The Run to Chaos Keep by Jack L. Chalker

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Book Information  
AuthorJack L. Chalker
TitleThe Run to Chaos Keep
SeriesQuintara Marathon
Book Reviews / Comments (submitted by readers)
Submitted by Anonymous
(Mar 27, 2000)

This is the second book of the Quintara marathon series following on from 'the Demons at Rainbow Bridge'.

To follow is the concluding volume, "The ninety Trillion Fausts".

At the end of the first book, our heroes representing the three empires are about to

all enter the portal like thing for their differing but valid reasons.

The ultimate aim... to find the 'demons' of the title.

The first book, as ever with trilogies of this nature was

about character development and setting out the plot.

Some characters weren't as well developed as others leading

to the belief that a few were 'wearing red shirts', (In star trek parlance).

This did turn out to be the case.

Chalker has never been shy to kill off characters.

Even half expecting it though, it was still a shock when they

started meeting their grisly ends.

The 3 parties proceed through a number of strange 'worlds', traveling from portal to portal.

The worlds have different characteristics which all offer challenges to overcome.

In addition to the physical challenges of the worlds, there are the other parties, all

of which offer opportunities for attrittion of personel.

The book has strong overtones of Dantes Inferno. A journey which

has the feel of going ever deeper...

Inferno follows a journey through the 9 circles of hell, where each circle represents

a different punishment for a type of sin.

From Limbo where the sin is to be unbaptised and the punishment is never to see god...

through to the 9th circle where the treacherous are forever frozen into a vast lake of ice.

Some of the punishments meeted out by Dante include "infernal storms", "Eternal Rain",

"Burning in open graves".

As the parties travel in search of the Demons, Chalker reuses Dantes ideas to good effect.

Although there is no direct analof between Dantes circles of hell and the 'worlds' which

the parties travel through, the punishments dante offers show a striking resemblance to the

imagary which Chalker offers us.

Furthermore, some of Dantes plot elements emerge in the book thinly disguised by Chalker.

This in no way detracts from Chalkers book. If anything it adds to it. Inferno is a tale

which stands multiple retellings. If this was Chalkers intention then in some measure he succeeds.

The series is getting better. Recommended.
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