when David was being chased around the country by King Saul. There is no particular one to one correspondence with the Old Testament story, other than the prophesied king, Bjorn Horsa, refuses to kill the evil king Olaf. Between King Olaf and his friends, the country is being rapidly depopulated by all manner of torture and slaughter. Bjorn and his men try to help the victims as they simultaneously avoid being captured by King Olaf. As I read this, I felt I had a better comprehension of what David and his men had to do to survive. I appreciated that the sorrows of the peasants are not ignored as they are in most medieval setting tales. I also enjoyed the lovely and appropriate use of Scripture throughout the book. Oh, I should mention that one is quickly and skillfully made aware that this takes place on a planet that is not Earth. The scholarly notes at the end of the book give a lot of clues as to how a medieval society came to be on a foreign planet. With elves. If you like high fantasy, or science-fiction that reads like high fantasy, I think you will like this book as much as I did.