Sage

Christopher Stasheff, Author
Christopher Stasheff, Author Del Rey Books $22 (0p) ISBN 978-0-345-39239-8
Mass Market Paperbound - 341 pages - 978-0-345-39244-2
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In The Shaman (1995), the first volume of The Star Stone series, Stasheff moved away from the good-humored amusements of his well-known fantasy/adventure series A Wizard in Rhyme. Here, he completely eschews the lighter touch for a heavy might-does-not-make-right message. Ohaern, who has been living in bliss with the goddess Rahani for 500 years, returns to his mortal body in order to foil the evil Bolenkar before the half-god can destroy the younger races of the world. To do this, Ohaern, now known as Illbane, must hone the vicious, rapacious bully Culaehra into a heroic leader worthy of the love and succor of the warrior female Kittishane. Stasheff is far less facile with the language of myth and legend than with more modern speech, and the amount of time and energy the narrative expends on rape seems incongruous in an adventure that otherwise should appeal to adolescents. As always, however, Stasheff renders his characters and settings appealing, even while the plot's predictability makes the novel feel as comforting and familiar as an old leather sandal. (July)
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