Shaman

Christopher Stasheff, Author
Christopher Stasheff, Author Del Rey Books $22 (361p) ISBN 978-0-345-39242-8
Mass Market Paperbound - 328 pages - 978-0-345-39247-3
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Stasheff (The Secular Wizard) kicks off a new series with this story of magic and adventure set in a world distinguished by an unusual cosmology and a set of supernatural creatures. Standing between the one God--The Star-Maker--and the humans are the Ulin, thought by many to be gods but actually fallible and mortal, though exceptionally powerful both physically and magically. The main story line concerns Ohaern, a man who aids the human-loving Ulin, Lomallin, in his battle against Lomallin's human-hating fellow Ulin, Ulahane--and who, after succeeding as a warrior, becomes at some cost the shaman of the title. Ohaern is aided by others, including a half-elf who is thrown out by his own tribe but finds a home with Ohaern. Other races in this world include the Klaja, jackal-human hybrids created by Ulahane, and dwergs, gnome-like creatures of stone. These characters and their adventures, though never exceptionally gripping, should hold the interest of fantasy fans as the author imagines a setting that's comfortably familiar yet innovative enough to keep it from being just the same old wonderworld. (Sept.)
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