Tegne: Soul Warrior

Richard La Plante, Author
Richard La Plante, Author Tor Books $23.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-312-85977-0
Reviewed on: 10/30/1995
Release date: 11/01/1995
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-8125-5270-6
Paperback - 302 pages - 978-1-4974-4899-5
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British author La Plante is familiar to American readers for his two crime novels steeped in the martial arts and Eastern mysticism, Leopard and Mantis. Now, seven years after its original publication in England, his first novel has traveled Stateside. It's an epic fantasy, influenced by Oriental ways of combat and worship, that tells of the conception, birth, early training and rise to warlord status of its eponymous hero. The old warlord, Renagi, conceives a son via a forbidden union with a slave. The boy, in the manner of Moses and other classic heroes, is slated for drowning but is rescued--by a monk, Tabata, who raises Tegne and hones his physical and spiritual talents. Eventually, Tegne is led to confront his father and his father's legitimate heir, Zato. Minor characters--Rin, Tegne's young and raffish disciple; Gazan, a savage warrior; and a seductive woman who also appears as a supernatural cat--add color, but La Plante, who holds a third-degree black belt in karate, casts his spotlight primarily on Tegne, an incomparable warrior of both body and spirit. Whether or not La Plante intends to make this book the first of a series, he proves that he is a skillful writer in this genre. (Nov.)
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