Warrior Returns

Allan Cole, Author
Allan Cole, Author Del Rey Books $23 (0p) ISBN 978-0-345-39459-0
Reviewed on: 04/01/1996
Release date: 04/01/1996
Mass Market Paperbound - 440 pages - 978-0-345-41312-3
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Solo writing proves no problem for Cole, who, in this wrap-up to the fantasy Anteros series (Kingdoms of the Night, etc.), loses longtime coauthor Chris Bunch but turns in a rousing yarn nonetheless. Narrator Rali Emilie Antero, the warrior of the title, sorceress and reluctant tool of the goddess Maranonia, falls into the hands of Novari, the Lyre Bird, a changeling whose ""primary form"" is a beautiful woman and who was created through the sacrifice of thousands of virgins to be a prince's sexual slave. Escaped and become a powerful sorceress, Novari has set out to avenge herself against the world. When Rali rejects Novari's offer to become her consort, the warrior is imprisoned in the mines of Koronos, minus an eye and hand and most of her memory. With the aid of a fellow prisoner, Zalia, Rali regains her powers and apparently destroys Novari and her source of power. But during the struggle, Zalia, who is revealed as the queen Salimar and who becomes Rali's lover, is gravely injured. Maranonia offers Rali and Salimar surcease in an endless sleep of beautiful dreams. Fifty years later, however, Maranonia awakens Rali to fight the Lyre Bird resurgent, who now poses a threat even greater than before. Cole's vivid, densely crafted world, peopled with well-drawn inhabitants of all classes, rings true. Fans of this series may be sad to see it end, but they'll be happy that it does so in mighty high style. (Apr.) Notes
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