A clever concoction of vignettes and short stories knitted into a morality tale about the temptation of illusion and the price of truth... an exotic setting reminiscent of Tanith Lee's Flat Earth series.... The author's sumptuous language will resonate with Lord Dunsany and Clark Ashton Smith fans.... Nazarian's vital themes and engaging characters are sure to entertain. (Publishers Weekly)
Readers who don't balk at the hefty price will find this first fantasy novel a clever concoction of vignettes and short stories knitted into a morality tale about the temptation of illusion and the price of truth. In an exotic setting reminiscent of Tanith Lee's Flat Earth series, Nazarian introduces a cast of characters all in search of something. Learra quests for the legendary island of Amarantea, "where the soul flies in search of wonder, when sleep takes you by the eyelashes," only to turn her back on it in the end. Cruel Lord Cireive executes Ailsan, Queen of Risei, the last of her people, only to find that her death gives her the power to defeat him. A king determined to find the "true End of the World" sends off teams of explorers, only to reject their discovery and suffer the consequences. Storyteller Annaelit insults the god of Things Left Over and finds herself at odds with her own counsel: "the world is shaped by two things stories told and the memories they leave behind." At the core of this sprawling saga is Nadir, "lowest of the low," whose only chance at redemption lies in saving the soul of a heartless wizard's daughter from the Lord of Illusion. The author's sumptuous language will resonate with Lord Dunsany and Clark Ashton Smith fans, even if it's not to most modern tastes. Despite a tendency to belabor the obvious, as when a wise servant tells her foolish master, "in the end only the truth will save us," Nazarian's vital themes and engaging characters are sure to entertain. (May) Forecast: Praise from the late Marion Zimmer Bradley, Diana L. Paxson and Charles de Lint, plus her own status as an active SFWA member, will help Nazarian, who emigrated from the former Soviet Union as a child, find the niche market that appreciates this brand of traditional fantasy. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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August 31, 2004
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