The Crimson Sword: Book One of the Legend of Asahiel
Eos, 2005 (2005)
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Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
here's the death of the king of Alson, a young prince raised in a distant village and unaware of his heritage, a lost sword of power, an evil, invading sorceror, a demon Queen with her minions, and mysterious powers manipulating events in the background. Sound familiar? It is and it isn't. Though the basic plot here is pretty standard fare, there are interesting variations, plenty of bloodthirsty action (the sorceror's treatment of his already abused mom put me off my dinner), and some interesting characters - I especially enjoyed the childlike Kylac Kronus, raised in an Assassin's Guild and a whiz with weaponry, and found the notion of cannibalistic elves an entertaining deviation from the usual script.
ssentially, Jarom (the young prince) and his childhood friend Allion set off on quest for the Crimson Sword of Asahiel, needed to fight the sorceror. They're joined by Kylac en route. While they're wandering near and far, the odds against them lengthen when demon Queen Spithaera is accidentally awakened by children exploring a cave system. Her dragonspawn join in the slaughter that had already started and an unholy alliance is formed. There are captures and escapes, and the obligatory love interest for Jarom - a lovely apprentice healer named Marisha with a secret of her own. Armies are engaged, and the friends scatter pursuing individual, equally perilous goals. It all sorts out by the end, but our heroes should not rest on their laurels as the author hints at what they'll have to deal in the sequel.
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