|Submitted by Bret Funk - Author of 'Path of Glory' |
(Jul 13, 2002)
Beneath the Vaulted Hills is a beautifully-conceived fantasy tale. Written by Sean Russell, author of the Moontide and Magic Rise duology, the story follows Erasmus Flattery - a man of science once fostered in the home of Lord Eldrich, the last of Farrland's magi. Erasmus is called upon to aide his friend, Samual Hayes, in escaping capture by both men of the Admiralty and a group of mysterious strangers.
Erasmus, haunted by demons from his past, has spent his life seeking knowledge of the arcane. His relationship with Hayes brings him closer than ever to realizing his goal. But he is not the only player in this game of intrigue. The Tellerites, a band of renegade magi long thought dead, seek knowledge now known only by Lord Eldrich. Eldrich, a figure of mystery and legend, more feared than admired, will stop at nothing to remove the last vestiges of magic from the world before he, too, is forced to leave. Each character has a role in the story, and the dramatic, cliff-hanger ending leaves the reader wondering which characters move the pieces, and which are the pawns.
The concepts of empiricism and natural science, strongly woven throughout Beneath the Vaulted Hills, are rarely considered in fantasy works, and the setting - a late-medieval society, empowered through the use of the recently-developed cannon - is one not often explored by fantasy writers. Nevertheless, Russell manages to instill both personality and believability into his characters and their countries. Fans of both science and magic will delight in Russell's work.