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1. The Spriggan Mirror: A Tale of
2. The Vondish Ambassador
3. Ithanalin's Restoration (Legends
4. Above His Proper Station
5. The Misenchanted Sword
6. The Summer Palace: Volume Three
7. The Dragon Society (Obsidian Chronicles)
8. A Young Man Without Magic
9. Dragon Weather (Obsidian Chronicles)
10. The Wizard Lord (Annals of the
11. The Unwilling Warlord: A Legend
12. The Ninth Talisman (Annals of
13. Shining Steel
14. The Lure of the Basilisk (Lords
15. The Nightmare People
16. In the Empire of Shadow (Three
17. The Blood of a Dragon
18. Newer York
19. Nightside City
20. Out of this World

1. The Spriggan Mirror: A Tale of Ethshar
by Lawrence Watt-Evans
Hardcover: 284 Pages (2007-03-22)
list price: US$35.00 -- used & new: US$35.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0809500469
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Limited to only 500 copies, this is the hardcover edition of the new Ethsharnovel from Hugo Award-winning author Lawrence Watt-Evans!

Every wizard in Ethshare knew that if you needed something special, something difficult to find, that Gresh the Supplier was the man to see. He was expensive, but always delivered. So when the Wizards' Guild finally got fed up with the little green nuisances that called themselves "spriggans," the Guild hired Gresh to fetch them the magic mirror that had created the troublesome imps in the first place. The wizards thought finding it looked impossible. Gresh thought his methods would do the job.

But no one had asked the spriggans what they thought! ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Is this fantasy or is it science fiction?
Is this fantasy or is it science fiction?
This novel does an unusually good job of portraying scientific approaches to analyzing magic (better than the two other Lawrence Watt-Evans novels I've read).So in a sense it ought to be treated as science fiction about a world whose laws of physics happen to resemble those of many fantasies.
It provides a good example of how humans ought to treat a species of beings who are less intelligent than humans but capable of understanding a good deal of human language.
It also raises some unusual questions about personal identity.

You should read With a Single Spell and possibly others in the Ethshar series before reading this.

3-0 out of 5 stars Cute
Mind Candy.Tied up the last 3 books--which didn't really need tying together, but hey, now it's all neat and precise.Not really as good as his older work but it was a nice little read.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Improbable Commission
The Spriggan Mirror (2007) is the ninth fantasy novel in the Ethshar series, following Ithanalin's Restoration.In the previous volume, Kilisha struggled through various trials and tribulations while learning to overcome her immaturity.At the end, she saved the Overlord's life and reanimated her master.Everyone was impressed by her talents and sense of responsibility.

In this novel, Gresh is a supplier of goods and ingredients to wizards and other magicians in Ethshar of the Rocks (and elsewhere).Dina -- his eldest sister and a wizard -- wakes him to buy some blood of an unborn child for a spell that she is preparing.He will have to open the vault since Twilfa-- his apprentice and youngest sister -- cannot remove the explosive seal.

As he is talking to his sisters in his shop, a customer enters and introduces herself as Karanissa of the Mountains.She claims to be a witch and one of the wives of Tobas the wizard.They wish Gresh to recover a mirror that generates spriggans.

Gresh has Karanissa wait as he sells the blood to Dina and sends Twilfa to fetch Tira -- another sister and a witch -- to check out the truth of Karanissa's story.Witches can always tell if another witch is lying.

After learning as much of the story as Karanissa cares to tell, Gresh asks her to return that evening with her husband and the other wife.When they return, he learns more of the story and is told that the Wizards' Guild is providing funding.Tira tells him that Karanissa is telling the truth as she understands it, so Gresh demands a fee of eternal life in addition to costs plus ten percent.

Guildmaster Kiligir visits Gresh and confirms that the Guild will pay his stated fee.However, they have certain conditions.They will freeze all his business transactions until the mirror is recovered.Still, they agree to prepare certain potions that may well expedite the recovery.

In this story, Gresh flies to the Small Kingdoms on a flying carpet owned by Tobas.They are accompanied by Karanissa, the other wife Alorria, and her child Alris.The trip is surprisingly boring.Gresh decides that he should have brought something to read, although the constant wind would blow the pages around.

Tobas first takes them to Ethshar of the Sands, then to Dwomor in the Small Kingdoms.Tobas lands the carpet on a specially made shelve in the castle of Alorria's father, the King of Dwomor.Tobas and his wives live in tower with three floors.They settle Gresh in a guest room and then take him to supper.

The next day, Tobas and Gresh fly out to the nearby mountains looking for spriggans.Strangely enough, Gresh does not find any spriggans in the castle or along the way toward the mountains.Finally he notices one within the mountains and then several more.Finally, they discover a meadow with a multitude of spriggans.

This tale explores the origins and status of spriggans in the world.Gresh learns that all spriggans have come from the mirror.He is surprised to learn that the spriggans can talk and that they cannot be killed by ordinary methods, but might be vulnerable to magical means.Then he is told that there are about half a million spriggans in the world.

Gresh soon finds the mirror and eventually discovers the way that the spriggans are generated by the mirror.But then he runs into some ethical issues.Nonetheless, he performs his mission and finds a woman that he wants to marry.Best of all, his sisters approve of her.Enjoy!

Highly recommended for Watt-Evans fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of various magics, uncommon sense, and a touch of romance.

-Arthur W. Jordin

4-0 out of 5 stars A fun and magical romp across the Ethshar
Gresh has been supplying wizards with hard-to-get but necessary items for their arcane rites for years, and has built up the reputation of being a man who can get anything desired. And so, when a witch and a wizard come to him, wanting him to find a certain magical mirror that has been lost for years, he is intrigued. It seems that this magic mirror is the source of all of the irritating little spriggans that have been plaguing Ethshar for several years now. But, searching for this mirror might just lead him to ideas he had never even suspected before.

I have been a great fan of Lawrence Watt-Evans for years - devouring his Lords of Dus books, his Worlds of Shadow books, and especially his Ethshar books. Overall, I found this book to be very good. Admittedly, it does lack the grand adventure of The Spell of the Black Dagger or The Night of Madness, or even the small but intense adventure of With a Single Spell or Ithanalin's Restoration. What it is is a fun and magical romp across Ethshar, filled with magic and a little bit of mystery - sort of Sherlock Holmes dropped into Middle Earth.

I found this to be a fun read, one that is sure to please any Lawrence Watt-Evans fan. I really enjoyed this book, and do not hesitate to recommend it.

3-0 out of 5 stars A Clever and Humorous Light Fantasy
Tobas of Telven is the inept wizard with an unsual family who was first introduced in WITH A SINGLE SPELL. Here the Wizard's Guild has become concerned with his latest faux pas which was the miscasting of Lugwiler's Haunting Phantasm onto a hand mirror which is now producing the troublesome little pests called Spriggans. The mirror had since fallen into the possession of the Spriggans who have absconded with it to parts unknown.

Spriggans are tiny creatures under a foot tall who emerge periodically from the mirror itself and who in search of fun cause a great deal of mischief for the humans of the three Ethshars. The Wizard's Guild has charged Tobas with the task of recovering the mirror promising him a magical tapestry that will hopefully alleviate the tension caused by having two wives. Having tried all manner of sorcery to no avail he has decided to recruit the merchant Gresh, a man well known for his ability to successfully procure the most unusual supplies required by various practitioners of magic.

After much consideration Gresh agrees to take on the task on the condition that his reward be fitting of the task required - a spell of eternal youth. One the fee is agreed upon Gresh uses his common sense to get a general direction before embarking on their quest. With all their knowledge of spells and potions no one had ever considered actually questioning a Spriggan before! And it is thus that Gresh embarks on a his journey aboard a magic carpet, with Tobas, his wives Karanissa and Alorria and their child to solve the mystery of the Spriggans. And a mystery it is, for the solution is not something so simple as finding and destroying the mirror as the Guild had requested.

THE SPRIGGAN MIRROR is a light, humorous fantasy with a touch of romance which keeps the reader engrossed as the plot unwinds in unexpected ways. Gresh is faced with numerous challenges from the allure of his first taste of magical power to that of a woman who belongs to another man. In the end Gresh proves himself to be logical, ethical and humane. The ending which suggests that his success may have earned him an additional benefit is both satisfying and leaves the door open for additional tales. An enjoyable read.

Reviewed for PNR Reviews
... Read more

2. The Vondish Ambassador
by Lawrence Watt-Evans
Paperback: 230 Pages (2009-01-12)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$12.55
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1434477614
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Once, not so long ago,a warlock named Vond built an empire in the southern part of the Small Kingdoms. Vond is gone, but his empire survives under the rule of a seven-person Imperial Council and a young regent named Sterren.

The Empire of Vond was hardly trouble-free after Vond's departure. Its neighbors are understandably wary of further expansion, there are questions about how Vond's magic became so potent, and so on. Most of the World, though, doesn't care -- Vond is off there in the southeastern corner of the World, far away from anywhere important.

But one day a dockworker named Emmis watches a Vondish ship arrive in Ethshar of the Spices and finds himself hired as native guide and aide to someone who claims to be Vond's ambassador plenipotentiary to the overlords of the Hegemony of the Three Ethshars.

But who is the Vondish ambassador, really, and what is his true business in Ethshar? And who has followed him to the city? ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

3-0 out of 5 stars A Good Ethshar Novel, not a Great One
At the risk on incurring the wrath of other LWE readers, I have to maintain that this is not a five-star Watt-Evans work. Three, maybe three and half. It's too inconsequential for four, IMO.

The book has more positives than negatives. We find out more about warlockry than we've ever know before, even if we don't get quite all the answers about the new magic that readers have wondered about. Perhaps it's just as well that there are still some questions left unanswered. If Watt-Evans ever does clear up all the lingering questions about warlockry, it might spell the end of the series - or of Ethshar itself!

And it was good to see the characters and locales featured in The Unwilling Warlord return, especially Sterren, the protagonist of that novel. However that raises the question of why this novel needed a new protagonist. Where Watt-Evans's prior online-published Ethshar sequel, The Spriggan Mirror, reached back to With a Single Spell for its main characters, here Watt-Evans saw fit to drag in an entirely new character from the docks, one unfamiliar with warlockry or the Small Kingdoms. This doesn't really help make the story more attractive for old Ethshar fans.

And this protagonist, Emmis, didn't quite cut it for me. The typical Watt-Evans hero was extremely young, so the reader had patience with his naivete. But this Emmis isn't an innocent but teachable adolescent, he's simply an ignorant man in his 20s.

As I said, more positives than negatives, and I'll definitely read LWE's next Ethshar entry. I just hope next time he realizes that fans would like to really catch up with old favorite characters, not merely see them make cameo appearances.

4-0 out of 5 stars Witty and Fast-Paced
This is a rousing read. Watt-Evans is a long-time favorite of mine, and I enjoyed his wry wit and the book's somewhat unwilling hero. I'd be inclined to call this a wizardly "who dunnit". The scenes progress with small brushstrokes rather than slapdash excitement, but the characterization is excellent and the pace is lively.

5-0 out of 5 stars LWE is on a roll!
I have been a huge fan of Lawrence Watt-Evans (LWE) since his Lords of Dus series came out in the mid-1980s.I read the entire four book sequence to my kids a chapter a night, and they loved the series too.

This book follows up on an earlier tale of a warlock, Vond, that goes out conquering native countries.

Like most of LWE's books, the story is tightly written, the characters are engaging, and best of all, there is no explicit sex or gorey violence in the book.

The Vondish Ambassador is a wonderful escapist romp in a world that we would all love to visit.

Nicely done sir!

In service,


5-0 out of 5 stars the world of Ethshar
another excellent book, my only complaint is: after reading another book on Ethshar, i want more.His stories are complete and fun to read. and always with reason and passion.

5-0 out of 5 stars Refreshingly different fantasy
Dock worker Emmis of Shiphaven is just looking for a chance to make a few coins unloading the newly arrived ship. But the strangely dressed passenger quicly drafts Emmis, making him his guide and general servant for his visit to the great city of Ethshar of the Spices. Emmis's automatic bargaining results in him taking a job he had no interest in, but he soon gets involved with the foreigner, Lar Samber's son, Ambassador from the Empire of Vond.

Vond is a relatively new Empire built on multiple kingdoms in the land of small kingdoms. That empire was constructed through a deliberate violation of the basic rules of war--through the use of magic. Vond, the warlock who created the Empire, is gone now, and Vond's neighbors are intent on making sure neither he, nor any other warlock, return. And when Emmis's employer starts visiting wizards and warlocks, and even enquires about having his nephew apprentice as a warlock, they decide assassination is the only solution.

Emmis finds his job more challenging than he'd imagined. He negotiates with a prince of the city, visits with witches and wizards, tries to deal with both human and demonic assassins, and generally tries to offer a voice of sanity in a world that seems increasingly insane.

Author Lawrence Watt-Evans spins a really entertaining and different fantasy. Emmis is an everyman, getting by in a magical world without a hint of magical ability of his own, surviving by his wits and charm. His simple goal of making a few coins gradually transforms itself, but Watt-Evans makes sure the reader sees Emmis himself as remaining a man of the people. He's definitely no secret prince.

I was initially surprised to see Watt-Evans publishing with a small press (Wildside) but this book is different enough from the standard fantasy that perhaps big publishers were afraid to take a chance on it. They should have--this is a good one.
... Read more

3. Ithanalin's Restoration (Legends of Ethshar)
by Lawrence Watt-Evans
Mass Market Paperback: 272 Pages (2003-10-19)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$36.39
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0765340550
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

When Magic Goes Awry . . .
What is an aspiring apprentice wizard to do when she finds her mentor and master frozen in his tracks by mysterious magics?

Kilisha of Eastgate, a promising young student of wizardry in the city of Ethshar of the Rocks, still has much to learn before she can assume the robes of a journeyman enchanter. But when her teacher, the venerable Ithanalin the Wise, is overcome by a peculiar spell that scatters his soul amongst a collection of runaway household furnishings, it is up to Kilisha to find the cause and restore him to his former self. Adventure and mayhem abound.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

3-0 out of 5 stars Meh
I hate to say this because I love LWE's writings and I really enjoy this series but...wow, what a waste of time this book was.Hey, a 12-year-old girl might really like it but it just isn't up to par with anything else he's written.Sorry I bought it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Enjoyable
When I first started reading this book, I was like 'why did I but this?' That only lasted for about three pages. Really, when I found out that this book was about animated furniture that had escaped, each part with a different peice of a wizards self of soul of some such thing, i thought it would get boring eventually. I was wrong, it only got better. Wheather because it was kind of short or because it was such a good read, i read this book in about four hours.

5-0 out of 5 stars a perfect diversion
I hadn't read an entire novel in one sitting for a long, long time.Yesterday afternoon I picked up Ithanalin's Restoration, intending to read just a chapter or two until a headache cleared, but I didn't put it back down until I had finished it.Watt-Evans spins an utterly delightful tale about Kilisha, a young wizard's apprentice who must reverse a spell gone awry, which scattered her master's soul into his runaway parlor furniture.To recapture the missing pieces from throughout the city and to restore Ithanalin, she must manage her own impetuous nature and apply all the spellcraft she has learned.Along the way she must also placate Ithanalin's distraught wife and children, enlist the aid of the young soldier who unwittingly sparked the accident, and cope with the unhelpful customers and colleagues.If you need a break from interminable epic fantasy doorstops, this simple story of a young woman out to prove herself is a perfect diversion.

4-0 out of 5 stars Amusing, though it lacks a resolution....
This book is very well written and amusing, but there are parts of the story that are not resolved. The "murdering wizard" is still romping free, and Kilisha doesn't get anywhere with her "boyfriend." I mean, they should have kissed or declared each other's love, but there was almost nothing. IN the end of the book she just instantaniously thinks that she is "more than friends" with this guy. SO if there is a sequel, I would have given another star.

4-0 out of 5 stars Amusing magical romp
The eighth of Watt-Evans' Ethshar novels, Ithanalin's Restoration takes place concurrently with _The Spell of the Black Dagger_.No knowledge of any of the other books is needed to enjoy this tale, as the Ethshar novels take place at different times and most of them stand alone nicely.The events in Black Dagger occur in a different city and while they upset most of the peripheral characters in this book, not knowing all the details won't impact your enjoyment of this lighthearted fantasy.

Kilisha is a seventeen-year-old apprentice wizard to Ithanalin the Wise, an expert in animation spells.With just one more year to go in her apprenticeship, she is frustrated at how little wizardry she's been taught, and frets that she's in no condition to begin the next stage of her career, as a journeyman wizard.Her master is kind but distracted, often forgetting to teach her all the common knowledge behind each spell, and he's often busy producing spells for his paying customers.That often leaves Kilisha as little more than an in-home baby-sitter and servant for Ithanalin's wife Yara.

With her frustration and fear growing, Kilisha demands that her master start teaching her the spells his customers pay for, and this time he agrees.On an errand to collect the blood of a grey cat (wizardry often requires odd materials), she returns hours later to find Ithanalin frozen in place, and all the parlor furniture missing.She soon discovers that his animating spell went very wrong when he tripped, spilled the magical goo, and animated several pieces of furniture with his own essence.And the furniture ran out the door when it was opened by a persistant tax-collector.

Kilisha, armed with few practical spells and missing big chunks of background knowledge, finds herself the only one who can set things right.The senior wizards are preoccupied with mass murder of wizards in Ethshar of the Sands (these events covered in Black Dagger) and have no time for an apprentice with spells gone awry.She must find, collect, and bring back the escaping furniture and learn enough magic to prevent their wandering again.On top of that, some of Ithanalin's essence transferred to a spriggen, a magical pest attracted to wizardry; spriggens cannot be held by any locks or bonds.Then she must master a new spell to bring Ithanalin back to his normal self.And to do so, she must learn a new tack toward problem solving, as Kilisha is a feet-first woman in a look-before-you-leap profession.

This is a fun read with a satisfying ending, perfect for vacation and holiday amusement. ... Read more

4. Above His Proper Station
by Lawrence Watt-Evans
 Hardcover: 336 Pages (2010-11-23)
list price: US$26.99 -- used & new: US$17.81
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0765322803
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Editorial Review

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Anrel Murau, a simple scholar, is secretly the notorious revolutionary Alvos the Orator--the Empire's most wanted man. On the run and nearly penniless, Anrel finds himself forced to seek refuge in the capital city's Pensioner’s Quarter, a den of thieves, murderers, and con men. Barely scraping out an existence on the fringe of respectable society, Anrel never forgets his demands for justice, nor the love of the woman he left behind.

The civil unrest that has long been simmering in the Empire is beginning to boil over into violent protests and Anrel's enemy, Lord Allutar, continues to corrupt the Grand Council.

But Anrel's alter-ego, Alvos the Orator, has taken on a life of his own and many factions of the Grand Council seek a way to harness his followers' political might for their own ends. Which means they need Anrel to take on a surprising new role and gain access to one of the Empire's greatest secrets to stop the rampant evil.

The adventure of Alvos the Orator continues with more action, more intrigue, and more suspense than ever before as Anrel seeks to at last clear his name and seek retribution against his old enemy once and for all.
... Read more

5. The Misenchanted Sword
by Lawrence Watt-Evans
Paperback: 228 Pages (2003-02-04)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$10.22
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1587152827
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Ethshar and the Northern Empire have been at war forhundreds of years. Hardly anyone alive remembers why, or overwhat. The tempest, turmoil, and war are endless, and the killing moreendless still. The war has become not just a way of life, but aninstitution; no one dares to dream that it could end.

Not even Valder of Kardoret, Ethshartic Scout, trapped behind enemy lines.


But now everything has changed: at a moment of great need, a hermitwizard crafted Valder a magic sword called Wirikidor — a blade atonce cursed and enchanted, a misenchanted blade that makes himunbeatable.


Soon the tides of battle will turn, and once they’ve turned they’ll turn forever. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (38)

4-0 out of 5 stars One of my all time favorite re-reads
Light, engaging fantasy at it's best. In the Misenchanted Sword, Lawrence Watt-Evans has created a fun story that's hard to put down. Valder is a likable character that I found it easy to identify with and found myself caring about what happens to him next. Whether it's figuring out what properties the crazy swamp wizard imbued his sword with or escaping from an adolescent dragon that chases him directly into the middle of an enemy encampment, the fun rarely ceases in this novel.

I had read this book once before when I was in Junior High School and I remembered it fondly. Rereading it again now, I found it to be just as enjoyable. Even when the pace of the book slows down, I was still turning pages to find out what happens next.

This is a fun read and I recommend for anyone who enjoys fantasy/sci-fi and needs a break from heavier fare.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Pleasant Surprise
I received an advertisement for this novel through an Ebay purchase and was a little hesitant about purchasing it but I am glad I did.The book is well written and the characters are really intriguing.I enjoyed following them through the story and watching as they got into various adventures.I don't want to comment too much because I hate spoilers for people who haven't read it yet.However, I will say that I recommend this book and I look forward to reading more from this author.

5-0 out of 5 stars Read It!
Read it, and then read every other book in the series. This book not only allows you to escape reality, it presents you with a conundrum that makes you think about what you would do in that situation. I am very particular about what I consider as worth reading and this is one very close to the top.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hardcover please!
All of Lawrence Watt-Evans books are wonderful.Please print these in hardcover though!!! I hope somebody is listening out there.

4-0 out of 5 stars Pleasant story of magic and fantasy
Recently on rec.arts.sf.written I noticed a discussion about Lawrence Watt-Evans efforts to publish online "The Spriggan Mirror."This was to be the ninth book in his Legends of Ethshar series.I read a couple chapters and found them well written and fun.

Amazon's guidelines ask that URLs not be included in a review, but if you'd like to read about Lawrence's efforts to publish online, go into goggle, search for "The Spriggan Mirror" and you find the web page.

I decided to start at the beginning of the series with "The Misenchanted Sword."The main character is Valder, a scout for the Esthshar army.They have been fighting the Northern Empire for decades.Valder ends up behind enemy lines and runs for his life.He accidentally stumbles into a hermit wizard who has been hiding out from civilization for years and doesn't take kindly to Valder who, even accidentally, brings the war to where the wizard has been living.The wizard decides to turn Valder's sword into a magic sword which will protect Valder and help him to return to the Esthshar army.With all the spells the wizard puts on the sword, it does help Valder to get back to the Esthshar army.

The Esthshar wizards study the sword and find there is a slight problem with the sword, that after Valder kills 100 warriors with it, the sword will kill Valder, the sword was misenchanted.Valder and his sword are used to fight the Northern Empire.Then later in the book Valder tries to figure out what to do with this misenchanted sword.

This is a pleasant story.It read well and it is hard to point down.While writing this review I've picked up the book a couple times to reread some favorite passages.If you like fantasy, this is a fun book to read.
... Read more

6. The Summer Palace: Volume Three of the Annals of the Chosen
by Lawrence Watt-Evans
Kindle Edition: 336 Pages (2010-04-01)
list price: US$7.99
Asin: B003J5UIU0
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

All of the world is kept in a delicate balance under the supervision of the Wizard Lord. It is his duty to govern lightly and protect his domain…but if he should stray from the way of the just then it is up to the Chosen to intercede. The Chosen are the Leader, the Seer, the Swordsman, the Beauty, the Thief, the Scholar, the Archer, and the Speaker, magically infused mortal individuals who for the term of their service have only one function--to remove an errant Wizard Lord. 
But the new Wizard Lord has now changed the playing field by neutralizing all magic in his domain (both his own and that of the Chosen) and has successfully killed and/or blocked his adversaries and their challenges to his omnipotence. Sword (now on the run) must work alone to restore order to their fair land and unravel the mystery of the Ninth Talisman--which might be the salvation or downfall of all that is good in their well ordered land.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

2-0 out of 5 stars A Really Disappointing Finale
I thought the first book in this series, The Wizard Lord, was Watt-Evans's best job of world creation since the 1980s. And it still works as a stand-alone novel. The follow-up, The Ninth Talisman, had its moments but because it had no resolution was ultimately disappointing. This book concludes the series and ties up the loose threads from book 2, but in disappointing fashion.

The book's main flaw is that for a very large part of it, protagonist Sword is alone with his own thoughts, wintering in a building designed for warm weather use only, on an incredibly cold plateau - with little food or fuel for warmth. The lack of interaction with other people makes it boring. The fact that Sword's situation isn't a heroic survival story but a stupid blunder made by someone who should have known better makes it annoying - to this reader, anyway.

The reason after all that Sword is alone is that no one does winter on the plateau. Not even its hardy native population. Certainly not lowlanders such as Sword himself. Sword's plan, if it may be called that, consists of his forcing himself on the native population, demanding that they train him in how to live up there, telling everybody why he wants to spend the winter there (so that he can kill a dictatorial ruler when the dictator returns the next summer), and blithely assuming no one will give him away. Sword's every choice is so bad that I found myself wanting him to fail.

I think I saw in the deterioration of this series the same features that marred his prior Dragon series. I'm guessing that Watt-Evans's interest in a created world quickly wanes after he has finished a satsifactory novel set in it. So although he may be contracted for a three-book series and have to go through the motions in deleivering the next two, his heart and his mind aren't in it. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's the simplest explanation I can think of for why The Wizard Lord and Dragon Weather are so superior to the other four books in those two series.

3-0 out of 5 stars Is OK, but lacking compared to the first book
I have to admit, I loved the first book in the series.It is a shame that the ending did not live up to the beginning.

I have been a fan of Mr. Watt-Evans for almost 20 years.And when I first discovered the Chosen series, I was hooked.The first in the series was well written, and in his usual style, kept you guessing from beginning to end.

The second book was a bit of a dissapointment, since he left it in a cliffhanger, something Mr. Watt-Evans normally does not do.The third book follows immediately after the second, and it is frankly a dissapointment.

You start with Sword, right after the end of Book two.Half of the Chosen are dead or in prison, the rest are on the run.During 90% of this book, you have no idea the fate of the other Chosen.Sword spends it alone, wintering over in the unoccupied "Summer Palace".You find out a little more about the Uplanders, but not enough to make them interesting.In fact, their behavior often leaves you puzzled, as they seem to form and break friendships and alliances almost at a whim.

I would recommend this book to finish the series, but it is nowhere near as good as the first one.The publisher would have done better to edit the second and thrid books down a bit, and release them as a single book.This is an example of trying to pad out a third book, and leaving out to much.And because it effectively killed off the story, I doubt there will ever be another sequel.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Death of a Dark Lord
The Summer Palace (2008) is the third fantasy novel in the Annals of the Chosen trilogy, following The Ninth Talisman.In the previous volume, Boss and Lore were imprisoned by the Wizard Lord.Azir and Babble were killed at the Wizard Lord's command just as several wizards had been slain.

Sword had killed the soldiers who attacked the Chosen and then fled.Bow, Snatcher and Beauty had also escaped.But the current Wizard Lord was still alive.

In this novel, Erren Zal Tuyo kam Darig seveth Tirimsir abek Du is Sword, the Chosen swordsman.He has decided to wait for the Wizard Lord in the Summer Palace, which is outside the realm of Barokan and thus outside of the magic of that land.

Artil im Saltir -- the former Red Wizard -- is now a Dark Lord.He still has his soldiers looking for the Chosen survivors.

Farash nith Kerra is the Old Boss.He had betrayed the Chosen to the Dark Lord of Galbek Hills.Now he is the chief advisor of the new Dark Lord.

In this story, Sword returns to Winterhome.Disguised as a Hostman, he finds a way up the cliff to the Plateau.He gets himself accepted by the Uplanders who live there during the clement months and becomes part of the Golden Spear tribe.He dwells among them and learns their ways.

When the Uplanders leave the Plateau to winter in Winterhome, Sword stays in the Summer Palace.He finds a few useful items in the palace, but little food.Eventually, he learns that lir exist of the Plateau, but are only active during the winter while the ara birds are absent.

With help from the Upland lir, Sword prepares a secret entrance to the Summer Palace.When spring returns, he awaits the coming of the Wizard Lord.As the only Chosen available, Sword is determined to kill this Dark Lord.

This tale concludes the trilogy.Sword learns much about the Uplands and discovers the secret of the Ninth Talisman.The ending of this storyline is satisfactory, but leaves one wishing for more.

Highly recommended for Watt-Evans fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of exotic cultures, unusual magic, and a bit of romance.

-Arthur W. Jordin

2-0 out of 5 stars Should have been 2 books instead of 3
Having finished the series, I must say I was generally disappointed by it. The first book was quite strong and got me very interested in the world Watt-Evans had created and the characters he populated it with. However, the second and third books have really dimmed my interest. The main problem as I see it is that there really isn't enough material in the last two books to justify publishing them separately. Each of them is filled with needless repetitions to the point where the last two volumes of this series should have been edited down and released as one three hundred page novel. Yes, I do think about half of the last two books amounted to unnecessary and extraneous material. As an example, there were at least two places on this book, in addition to the prologue, in which the entire series up to that point was summarized.
In addition, the charactersare remarkably slow and dim-witted. I figured out every single plot twist and problematic plan pages in advance of the characters in the story. Essentially reading this book amounted to me wading through pages of repetitious ruminations waiting for the characters to figure out what should have been obvious from page one. All in all, much as I like the work of Watt-Evans, I cannot recommend the series. Book one is a good read; a self-contained and interesting story. I would recommend you read that and skip the rest. If you are particularly bored you might try to get the books from the library, but frankly I am not sure they are worth even that limited time commitment.

4-0 out of 5 stars Solid, but not quite Ethshar good
Watt-Evans brings the story off on an even keel, and manages to make a complete story of it.The key parts are no secret.The hero is on the run, pursued by an all powerful wizard and his new police force.The bad guy may or may not be bad for the land the hero is supposed to protect, but the dead are his friends and he has to flee outside of the range of the magic of the land.

The place he has to flee to is almost impossible to survive in the winter, and he is headed into the heart of the cold season.

Evans manages to make the fight for survival interesting, and he develops the set up and the passage well.I was worried what he would do to fill up the book space, so to speak, and he manages to do that well.

He also manages to resolve the "bad guy" or "not so bad" guy issues well, reconcile some people, pull together a solid plot and make it an enjoyable read.

I'm not sure where the one guy got the thought that the book is all angst, that is a small sub-plot and not overused.The difficulties are real, the issues make sense, the development continues and the book wraps the series well.

All in all I was pleased with the read, even if I paid for a new copy when the book came out.

I'd recommend it as a Watt-Evans fan or to anyone who gets the book recommended by Amazon (if it fits your profile).
... Read more

7. The Dragon Society (Obsidian Chronicles)
by Lawrence Watt-Evans
Mass Market Paperback: 480 Pages (2003-03-14)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0765340542
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
One Man Must Stand Against the Dragon Menace!

It all began with Dragon Weather: a wave of incredible heat, oppressive humidity, dark angry clouds . . . and dragons. Dragons with no remorse, no sympathy, no use for humans; dragons who destroyed an entire village and everyone in it. Everyone, that is, except the young boy, Arlian.

Orphaned and alone, Arlian was captured by looters and sold as a mining slave. Years later he escaped, fueled by years of hatred for the dragons, bandits, and slavers that took away his youth—and a personal vow to exact retribution from those who have wronged him.
Arlian seeks out The Dragon Society, whose sworn purpose is to stand against the dragon menace. What he learns there is shocking: that he may well be the best hope humanity will ever have for defeating the dragons . . . permanently.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Dragon Society
I loved this book, it was a great ending to the three Obsidian Chronicles. I liked it so much I got my hubby to read the series. I would reccomend it to anyone who loves dragons and mystery. It comes close to being as good as Lord of the Rings!

4-0 out of 5 stars Good sequel
While not as compelling as the first book in the series I thought this was an excellent book. It continues right where Weather left off, Arlian's quest for vengence against the Dragons that made him a Dragonheart and that killed his family and town. He also settles his debt with the surviving members of the Dragon Society that he swore vengence on, just not in the way you would think.

Several new plot twists are introduced in this book and I think they fit in nicely and keep the series flowing well. There were no slow spots in the book that I saw and found it hard to put down. My only complaint I guess, was that Arlian would keep realizing something (an idea, a different viewpoint, a sloution, etc.) after it was plain to everyone else or the reader and sometimes he would not think of a consequence of his actions for a long time and be suprised when he does think of it or is faced with it. His indecisiveness did annoy me at times but not too much. Maybe he just isn't the brightest in the world....lol

Anyways, I can't wait to read the third book. Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Old story new twist
Due to the Anne McCaffery books Dragons that used to been "evil" have become good.LWE brings back the old dragons that made them wonderful beasts again.When I first read Dragon Weather I loved it and I thought for sure the next won't be as good it turns out I was wrong I am deeply in love with Arlian and I love the discription getting more involved with the feelings of the main charticter which doesn't happen in many books of this stature.I also love the fact that he doesn't suger coat anything giving the charticters a more realistic feel.

3-0 out of 5 stars Watt-Evans is no Robert Jordan - thank the stars!!
Arlian comes back from Desolation after participating in the events leading to the demise of Lords Enziet and Drisheen, pondering ways to fulfill his vow of ridding the world of the dragon plague. Immediately we are thrust back into the political machinations of the upper-crusty society of Manfort. Too much time is spent with Arlian thinking "but oh...the dragons...they are evil and must be stopped!". 90% of the novel takes place within the confines of Manfort, where the previous book gave us a more complete picture of Arlian's world.

That said, I got a real feel for the characters, Black and Toribor in particular. Arlian is a tad one-dimensional in his quest. He is MUCH too misunderstood, too martyr-like in his quest to be interesting. Thankfully, the other characters in the novel are significant enough to shoulder the weight of the narrative.

As another poster mention, this definately feels like "the middle book". While there is a definate ending to the book, its not particularly satisfying. The dragons are fleshed out a bit further as a major threat, but we don't see much of them. When one finally does make an appearance, it doesn't feel like the revelation it should be.

But I have faith in Watt-Evans. His "Book of Silence" series with Garth the Overman is my favorite fantasy series of all time and I have high hopes for his latest. I'm sure whatever he comes up with next, it will have made The Dragon Society a worthwhile read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding work
I'm the first person to admit I'm a mark for LWE's work, but this series is outstanding.LWE is certainly not the most eloquent writer, but he doesn't have to be because he ALWAYS has a great story to tell, and this one is no different.

The dialogue is fantastic, and the reader is generally left with a sense of impression and understanding about the characters.Each character in Dragon Weather and Dragon Society has a unique role to play for our "hero", and throughout the course of the book, LWE continually provides you with snippets as to each character's motivation.Good stuff from a highly underrated writer. ... Read more

8. A Young Man Without Magic
by Lawrence Watt-Evans
Kindle Edition: 352 Pages (2010-04-01)
list price: US$27.99
Asin: B003GWX8D0
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Lawrence Watt-Evans, author of the acclaimed Legends of Ethshar and Worlds of Shadows novels invites readers to embark on a rollicking journey in a brand-new fantasy series.

Anrel Murau is a scholar, a young man with no magical ability even though he is the son of two powerful sorcerers. Anrel’s lack of talent bars him from the ruling classes, but he is content to be a simple clerk.

Upon returning to his childhood home after years of study in the capital, Anrel finds his friends and family held under the thumb of the corrupt local lord. When this lord murders a dear friend, Anrel finds that although he’s not a sorcerer, he is not without other means to demand justice.

If he can survive life on the run, that is.

Carrying only his sword, a few coins, and his wit, Anrel must leave behind everything he has ever known, trust himself to unexpected allies, and outmaneuver leagues of enemies who will stop at nothing to keep his dangerous ideas from ever being heard. Magic and intrigue collide in a swashbuckling tale of daring escapes, beautiful witches, and one quiet young man’s rise to hero—or traitor. Nothing will ever be simple for Anrel again, as his personal quest may provide more peril for those he holds dear.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

1-0 out of 5 stars A Huge Letdown
I am a big fan of both the fantasy of manners and swashbuckling genres, and this book appeared like it might be a good example of both.Alas, this book has neither the wit of a fantasy of manners, nor the panache of a swashbuckler.

It starts off quite promisingly with some nice world-building.But it goes nowhere.Our hero is bland and unlikeable, and what passes for a plot is largely driven by him failing to dissuade his even more unlikeable friends from doing things which are (literally) criminally stupid.In fact, it is the sort of book where the characters' actions are routinely so stupid that they stop and discuss just how stupid they are -- before going ahead and doing them.

The villain is only marginally villainous at best.The hero is inept; the only thing he seems to be really good at is starting major riots.(Which probably means he is responsible for more innocent deaths than the villain!)Most of the other characters are paper-thin.The love interest, in particular, shows no noteworthy characteristics at all, and seems to exist mostly so that her relatives can drag the hero into further plot.

The ending is a complete mess. Without getting into spoilers, the majority of the plot threads are left unresolved, and the hero goes from being crazily heroic to being completely unheroic in the space of about two pages.It is utterly unsatisfying.

2-0 out of 5 stars Left me hanging
I found this book not really up to the usual standsrd for Lawrence Watt-Evans. The story is interesting enough and shows promise but never quite delivers. The characters are realistic and believable and suit the story.

I have enjoyed many of this author's previous novels, but this one just didn't quite get there. For one thing, the story didn't have an ending. The plot built nicely towards a conclusion, but then it sort of fizzled into nothing. Oviously there is a second book planned, but this one needed to have a better ending to encourage me to follow the story on. At the end I felt cheated for having read so much story to end up with nothing in my hand.

Will I buy the next book? Possibly, but I certainly wouldn't buy the hardback version. I'll wait until a paperback version comes out and make my decision then.

3-0 out of 5 stars Flamingnet.com Teen Book Reviews-sorcery, wizards
Anrel Murau is the main character of the story, and is an
ordinary enough man. He is the son of two powerful sorcerers
who perished long ago in an unknown accident. Unfortunately
for him, he did not inherit any powers of his own (hence the
title, A Young Man Without Magic). Yet, he is happy. When he
returns home after four years of education in the capital,
he discovers that his best friend, Valin, has become
obsessed with the politics of the capital and the welfare of
human beings. He demonstrates this soon enough by bombarding
his friend with questions of the capitol, what the emperor
is doing, etc. When Valin finds out that the Landgrave
(owner of the province) is planning on executing a boy for
stealing herbs, he immediately goes to protest.Anrel goes
along with Valin, but none of their protests affect the
Landgrave in any way. A few days later, Valin finds out that
the Landgrave executed the boy, and goes to him again. This
time however, he is much angrier, calling the Landgrave a
foul, heartless creature and letting loose at him. The
Landgrave asks Valin if he is challenging his right to be
the Landgrave, and Valin says yes, not knowing that he just
challenged the Landgrave to a duel of leadership. When he is
told this, he is aghast, but there is no way to undo the
damage. When the duel comes, the Landgrave quickly disposes
of Valin. Anrel, seeing his dead friend, feels he needs to
let his friend's voice be heard. He makes a speech of all of
Valin's beliefs in the town square, and then runs off to
demand justice.

I, as a student, have read hundreds of novels of all
genres. None of the books I have read, however, have as much
confused and bamboozled me as A Young Man Without Magic, by
Lawrence Watt-Evans. Set in the Middle Ages, this book is a
completely different spin on sorcery, witches and wizards.
Others who have read the book will agree that politics play
a big part in this. No, not Barack Obama and the White
House, but the citizen's debate on taxes and the gossip of a
new order coming into play.

Pretty confusing, huh? That's how I felt after reading it.
Lawrence Watt-Evans tried to make it stand out in the realm
of fantasy novels, but all he succeeded in doing was making
it utterly confusing and boring. This wasn't the kind of
book in which I wanted to turn the pages to see what would
happen; it was the kind of book that I wanted to toss in the
garbage. The author had a lot of good ideas, but he didn't
execute them well. For example, the idea of sorcery. That
was interesting, but he hardly made any instances of
characters using spells in the book. The only main event in
which sorcery was used was Valin's duel.Another example
was the map in the beginning. One section of the map said
The Mystery Lands. What do you think is there? Well, you
don't find out in the book, because no characters go there.
Why bother having something intriguing if you won't even
mention it again in the book? Did you just put it there so
that people will read the book to find out, and be
disappointed? All of my questions remain unanswered. In
conclusion, A Young Man Without Magic just doesn't compare
to the other books of its genre.

This book has a Content
Rating of 3 because it is very confusing and has a very
difficult word choice. It is more recommended for high
school or college students.

Reviewed by a young adult student reviewer
Flamingnet Book Reviews
Teen books reviewed by teen reviewers

4-0 out of 5 stars Reluctant Revolutionary--Extremely Reluctant Sorcerer
Anrel Murau is a young scholar who has returned to his uncle's estate in the country after four years at university in the tumultuous capital city of Lume.In the Walasian Empire, magicians are Lords, and Anrel, despite being from an aristocratic family, has failed his magic tests and is designated a commoner.This suits him.He saw his parents killed by magic when he was a young child and remains haunted by their deaths.He also saw the unrest in the Empire as the magic sustaining the Empire is crumbling and famine threatens stability.He hopes to lead a quiet, safe life as an unassuming clerk.Unfortunately, events lead him to an entirely different sort of life.

The book is dedicated to the memory of Rafael Sabatini, and Sabatini's style of humble, but capable hero, thrust into unwanted adventure at which he excels, is definitely an influence on the character of Anrel and his unwilling role as orator and revolutionary.However, the wild romanticism of Sabatini seems almost reasonable and sensible compared to Anrel's beaux gestes.For a level-headed, intelligent fellow, Anrel finds himself committing some wild actions that lead him into all sorts of trouble.Still, it does make for excitement, adventure and suspense.

This seems to be the first book in a series.I found it interesting enough to, perhaps, wish to read more.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not his best but still worth the read.
I have heard a few reviewers rip this book up.Admittedly it has a slow start but it is worth the read.Very different from Watt-Evans' previous novels.I found it very easy to get through and am excited to see the next one.A good story of a young man looking for his direction in the world and being thrust into a life as a fugitive for speaking out for injustice in a cause he is not sure he believes in while trying to accept a talent he has long denied.If you have enjoyed Lawrence Watt-Evans previous work it's definitely worth the read. ... Read more

9. Dragon Weather (Obsidian Chronicles)
by Lawrence Watt-Evans
Mass Market Paperback: 560 Pages (2000-12-15)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.18
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812589556
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Arlian had never left his home village in the Obsidian Mountains. The green hills, white peaks, and black glass were all he had ever known of life, and though he dreamed of travel and adventure, he knew deep in his heart that he would probably never leave.

Until the dragon weather came. Incredible heat, oppressive humidity, dark and angry clouds . . . and dragons. Dragons with no feelings, no empathy, no use for humans; dragons who destroyed his entire village and everyone in it. Everyone, that is, except Arlian.

Orphaned and alone, Arlian the child is captured by looters and sold as a mining slave. Seven years later Arlian the man escapes, fueled by years of hatred for the dragons, bandits, and slavers that took his youth away--and a personal vow to exact retribution from those who have wronged him.

As Arlian makes his way through life, he is obsessed with the concept of justice, and that obsession informs every task, every decision. Even Black, the man he befriends and grows to love as a brother, has little influence against Arlian's obsession. His entire life has one purpose, and one purpose only: to mete out justice.

But can one righteous man change the entire world for the better? Or is he doomed by his own actions to become as unjust as those he seeks to destroy?
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Customer Reviews (36)

5-0 out of 5 stars Surprising
whenI first started this series I didnt know if I would like it,but I got drawn so easily and then couldnt put it down.You fall in love with the characters and cant wait to see what happens next

3-0 out of 5 stars Dragon Weather - Monte Cristo goes fantasy
In Dragon Weather, young Arlian's village is destroyed by dragons, and he vows to one day escape from slavery and get even with those who wronged him. It's not exactly a novel concept: the `orphaned boy' and the `quest' are common fantasy elements. But once you get past the clichés inherent in such a beginning, you'll start to see why this Count-of-Monte-Cristo-esque tale of injustice and revenge is an award-winner. As Arlian pursues his destiny, he learns that dedicating his life to vengeance is no easy task; that there might be more injustice in the world than he can atone for; that not everyone who has committed a sin is necessarily evil; and that he himself may have more in common with his enemies than he could possibly imagine.

3-0 out of 5 stars Compent fantasy
I read this novel sitting in a bookstore for a couple of hours waiting for my wife to get off work.As a book to read lightly for a few hours it works quite well.A great or notable contribution to fatasy it is not.The story is plot heavy, and while nothing in it is new or groundbreaking, it is engaging enough to keep your intrest.The main character is a man who sees all aspects of the world through his view of justice, and most of the novel is based on hime tring to extract revenge for crimes done to him and the moral dilemias he faces in tring to do this.
The novel is very plot driven, this is not really a character study, and there is a certian sense of detactment between the reader and the protagonist.Some people seem to love this giving this book great praise, so if you are a fan of plot driven novels this would be a good canidate for you.If not, it can take up a boring afternoon.

4-0 out of 5 stars DecentRead
This is one of Lawrence Watt-Evans better efforts in recent years.I really loved his early work.The Lord of Dus series and The Misenchanted Sword.Somewhere in the middle, he lost me.Nothing in his books was really grabbing me.An interesting back cover blurb and a nice cover made me pick this one up.While it is a good read, it certainly has some faults in storytelling.I think that the good outweighs the bad however, and the story contains a few unique ideas.So if you are a dragon fan, this will probably be a good read for you.

1-0 out of 5 stars Read The Count of Monte Cristo
For the first half of _Dragon Weather_, Watt-Evans basically rehashes one of my favorite books, _Count of Monte Cristo_. However, he doesn't do it quite so well as Dumas did. Of course, that's a high standard, and any book, in my mind, would suffer from a comparasion with Dumas.

There were several problems with this book. First of all, there was the writing. It was not very well paced. Several important plot points were virtually glossed over in sentances, where as a few were mentioned ad nauseum.

Secondly, Arlian has very, very hypocritical ethical standards. He bases his wealth on a series of burglaries, but he justifies it because the nobleman he robs holds slaves and hurt some of Arlian's friends. While slavery is wrong, it is not right to steal from someone. He is shown as being persistant in taking his revenge, but he takes it to such extremes. He does feel some remorse for some of the actions, but it's almost an afterthought. Compared to Edmond Dantes, Arlian leaves a sour taste in the mouth.

Thirdly, I did not feel that the world of Dragon Weather was very well developed. It didn't really seem to have very good underpinnings. All of the characters use nicknames, sometimes several. The reason is mentioned offhandedly, but is not really delved into. Aside from the nicknames, not much information is given about the culture.

Finally, an inordinate amount of the story relies on heavy, heavy coincidence. For example, several of the looters who find Arlian and sell him into slavery can recognize him. Arlien also convinces one man to leave his job to teach him to swordfight, in just a matter of minutes of meeting the man. Arlien and the leader of the looters belong to the same secret society. This type of thing goes on throughout the book, and it's really hard to ignore.

I would only recomend Dragon Weather if you are interested in some light bedtime reading. It is ultimately a forgettable novel. Science Fiction Chronicle decribed it as the best fantasy novel of the year. If that's the case, 1999 was a "ho hum" year for fantasy all around.
... Read more

10. The Wizard Lord (Annals of the Chosen, Vol. 1)
by Lawrence Watt-Evans
Hardcover: 336 Pages (2006-03-07)
list price: US$26.95 -- used & new: US$5.68
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0765310260
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

The Wizard Lord's duty is to keep the world in its delicate balance. He must govern lightly to protect his domain from power-hungry interlopers, such as certain wizards who previously fought to rule the worldÂ…But if the Wizard Lord himself strays from the way of the just, then it is up to the Chosen to intercede.

The Chosen ones are the Leader, the Seer, the Swordsman, the Beauty, the Thief, the Scholar, the Archer, and the Speaker. Each are magically-infused mortal individuals who, for the term of their service, have only one function--to be available to remove an errant Wizard Lord, whether by persuasion or by stronger means.

Breaker, a young man of ambition, has taken the mantle of Swordsman from its former bearer who wished to retire. Never did he realize that he would be called to duty so quickly, or that the balance of power in his world would be so precarious.

He had a duty to perform.A world to save.

So why does he still have doubtsÂ…not just about himself, but about the entire balance of power?

... Read more

Customer Reviews (19)

2-0 out of 5 stars A Closed Book
The only way I can describe this book is closed. The author makes many limitations on the environment and the people that inhabit it. Ultimately this makes it seem like the characters that are mentioned are the only spinning gears in this story. Out of all the characters in the entire book, even the minor ones that say only a word or two, there are only a couple that have any ambition. Everyone is content doing their job and task just seems reluctant to do anything ambitious or outside the norm.

Cities are nonexistent or just never talked about and the entire country is made up of small villages that are only connected by small trails. If you don't follow these trails the wild ler (pesky spirits that inhabit the land and most often then not are angry selfish things yet towns worship them for some reason even though they cause more harm then good) attack or w/e it is they can do.

If you mix these types of people (people that just want to get through the day and never try to better themselves or their situations)and an environment that puts extreme limitations on how people and towns interact leaving you with without the power to speculate whats happening in the world outside of the characters.

All of this coupled with a bland hero archetype for the main character and his gang lazy 'heroes', that want to be anywhere else but where they are and doing something else then what they are doing at any given point, lead to a generic fantasy story that doesn't entice imagination or thought.

4-0 out of 5 stars Pretty good
Lawrence Watt-Evans is almost unique among modern fantasy writers in that he can write a short, entertaining stand alone book rather then a 7 book 800 page per book opus that constantly goes in circles.He's also unique in his avoidance of most fantasy cliches.In this book for example, you'd expect the Swordsman to hook up with the Babe - he doesn't.You'd expect the bad guy to be out to conquer the world in the name of evil - instead, he just wants revenge for past slights done to him. Most of the people in his books in fact, seem to be making decisions based on some kind of logic. You'd expect the heroes to be heroic, instead they're kind of whiny and hesitant - including the main character.

On the flip side though, the stakes in some of his books often seem slight and the resolutions seem anti climatic.That's one weakness in this book, the heroes victory isn't that strenuous and you never felt the danger was that great.If I'd been the bad guy and had his powers, I'm pretty sure I could have done a lot more to stop the heroes.Also, as someone else pointed out, his characters here are a little to whiny and less sympathetic then they could be.

Regardless though, I still recommend the book because it's an enjoyable read and a different view of fantasy then your likely to get anywhere else.

5-0 out of 5 stars Joey from Lake Tapps says, "This is the best book I have ever read!!!!!"
"Slam! Breaker was locked into the secret room as the door snapped shut behind him! Luckily, he had instinctively jammed his sword into the crack between the closing doors and had prevented it from locking fully! With utmost care, he stuck his foot into the crack and withdrew his sword. After sheathing his sword, He placed his fingers into the crack and opened the double-doors. Once done, he saw two white-faced maidens staring at him." This is one of the many exciting parts of The Wizard Lord. Can you see why I enjoyed this book so much? I have read hundreds of books and The Wizard Lord is by far my favorite! I give this book five stars!!!

In the story, The Wizard Lord, there is an eighteen year old called Breaker. He is nicknamed so, because when he was little, he used to break many dishes, cups, et cetera. Twelve years later, he is swilling beer with his old friends after finishing a barley harvest. He then sees an old traveler carrying a sword. His first thought is, "a real sword!!" He soon learns that this man is the Chosen Swordsman out of the eight Chosen. The eight are: The Leader, The Speaker, The Archer, The Thief, The Beauty, The Seer, The Swordsman, and the Scholar. Together they keep the Wizard Lord who controls all living things as well as the weather. This man will offer Breaker his job as Swordsman and that will change Breaker's life forever.

My favorite part of this fantastic novel is where Breaker and his team are suddenly surrounded by squirrels possessed by The Wizard Lord! The Seer breaks their necks and The Speaker uses their true names. Both of these release the squirrels from the Wizard Lord's power. As then finish, a wild elk, also possessed, charges out of the forest! You will have to read to find out about Breaker's fantastic battle against this magically strengthened elk! I really loved that part because it is jumping from one exciting part to the next and is always keeping you on the edge of your seat!

Almost all of the main characters were amazing in different ways! For Example, The Leader can make anybody listen to him intently and take him seriously, The Seer could see where the chosen and The Wizard Lord are, The Speaker can talk to anything, even ghosts, The Swordsman (Breaker) is the fastest, strongest, and best at swordplay in the world, The Archer can never miss with a bow and arrow, The Thief can steal anything unnoticed and pick any lock or pocket, The Beauty is the most attractive woman in the world, The Scholar learn a new thing every day and can never forget the truthful things, and lastly, The Wizard Lord has all the powers of all of them into one, and he controls the weather and animals.

I would love this book to become a movie because all my favorite movies are either too exciting or too fantasy! Eragon has all of the fantasy in it and The Lord of the Rings has all the action! This book has everything combined, story line, action, suspense!! If the book can keep me this far onto the edge of my seat, then the movie will probably make me fall off right onto the sticky theatre floor!

I would definitely recommend this book to readers 10+! It is a fantastic novel and you will love it if you enjoyed the Harry Potter series! Other great books I will recommend are: The Thief Lord, Inkheart, Eragon, Eldest, and the whole Series of Unfortunate events. I hope you will read the great book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Joey from Lake Tapps says, "This is the best book I have ever read!!!!!"
"Slam! Breaker was locked into the secret room as the door snapped shut behind him! Luckily, he had instinctively jammed his sword into the crack between the closing doors and had prevented it from locking fully! With utmost care, he stuck his foot into the crack and withdrew his sword. After sheathing his sword, He placed his fingers into the crack and opened the double-doors. Once done, he saw two white-faced maidens staring at him." This is one of the many exciting parts of The Wizard Lord. Can you see why I enjoyed this book so much? I have read hundreds of books and The Wizard Lord is by far my favorite! I give this book five stars!!!

In the story, The Wizard Lord, there is an eighteen year old called Breaker. He is nicknamed so, because when he was little, he used to break many dishes, cups, et cetera. Twelve years later, he is swilling beer with his old friends after finishing a barley harvest. He then sees an old traveler carrying a sword. His first thought is, "a real sword!!" He soon learns that this man is the Chosen Swordsman out of the eight Chosen. The eight are: The Leader, The Speaker, The Archer, The Thief, The Beauty, The Seer, The Swordsman, and the Scholar. Together they keep the Wizard Lord who controls all living things as well as the weather. This man will offer Breaker his job as Swordsman and that will change Breaker's life forever.

My favorite part of this fantastic novel is where Breaker and his team are suddenly surrounded by squirrels possessed by The Wizard Lord! The Seer breaks their necks and The Speaker uses their true names. Both of these release the squirrels from the Wizard Lord's power. As then finish, a wild elk, also possessed, charges out of the forest! You will have to read to find out about Breaker's fantastic battle against this magically strengthened elk! I really loved that part because it is jumping from one exciting part to the next and is always keeping you on the edge of your seat!

Almost all of the main characters were amazing in different ways! For Example, The Leader can make anybody listen to him intently and take him seriously, The Seer could see where the chosen and The Wizard Lord are, The Speaker can talk to anything, even ghosts, The Swordsman (Breaker) is the fastest, strongest, and best at swordplay in the world, The Archer can never miss with a bow and arrow, The Thief can steal anything unnoticed and pick any lock or pocket, The Beauty is the most attractive woman in the world, The Scholar learn a new thing every day and can never forget the truthful things, and lastly, The Wizard Lord has all the powers of all of them into one, and he controls the weather and animals.

I would love this book to become a movie because all my favorite movies are either too exciting or too fantasy! Eragon has all of the fantasy in it and The Lord of the Rings has all the action! This book has everything combined, story line, action, suspense!! If the book can keep me this far onto the edge of my seat, then the movie will probably make me fall off right onto the sticky theatre floor!

I would definitely recommend this book to readers 10+! It is a fantastic novel and you will love it if you enjoyed the Harry Potter series! Other great books I will recommend are: The Thief Lord, Inkheart, Eragon, Eldest, and the whole Series of Unfortunate events. I hope you will read the great book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Gathering of the Chosen
The Wizard Lord (2006) is the first fantasy novel in the Annals of the Chosen series.The Wizard Lord rules all of Barokan, although he has limitations on his authority.He can kill rogue wizards and any criminal who flees into the wilderness, but not innocent people.If he exceeds his limits and becomes a Dark Lord, the Chosen will gather to kill him.

In this novel, Breaker is a young man in the village of Mad Oak.As the villagers are celebrating the completion of the barley harvest, two wizards and the Swordsman -- one of the Chosen -- come into town looking for a new Swordsman.Breaker is the only one to volunteer for the position.

Breaker gets a good scolding from his mother.She sees the affair as him agreeing to become a killer.Breaker can't convince her that the position is purely ceremonial.After all, there hasn't been a Dark Lord for over one hundred years.

Breaker won't become the Swordsman unless he has learned how to use a sword and then defeats the Old Swordsman in a duel to first blood.For the next few months, he practices with the Old Swordsman and is unable to even touch him while practicing.

The Old Swordsman, however, is able to touch him almost anywhere on his body, but Breaker is beginning to hold him at bay for longer intervals.His friends see what the Old Swordsman can do to him and think that he is an easy mark.After several efforts to fence with him and receiving sound defeats, they start calling him the New Swordsman.

In this story, the day finally comes for the ritual duel.Naturally, the Old Swordsman is not allowed to use his magic in this duel, but decades of practice still give him a substantial edge.Although the Old Swordsman agrees to leave an opening for Breaker, the opening moves by the Old Swordsman are powerful and quick.

The Wizard Lord can see and talk through the lower animals.He uses a rabbit to watch the duel.Breaker has never heard a talking rabbit before, but is told that this is one of the many powers bestowed on the Wizard Lord.

Breaker begins to wonder if the Old Swordsman has changed his mind.Then the rabbit makes a comment and the Old Swordsman is momentarily distracted.Breaker lunges and gets a hit on his opponent's shoulder.He has won and undergoes the rituals that make him the greatest swordsman of the land.

Before the Old Swordsman leaves Mad Oak, he confides to Breaker that he is worried about the Wizard Lord.Unlike prior Wizard Lords, the current Lord has constructed his home away from any village.He has more temper than the previous two Lords and seems less predictable and less rational.But the Old Swordsman only has suspicions without any proof.

Breaker decides that he will visit the Wizard Lord after the spring planting.Besides, he needs -- and wants -- to go out into the wider world and learn more about the land.After all, he has never before been away from Mad Oak.

The story tells of the trek of Breaker out into the greater world of Barokan.He learns much about the strange customs and unusual ways of other villages.He also learns that the Seer -- another Chosen -- has passed through villages ahead of him and he decides to visit her prior to traveling to the Wizard Lord.

Months later, he is thinking about returning home when a guide arrives to lead him to the Seer.He also will meet the Scholar -- another Chosen -- in the town of Tumbled Sheep.There he receives news that seem to confirm the Old Swordsman's suspicions.

Breaker is new to the Chosen and he questions almost everything.He wonders if the Seer and Scholar are impostors or have lied to him.As he eventually meets the other Chosen, he questions their identities and actions.He must have been noted for his incessant questioning even as a child.

This tale is very different from other novels by the author, but the characters have similar aspects.Overall, this novel is very readable.Still, it is difficult to foresee how the sequels will continue this tale.Enjoy!

Highly recommended for Watt-Evans fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of magical powers, daring quests and tangled relationships.

-Arthur W. Jordin ... Read more

11. The Unwilling Warlord: A Legend of Ethshar
by Lawrence Watt-Evans
Kindle Edition: Pages (2008-07-25)
list price: US$6.99
Asin: B001D9DLXA
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
When the foreigners confronted Sterren in Ethshar of the Spices he was uneasy; when they all but abducted him, taking him to an obscure kingdom in the south, he knew he was in a terrible predicament. A predicament some might actually find appealing -- he was by heredity the Ninth Warlord of Semma, least of the small kingdoms; he was a noble, and his rank afforded him material privileges, even in a place as insignificant and obscure as Semma.

But the office also carried certain terrible responsibilities: he was to win the war the stupid King had stirred up by his arrogance. Two larger and stronger Kingdoms were preparing to invade Semma. And if the country lost, the first thing likely to be forfeit was the life of the Warlord!

And if it won . . . if it won, the fate and shape of Ethshar would change forever.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great story and gives much background on the warlock in regards to the magic of Ethshar.
If you are a fan of the Ethshar books this story gives great insight into the warlocks. In many way even gives more information then the night of madness does. ... Read more

12. The Ninth Talisman (Annals of the Chosen, Vol. 2)
by Lawrence Watt-Evans
Mass Market Paperback: 336 Pages (2008-04-29)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$1.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0765349027
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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All of the world is kept in a delicate balance under the supervision of the Wizard Lord. It is his duty to govern lightly and protect his domain…but if he should stray from the way of the just, then it is up to the Chosen to intercede.
The Chosen are the Leader, the Seer, the Swordsman, the Beauty, the Thief, the Scholar, the Archer, and the Speaker. These are magically infused mortal individuals who for the term of their service have only one function--to remove an errant Wizard Lord. 
The Chosen fulfilled this role when they removed the previous Wizard Lord and exposed treachery from within their own ranks.

Since their last adventure, the world has returned to apparent peace and prosperity. The new Wizard Lord rules benevolently...but with an eye towards modernization through technology, instead of magic. 
Do such plans jeopardize the delicate balance of power?

Is a Wizard Lord who is able to rule without magic a threat to the Chosen?
... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars Summer Palace
This item arrived very rapidly and was well packaged.It got here so quickly, in fact, that I had to wait to read it because the previous book in the series (ordered from another vendor) took much longer to arrive.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Progressive Wizard
The Progressive Wizard

The Ninth Talisman (2007) is the second novel in the Annals of the Chosen series, following The Wizard Lord.In the previous volume, Breaker -- the Chosen Swordsman -- slew the Dark Lord of Galbek Hills and ended his reign of evil.When the Council of Immortals came to select the next Wizard Lord, Breaker argued against setting up another immensely powerful autocrat to possibly betray his responsibilities.Breaker was told that such recommendations were not within his purview, so he went home to Mad Oak.

In this novel, three years later, Erren Zal Tuyo kam Darig seveth Tirimsir abek Du still resided in the village of Mad Oak.Nicknamed Breaker due to his childhood clumsiness, he is now called Sword by his fellow villagers.Breaker is still unhappy about the rejection of his arguments by the Council.Then one night he learns from the Young Priestess of his village a good reason for continuing the custom of the Wizard Lord.

Three years after that, Breaker is presented with another puzzle.A crew working for the Wizard Lord completes a road from Willowbank to Mad Oak.Since the old Willowbank guide has died, the villagers are delighted with this new resource.Although few wish to travel, now anyone can take the road to Willowbank at any time without fear of the wild ler.More important, traders can bring large wagons of goods to Mad Oak without difficulties with the ler.

Of course, the wild ler on the road path have been displaced, but they will soon fade from the scene.The priest and priestesses are still distressed by the agitation of the wild ler and maybe a few ghosts will haunt the village for a while, but these problems also will soon fade away.Yet Breaker is troubled over the change.

In this story, Breaker leaves for Willowbank four day later.The people of Mad Oak have been suffering from nightmares and ghosts, the livestock have been skittish, much of the milk has soured, and at least one barrel of beer has been skunked, but the disturbances are gradually fading.

The road is still open.Of course, none of the villagers have dared to use it, but a Chosen Swordsman should have no problems.Breaker has a lot of questions to ask and they are not being answered in Mad Oak.So he puts three ara plumes in his hat and sets off toward Willowbank.

From Willowbank, Breaker travels to Rock Ridge, then Broadpool and Beggar's Hill.Everywhere he goes, people ask questions, which he answers as best he can.In Beggar's Hill, the Wizard Lord talks to him through a possessed hound.

Leaving Beggar's Hill, Breaker sees the Summer Palace for the first time.He strides toward it, then passes it as he reaches the outskirts of Winterhome.The palace is built on the cliffs above Winterhome, outside Barokan where nothing permanent should be standing.Breaker definitely needs to ask the Wizard Lord a few questions.Maybe more than a few.

This tale takes Breaker back home after meeting with the Wizard Lord.Then Leader calls a meeting of the Chosen to discuss the changes.Breaker explains his impressions of the Wizard Lord as best he can and then suggests that Lore be consulted.The scholar comes down from the Summer Palace to present his own impressions of the new Wizard Lord.Both agree that the Wizard Lord wants to use less magic and to improve the lives of the common people.

The Chosen learn of the Ninth Talisman and Lore states that the Wizard Lord's actions in this instance are a clear case of interference with the Chosen.Such is forbidden under the rules, so the Chosen ask the Wizard Lord to explain his actions.

This story ends with an unresolved conflict, but the plot will resume in The Summer Palace.Luckily, this sequel is now available.Enjoy!

Highly recommended for Watt-Evans fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of exotic cultures, magical conflict, and dutiful assassins.

-Arthur W. Jordin

2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing... again
This is the second book in the The Annals of the Chosen series, and it follows true to the form of the last book.In the last book, the story was somewhat interesting, very original and interesting, but poorly written.This book, however, is worse than the first.
Bogging this book, and my brain, is the repetition.Usually repetition of style is good, but not for him.In every chapter, the reference to the Wizard Lord of the Galbek Hills, or the Galbek Hills, is brought up.And not only is that annoying, the story of what happened is repeated.The only reason I could guess he kept restating that incident over and over again was for those people who are skipping around the chapters and might miss it-- although they would have to be extremely blind to not miss the reference over and over.But the only reason those people would be skipping is because of the useless repetition...

Not only is the repetition annoying, but it's REALLY ANNOYING.He recounts a story of something from the last book to a few characters, but to the two or three people (I can't remember) people he tells it to, it only gets more annoying hearing it.He could have written that the character explained the even to the person rather than having him talk about it for half a page.The repetition is so bad that it is like watching a Speed Racer marathon because it is almost to the point-- and at some places it is to the point-- that characters repeat the same thing in word and/ or in thought.

Also, the UNREALISTIC CHARACTERS AND DIALOG are very annoying.This whole series keeps me watching the story rather than watching the main character.The main character can't be sympathized with mainly because we don't know who he is.When we think he's one thing, he turns out to contradict that.What really confused me was when he seemed reserved, then he meets somebody and is talking about how skilled he is with his "little stick" (take a few seconds to guess).I almost felt like putting the book down at that point because it was if I was reading from a perverted teenager rather than somebody who has been alive for a great deal of years more.Also, when that scene should have turned awry between the two characters, things continue on without problem.And worse yet is the part where he is talking to friend, and something he says takes up about 10 seconds... in there, he says things that seemed weird and would usually make the other person in his conversation give him a questioning eye, but no... he continues and the other person sits and listens as if nothing weird happens...
The dialog between the characters is very short and very unintelligent.
"Are you really going there?"
"Yes, of course, I must say."
"How do you think it will go?"

That is not very good... for any writer...

This series seems like it was done when he was in his early to mid teens and now, only after establishing himself as a writer, he has picked up the manuscripts and sent them in without editing them one bit.

I continue to read these because I like his style, but the fake characters and conversation, and the annoying repetition of the main character's thoughts and reasoning along with all of the other repetition strip this series of any dignity...

His style is, however, good enough that I will be buying the next book soon, because I've learned how to skip the crap and get to the finish... I hope you can do the same...

2-0 out of 5 stars Lots of Filler
Let me begin by saying that I am a fan of Watt-Evans. I really liked the Obsidian Chronicles, I enjoyed the Esthar books and I liked the first volume in this series. The Ninth Talisman, however, was quite a dissapointment. My major complaint was the relatively slim story, and the inordinate amount of padding. The book itself is a slim 312 pages, shorter than most children's books in this post-Harry Potter publishing world. In and of itself, this wouldn't be a problem. One of the things I enjoy most about Watt-Evans, particulalry his Esthar books, is his economy of style. Generally Watt-Evans can deliver a good story with exciting charcters that doesn't require one to commit to thousands of pages of reading. Unfortunately, in the Ninth Talisman Watt-Evans does not deliver a particulalry exciting story. In addition, much of this slim volume really appears padded, particulalry when the main character thinks to himself, "The Wizard Lord may be acting strangely, but he did build the roads and everyone seems to like him." Words to this effect recur over and over throughout the text, essentially everytime the Wizard Lord gets mentioned. I wouldn't be surprised if about 100 pages of this book could be eliminated by not repeating the same formulation and rehearsing the same arguments over and over again. This really feels like half a book that has been stretched out to one book. I do not recommend you purchase this book, but rather check it out at the library. Also, to avoid too much dissapointment for the overly rushed cliff-hanger ending, you might want to wait until the next volume in this series comes out before you bother reading this one.

4-0 out of 5 stars Solid continuation of the story
Volume 2 of the Annals of the Chosen (The Ninth Talisman) takes up just a few years after the end of volume 1. We still follow Sword, as he gathers with the new Chosen to consider a moral dilemma not faced the Chosen before.

While the first book could stand alone as a novel, the second assumes most of the world knowledge imparted in the first. Further, (small spoiler) the second book does not have a conclusive ending; it's like a TV series with a "to be continued..." at the end.

The prose is still contemplative, following a guy who is not necessarily as nimble and sharp-witted as your typical fantasy hero, but who is also no dullard. In fact, the character seems to have grown through the previous adventures -- as they say, travel is fatal to bigotry!

However, the book dangles a number of carrots in front of the reader all along, while not really delivering towards the end. It's as if a house of cards is carefully built, and then haphazardly whacked when it gets in the way of delivering a tense suspense ending. That's too bad -- with a different take on a few other characters, and a less heavy-handed treatment the crucial moment, the book might have gotten five stars.

Well, four and a half -- I don't like a book that leaves the reader with that "to be continued" feeling as much as this book does, and that dings it half a star just in itself.
... Read more

13. Shining Steel
by Lawrence Watt-Evans
Paperback: 194 Pages (2009-05-12)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$10.32
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0981848710
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When John Mercy-of-Christ's soldiers ran up against weapons like none they had ever seen before, John's campaign to defeat the enemies of The True Word and Flesh came to a sudden halt. Once guns that could only come from Old Earth arrived, the doctrinal differences between his sect and the Chosen of the Holy Ghost had to be put to one side-for what other abominations might be in store? If the starships of Earth were to battle the swords of Godsworld, John was ready for that war. But what he wasn't ready for was just how much the new war was going to change him. ... Read more

14. The Lure of the Basilisk (Lords of Dus)
by Lawrence Watt-Evans
Paperback: 208 Pages (2001-11-01)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$14.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1587155877
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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The overman named Garth sought immortal fame. The oracle told him to serve the Forgotten King to get that fame. But this King sent Garth after a basilisk whose gaze could turn men to stone. What sane use could anyone have for a monster like that? ... Read more

Customer Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Stinking Lizard
The Lure of the Basilisk (1980) is the first Fantasy novel in The Lords of the Dus series.It is set in a primitive world where soldiers fight with swords and spears and wizards battle with magic.Three centuries afore, the overmen had been driven into the Northern Waste during the Racial Wars.

In this novel, Garth is an overman.His breed had been created by a wizard centuries past. He is the Prince of Ordunin -- a port city in the far north -- and Lord of the Overmen of the Northern Waste.

The Forgotten King is an immortal man from long ago.He lives in the King's Inn within the village of Skelleth.

In this story, Garth goes to consult the Wise Women of Ordunin.He is tired of death and dying.He wants to gain a reputation that will be known as long as anything lives.The oracle sends him to Skelleth to meet with the Forgotten King.

Being a practical person -- like all overmen -- Garth prepares for the long journey.He rides a great black warbeast, derived from cat, dog, and donkey ancestors.It had been given to him in lieu of tribute by the overmen of Kirpa.

The warbeast has such wide paws that it walks on the surface of mud and snow.It carries him rapidly across the frozen ground to the village of Skelleth.The town had been an outpost of the Empire, but has gone downhill after the conflict ended.The wall has fallen many places and the gates are permanently open.

Garth rides through the North Gate without encountering any guards.He continues though the town to the King's Inn.There he finds an old man and asks him if he is the Forgotten King.When the man indicates in the affirmative, Garth sits down and tells his story.

The man in yellow rags thinks about the tale for a while and then says to Garth that he must prove his competence.The Forgotten King tells him to journey to the crypts in Mormoreth and bring back the first living things that he sees.

Garth doesn't know how big the thing will be, so he buys a fine meshed cage, chains of all sizes, and a bolt of cloth to bind the creature.Two days later, he leaves through the East Gate.The Forgotten King has given him detailed information on the roads to Mormoreth, so he should not have any problem finding the place.

However, Garth discovers invisible bandits on the road.He fights the ruffians and his warbeast kills a few.After most of the bandits are driven off, Garth discovers that only two of the bodies are still alive.

He treats the most severely wounded and covers him with furs from the other bodies.Then he has the warbeast pick up the creature pinning the other bandit to the ground and hauls him out from under the beast.Garth then splints the man's leg and treats his wounds.

Garth questions his prisoner and learns that the bandit leader has a stone that renders the bandits invisible.The leader had obtained it from Shang, a wizard living in Mormoreth.Garth searches the body of the leader and stashes the stone in his pocket.

The other man dies in the night.The remaining prisoner -- Elmil -- gives his word not to try to escape or injure Garth.This man also gives the warbeast the name of Koros, an Arkheim god of war.Garth agrees that the name fits his warbeast.

This tale puts Garth in further conflict with the bandits.They have another magical artifact from Shang that shields the new leader from Garth.After Garth and Koros kill more of the bandits, the new leader agrees to cease the conflicts.

Garth finds a basilisk within the crypts.The next installment in this series is The Seven Altars of Dusarra.Read and enjoy!

Highly recommended for Watt-Evans fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of magical creatures, rational warriors, and subtle humor.

-Arthur W. Jordin

4-0 out of 5 stars The Start
This is the first book in a 4 novel series, and also the first published novel of Mr. Watt-Evans.The book is well written, and shows all the promise and excitement of a new and talented writer.The story has many familiar trappings as Garth is sent out on the first of many quests.Though the use of Garth the Overman as the main character makes for an interesting and differant read.I would recommend this book and series.If you enjoy the wryness of the story, check out The Misenchanted Sword for some fun.

4-0 out of 5 stars "But then, they were merely humans..."
Garth, Prince ofOrdunin, Lord of the Overmen of the Northern Waste, doesn't want much.He is tired of being inconsequential in the grand scheme of things and wants to be remembered by everyone in the world, as long as anyone remains alive.Having demanded advice from the local oracles he gets a surprising answer.Go to the worn out town of Skelleth, and offer his services to a worn out beggar dressed in a tacky yellow robe.He does, and thereby hangs this tale.

Garth receives the first of what will become a series of quests, to retrieve the first animal he finds in the crypts beneath Mormoreth.Easier said, of course, than done.Marmoreth is a deserted city ruled over by the enchanter, Shang.Various robbers and brigands, all in Shang's pay, watch the road to Marmoreth.And Korg, Garth's giant warbeast is perpetually hungry.Oh!I forgot!The only animal in the crypts of Marmoreth is a basilisk.An irritable, poisonous, and generally impossible basilisk.

As Garth works his way through the twists of this quest with an engineer's attention to detail, and a slight tendency to be absent minded at critical moments, we get occasional glimpses of how humans would look to another intelligent life form.Somewhat insane, of course.Even to someone on a quest as insane as moving a basilisk cross-country.

Watt-Evans fills his story with little wry moments that mave all two hundred pages enjoyable.With the advantage of years, we know that this first effort turned itself into an entire series, with Garth becoming the perfect outsider whose encounters with humanity (and the King in Yellow) inevitably have unexpected results.

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent tale.
This short book (clocking at only 200 pages) is the beginning of a four-book series.
I haven't yet read the other books, but I must honestly say that the author made good use of description (But it's not slow and boring, like it is in Ursula LeGuin's or Tad Williams' books).
The Main character, the Overman Garth, a renowned warrior among his people, goes on a quest for something any sane person has always wanted, immortal fame.
In order to thus gain what he desires he visits the Forgotten King, an exiled Sorceror Lord residing in the city of Skelleth, who directs him to take a quest to capture and bring to the Forgotten King the first living thing he discovers in the crypts of the lost city of Mormoreth.
Garth proceeds to make his way there, fighting off bandits and the enchanter Shang.
As for the characters, I liked how the author made the chivalrous hero of the story non-human, and how he dealt with how the protagonist's system of values and personal beliefs differed from those of a human being.
The other main characters in the story are a soldier, a bandit leader, and of course, the bad guys.
The three main bad guys are not all villains in the story.
The forgotten king is left mysterious in order to establish himself as a character in the later books.
The Baron of Skelleth, who'd like to see Garth dead, is despite this, somewhat of a sympathetic character, having been placed in a dreadful corner of the world because of a decision of his father's, and has a mysterious illness.
The actual "villain," here, then, would be Shang, Although an enemy of the Forgotten King, Shang seems to be equally as vile in his actions.
Thus it was a quick read, and a good descriptive work with intriguing characters. Recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great fantasy story
Tired of a world filled with death and decay, Garth the overman is directed by an oracle to go south into the human lands and serve one known as the Forgotten King, where he will win fame that will endure to the end of the world. But, the King's first command sends Garth off to find and bring back a nightmare creature out of legend, and to get it Garth must overcome bandits, foul magic, greed and madness. But, why does the Forgotten King want this loathsome creature? This is a strange and difficult quest, one that might give Garth what he does not want.

I am a great fan of Lawrence Watt-Evans' wonderful Ethshar series, and now that I can't find any more to read, I decided to move onto his Lords of Dus series (of which this is book one). Well, I was not disappointed! This is a great fantasy story, complete with magic, strange creatures, and lots of swordplay. In particular, I found the author's use of a non-human as the protagonist to be quite intriguing and masterfully done.

So, if you are a fan of fantasy literature, then you must get this book. You will not be disappointed. ... Read more

15. The Nightmare People
by Lawrence Watt-Evans
Paperback: 203 Pages (2005-03-04)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$11.76
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1587152010
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

The next step in the evolution of evil. . . .

Ed Smith thought he was having a waking nightmare when he saw a monstrous face at his window that night.

But in the morning his neighbors were missing.

The people who turned up later in their places weren’t . . . right, somehow. As gradually Smith realized they not only weren't his neighbors, but weren't even human — they were the monstrous creatures of his waking dream . . .

“. . . an absolutely great ending . . .”Rave Reviews, June/July 1990

“You owe it to yourself to check out The Nightmare People.Horror novels this original, and fun, are few and far between.Highly recommended.” — Mike Baker

“A first class job of horror fiction.”— Vero Beach Press Journal, May 5, 1991

“. . . one of the better books this year.”— Fangoria #99, Dec. 1990

Lawrence Watt-Evans

past president of the Horror Writers' Association ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

3-0 out of 5 stars Entertaining but dumb
The Nightmare People opens with a bang, quite possibly the 2nd best opening chapter I've ever read (Blood Music by Connelly being the first).

Ed Smith spies a particularly hideous monster peering in his window one hot August evening. He halks it up to a waking dream or hallucination, only to find out the next morning that all 200 occupants of his apartment complex have gone missing. Those neighbors are eventually found, but have apparently been replaced by...otherworldly creatures wearing their skins.

The plot is downright implausible and silly. The author throws in some rather idiotic complications to delay Smith and his band of "nightmare people killers" from going to the police. It seems fairly obvious that Watt-Evans wrote himself into a corner here.

There are some very audacious set-pieces in this book, some that make you shiver to your very bones. The creatures in this novel aren't circumspect about their purpose - call one of the telephone (yes, they'll answer) and it'll be more than happy to tell you about its (evil) purpose in this world.

Characterization, beyond the main character, is lacking but to be expected of a 200 page book. The action is fast, lose, and while nonsensical, ends up being satisfying. I found the final resolution to be a tad pat, almost "deus ex machina"-like, but I'm still glad I read it.

Given a few changes, such as the creatures' main weakness, this would make a very scary horror movie.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best surprise ending EVER!!
This book starts off a little slow.You learns the main characters name about 3 chapters in, and the story only begins to hint at what is to come.PURE EVIL.That is what the Nightmare People are, and they will admit it right before they eat you.I will reveal no more, as to give away anything else will spoil all the surprises.All I can say is that this book gets better as it goes, and ther ending is the BEST!I read that LWE once got a phone call late one night from a young man that had just read his novel.Once you read this you will see why.Get it and read it.

Hurry, what are you waiting for?This book might just save your life!;)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Truly Frightning Story
I first read this book years ago when my friend(who,like myself, has read many horror novels) told me that this book actually scared him. I, of course, had to read for myself. Never before in all my reading has a bookgiven me the willies like this one. I had a hard time going to sleep forweeks afterward. This book was passed on to every skeptic (macho guys aswell) and every one,to the last, was physically scared by it. Great readif you can find one. The original copy I had was lent out and neverreturned. Whenever I see a used bookstore,espcially when travelling, Ialways stop in to see if I can find a copy. No luck yet. I guess anyone whoever owned it knew not to let such a gem out of their hands. If you can,READ THIS BOOK! I guarantee you'll be scared(but loving every minute ofit!).

5-0 out of 5 stars CHILLING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
this book will make you look at people differently

5-0 out of 5 stars A true terror!!!
If you want a fright I recommend this book. The nightmare People is one the scaries story I have ever read in my life and I've read Lovecraft,Poe,King,Barker and many other of the great horror and supensenovalist and this was like nothing I had ever expirence in reading a horrornovel. I couldn't sleep for week after reading and for two days whilereading it and since I have never read anything better or that can compare.

Thanks Larry ... Read more

16. In the Empire of Shadow (Three World Trilogy, No. 2)
by Lawrence Watt-Evans
Paperback: 264 Pages (2004-11-01)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$15.25
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Asin: 0809589176
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
A handful of ordinary Americans -- housewives, lawyers, interior decorators, and the like -- found themselves caught up in a transdimensional conflict, and transported from their homes to realms where magic worked, to desert planets and rebel worlds, to places straight out of science fiction and fantasy. But these were not the harmless, happy-ending lands of film and fable. The sweat and blood was real, and the horrors they faced genuinely dangerous. One world was a world of magic, ruled by a dark force called Shadow. A handful of would-be heroes resisted Shadow's dominion, and sought assistance in their desperate struggle to free their homeland. The other reality was a universe of spaceships and rayguns, dominated by a Galactic Empire that saw Shadow as a threat -- and that demanded the exiles from our world aid them in their campaign. Against their will, these few people were flung into battle . . . IN THE EMPIRE OF SHADOW -- "In Worlds of Shadow, Lawrence Watt-Evans tells an exciting tale with memorable characters and relentless action. A must-read for fans of dark fantasy and horror."-- Karen E. Taylor, author of _The Vampire Legacy_ Series ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars I loved this book!
In this sequel to Out of This World, Pellinore Brown returns from the universe of the Galactic Empire to the world of Faerie, which is his only possible way back to Earth. But, when his group comes under attack by the forces of Shadow, Pel quickly realizes that the only way he will get home is over the Shadow's dead body. And so, with his mixed bag of wizards and swordsmen, spacemen and mutants, and homesick earthlings, he is off to Shadow's stronghold. But, what he finds there will surprise him...and some surprises are nasty indeed!

I must start out by saying that I am a big fan of Lawrence Watt-Evans, and am enthralled by his Three Worlds series. I have enjoyed the way that the author constructed his three universes, and then wove them together. Like the first book, this one lulls you into thinking it's a fun little children's story, but before you know it the author turns up the heat and the story becomes quite serious indeed. If you are put off by stories that include death and dismemberment, then you will dislike this book.

But, as for me, I loved this book! I absolutely love the setting, I found the story to be engaging, and the characters enjoyable. I can't wait to get the next book in the series, and see how it all turns out. This is a great book, by a great author, and I recommend them both to you! ... Read more

17. The Blood of a Dragon
by Lawrence Watt-Evans
Mass Market Paperback: 304 Pages (2008-12-30)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$2.94
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Asin: 084395924X
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18. Newer York
by Lawrence Watt-Evans
 Paperback: 384 Pages (1991-06-01)
list price: US$4.50 -- used & new: US$6.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0451450450
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (3)

2-0 out of 5 stars Nugglenortz!!!
Born, raised, and still living in that Scrappy-Doo state known as NU JOY-ZEE, the sole motivation for me to purchase this book was to read about the dystopian environments concocted regarding the future of the glorious metropolis EN-WHY-SEE. Believe when I declare the shorter stories in the collection are vastly superior to the longer ones; the inclusion of "cyberpunk" and "cyberpunk-not-so-cleverly-disguised-as-anti-cyberpunk" stories really dooms the book. It's a lousy genre, trite and despondent and self-indulgent without a semblance of legit wit. Minus those stories, my rating for this book would have been higher.

5-0 out of 5 stars Speculative Stories from the City that Never Sleeps
Take a trip down Broadway as you've never seen it!This themed anthology series contains 25 different visions of the Big Apple.Visions of the city as it will be, as it may be now in the dark corners and mysterious alleys, and, as it never was.Lawrence Watt-Evans has collected a wide variety of stories from to create an anthology that takes readers from Central Park to the Upper East Side, to Chinatown and Wall Street.

The collection has a decent balance of stories, from the patently absurd, to the deadly serious; SF, fantasy and horror are all well represented.Unfortunately my least favorite story is also the first in the anthology.An off-the-wall pun-fest from Piers Anthony, Cloister is a bit too ludicrous for my taste, and a poor choice for a kick off story for this collection, as it is misleading in setting the overall tone of the anthology.I strongly recommend readers skip Cloister (unless you like some seriously painful puns) and open with Getting Real by Susan Shwartz, which is my particular favorite story in the entire anthology.

Overall, this anthology is brimming with good picks: Getting Real takes readers down into the subways, and the shadow life of Temps.Wild Thing by Eric Blackburn is an out and out horror story of the ancient terrors that can lurk in Central Park.The Baby Track by Howard Mettelmark is a short-short with a hysterical take on an infant on the fast track to success.Slow Burn in Alphabettown by S. N. Lewitt looks at a future NYC with a big trash problem.Fans of Michael Resnick's STALKING THE UNICORN will recognize the alternate NYC in Post Time in Pink, where Resnick revisits his characters in yet another strange adventure. There are more than enough good stories to outshine the less spectacular fare.I was not thrilled with the somewhat pedestrian The Cleanest Block in Town by Janet Asimov, and, as I mentioned, found Cloister to be painful to read.

Perhaps the most glaring fact is that NEWER YORK was published in 1991, and so is out of date by more than ten years. Long before 9/11 happened and altered the cityscape of Manhattan--therefore the futures rendered in this anthology cannot reflect on those events.Nevertheless, it is a commendable collection and I'm grateful to Lawrence Watt-Evans for putting this book together.Readers who are fans of themed anthologies should also check out the anthologies edited by Martin Greenberg and Andre Norton for some other excellent reading material.

Happy Reading ^_^ Shanshad

5-0 out of 5 stars New York, New York
24 of the best sci-fi and fantasy tales ever written about the Big Apple, edited and compiled by the award-winning Lawrence Watt-Evans.From invasions by aliens and long-forgotten gods to city survivors and babies on the fast track, how can even Newer York encompass it all? Lawrence Watt-Evans tries and succeeds. A great book! ... Read more

19. Nightside City
by Lawrence Watt-Evans
Paperback: 188 Pages (2001-08)
list price: US$13.50 -- used & new: US$8.22
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0970971117
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (6)

3-0 out of 5 stars Plot great, character not so believable.
While I liked Nightside City, Mr. Watt-Evans, it was disturbing.No self-respecting woman (and your character insists she's got some of that going for her) would use the methods she does to solve a case.A MAN would, but not a woman.
Reprint this and change your main character's gender and this makes much more sense.Otherwise, this reads like Nancy Drew's cross-dressing big brother is on the case.The character's relationship with the sibling is antiseptic and could use some softening--a woman would not leave without saying goodbye.And please, cut down on the explainations on the science of why the planet will eventually be in perpetual daylight because we got the premise by the end of the first chapter.If you do change this around a bit, you've got a winner.THEN everything makes sense.I liked this and could not wait to read the ending, so you've got a good thing started, now FINISH it!
Read my complete review in Illuminata, December 2004 issue at: http://tyrannosauruspress.com

5-0 out of 5 stars Unsung Masterpiece
I've been meaning to give Lawrence Watt-Evans a try for a long time. Last week the stars finally conjoined in such a way that I found myself with a copy of NIGHTSIDE CITY clenched between my fists.

One sleepless night later the novel had been devoured.

This book stands somewhere inbetween NEUROMANCER and SNOW CRASH, and deserves to be as well-known as both. Lawrence Watt-Evans crafts a riveting tale which is one-half cyberpunk and one-half detective noir, with strong dashes of hard SF sensibility, insightful characterization, and tight plotting thrown into the mix.

3-0 out of 5 stars Okay book, Nothing more, nothing less
This book was not too bad, but far from great.
The plot is a catchy one, and makes you wonder so much "what's going to happen?" that it's hard not to read on. And that is also the reason why the ending leaves you shaking your head. Some may love the ending, but personaly, I wanted something more. I felt Lawrence Watt-Evans took the easy way out.

But what really got my goat was the "extras". I mean, the way he makes it look is that it's 3000 years in the future, while it is only a couple hundred. For all the improvements in technology and his supposed history, it becomes annoying. Also, the references to "old earth" are tacky and way overused. So much so that it frustrated me a few times, and I put the book down. But again, the "what's going to happen" was stronger then those annoyances.

If you are a sci-fi fan and a mystery fan all rolled into one, then this book you should read. Otherwise, you're not going to miss anything.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the forgotten masterpieces of SF of the 80s
This is more than a combination of thriller and"hard"SF. It is a true novel, a major piece of literary SF that should have received the Hugo or the Nebula or both.Unfortunately, the author is known as acreator of fantasy, so this gem has not received the attention it shouldhave.It is a most readable work of art, never leaving a chance for ayawn.But it is also a complex work, which gives away more after a secondor third reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars I've read it three times. A great book.
A planet in terminal orbit, one side searing hot, the other frozen. On the fringe between the two stands Nightside city. In this erie cyberpunk tale, a detective rubs elbows with all sorts of low-lifes in a quest to determinewhether Nightside city will soon see the light of day...and who's behindit. Masterfully presented with wonderful descriptions, great dialog, andvisionary descriptions of future technology. Evans makes it all come alive. ... Read more

20. Out of this World
by Lawrence Watt-Evans
 Mass Market Paperback: Pages (1994-10-31)
list price: US$5.99 -- used & new: US$4.44
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345391144
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Pel Brown has troubles in his basement.But it's not water leaking in -- it's magic.Sword-carrying barbarians are spilling through, demanding that Pel help them defeat Shadow, a dark force taking over their world.Meanwhile, on the other side of town, a spaceship has crashed in Amy Jewell's backyard, and the aliens want Amy's help against the Shadow seeking to conquer their world.When Pel and Amy go through the basement portal into the world of magic, the Shadow attacks and traps them inside.Now Pel and Amy find themselves entangled in escapades that will make them into heroes . . . or corpses. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great, but intense towards the end
What does an Evil Overlord/Necromancer/Dark Lord do when he has conquered his world? He begins searching for new worlds to conquer. Shadow has swallowed his entire world, and found an alternate reality, where a space-going Galactic Empire holds sway. The Galactic Empire is looking for allies and finds another reality, our Earth. And so, Pellinore Brown and some others from Earth, Captain Joshua Cahn and the crew of the ISS Ruthless of the Galactic Empire, and Raven of Stormcrack Keep and some other resisters of Shadow begin their trek across three realities. But, their journey will take them where they never expected to go.

For many years now, I have been a great fan of Lawrence Watt-Evans' wonderful Ethshar and Lords of Dus series. Having finished all of the Ethshar and Dus books currently available, I have moved on to his Three Worlds series. This book is another great read; one that shows off the author's writing ability. I loved the author's three, mutually exclusive worlds, finding each one fascinating.

If it's so great, then why did I only give it four stars? Frankly, towards the end of the book, the storyline turns to images of rape, brutality and murder, and became just a little too intense for me. This is definitely not a book for younger or more sensitive readers.

But, that said, I did enjoy this book, and look forward to reading the next book in the series. Lawrence Watt-Evans is a great author, and this book is another shining example of his abilities. I highly recommend this book!

4-0 out of 5 stars Out of this World
The book waited till the last quarter to pick up and start to become interesting. Overall the book was OK.. just Ok.
The characters developed well but then sort of stalled and fell into their own 'little worlds' and didn't do much else.
I will read the next book, in hopes it does get better, but am in no hurry to rush out and get it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Pretty Good, but a Little Depressing
I picked up this book and the third one in the series awhile ago at a used book store and I just got around to reading it.This is the second book by Lawrence Watt Evans that I have read, and I picked it up because I really enjoyed his collection of short stories, Crosstime Traffic.This book starts out as a fun and innocent fantasy novel, and there are several amusing passages towards the beginning.However, the book takes a drastic turn towards the dark side near the end.Two likable characters are killed off in a rather sudden manner.However I still enjoyed the novel, and I'm looking for a copy of the second book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book. Loved it
Dear 'A Reader'.

The violence towards women being 'unnesacary'? Man, are you ever out of touch. This series is brutal. It's nasty. Scary, evil horrible, awful stuff happens because that's the kind of place The Empire IS.

Anywho, it's a book. I enjoyed it in my own way but it is NOT reality.

2-0 out of 5 stars Midline Review
I'll start this review by stating the Lawrence Watt Evans is my favourite author.Sadly, I can not recommend this trilogy.I heartily enjoyed ALL his books save this series.Other reviewers have pointed out thatcharacters they cared about were killed for no reason, sadly, I wasn'tdrawn to any of the characters enough to care about their deaths.

If youhave read another Lawrence Watt Evans book, and are looking to read more ofhis work, don't make this trilogy it.Read ALL his other books first, thenwait for new books to come out as you will be disappointed by this work. ... Read more

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