The Lost Guardian

Ronald Anthony Cross, Author
Ronald Anthony Cross, Author Tor Books $22.95 (413p) ISBN 978-0-312-85862-9
Reviewed on: 04/03/1995
Release date: 04/01/1995
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-8125-1595-4
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In this sequel to The Fourth Guardian, Cross, perhaps straining for postmodern chic, scatters 20th-century movie and song references into a hallucinatory time-travel adventure replete with hand grenades in medieval Europe, time paradoxes in the grittier parts of Istanbul and alternate worlds that defy logical categorization. With little action and precious few characters who aren't despicable, the plot concerns the attempt by one Corbo and others to retain, or steal, control of four stones placed eons ago in the hands of the Four Guardians. When wielded correctly, these black crystals will keep the aliens of other planes from interfering with Earth's development. The most engaging, and least off-putting, episode takes place in Zaire, where one of the Four Guardians tries to protect the villagers from an influx of rapacious aliens. The Africans are portrayed as pot-smoking, beer-guzzling idlers who can fight like tigers when necessary; but, even so, these hapless caricatures are the noblest characters in a sorry and aesthetically challenged lot. (Apr.)
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