The Witch Doctor: Book III of a Wizard in Rhyme

Christopher Stasheff, Author Del Rey Books $20 (404p) ISBN 978-0-345-37584-1
The third book in the Wizard of Rhyme series (after The Oathbound Wizard ) again features protagonist Saul Bremener, a hero so selectively thickheaded that there are several places where this often pleasant narrative seems more an excerpt from Kant's Critique of Pure Reason than a novel. Stasheff has a clever concept here: that Saul is neither good nor evil, while others in his fantasy world must be either one or the other. But he fails to make him a credible character; only a severe Calvinist could describe Saul as amoral. Saul is uncommonly dense when the author desires him to be, a trait he's not likely to share with most readers, who will find themselves way ahead of Saul in figuring out what's going on. Although he is surrounded by a crowd of well-wrought supporters--a knight, a bard, a ghost, a fairy and a delightful troll named Gruesome--Saul experiences a series of adventures that are more repetitive than suspenseful. Moreover, Stasheff's pedantry and philosophical hair-splitting rapidly become tedious. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/03/1994
Release date: 01/01/1994
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