|Submitted by Christopher Ware|
(May 15, 2001)
This book had an interesting plot and storyline. Modesitt's unique study of the relationships between good/evil and order/chaos set the book apart from other fantasy books. One of the major problems I had with this book was that some stuff didn't make sense. I mean, characters kept talking about "blackstaffs", but it was never explained what they were. Also, how did Lerris, the main character, figure out some of the feats of magic that he performed without anyone teaching him? I can't possibly be intuitive based on how the magic system was being explained. Lerris also seemed arrive at conclusions that, to me, seemed impossible to reach. For example, all of a sudden he "realizes" that Justen is his uncle. WHAT! How in the heck did he come to that conclusion! There were no hints or anything. He just thought to himself, "Oh yeah, he must be my uncle." Whatever. Finally, Modesitt's system of measurement was kind of strange. He used cubits as the main measurement of length. The way he defined this was by saying that a tall person is about 2 cubits tall. However, later on, Lerris is looking at a wall that he thinks is insignificant, but is 40 cubits high. Okay, if a tall person is, say, six feet tall and that's 2 cubits, then a 40 cubit wall would be 120 feet tall. How is that insignificant? Anyway, aside from these inconsistencies, this is still an entertaining book. Lerris is a very down to earth character who is passionate and caring. His struggle on his "dangergeld" is a rousing tale of good versus evil, even if the good guy doesn't always know what he's doing :) Not on par with Goodkind or Jordan, but a rousing tale nontheless.