The Fox

Sherwood Smith, Author
Sherwood Smith, Author . DAW $25.95 (691p) ISBN 978-0-7564-0421-5
Reviewed on: 07/16/2007
Release date: 08/01/2007

In this lively, accessible follow-up to Inda (2006), Smith dares to resolve several plot lines, in defiance of fantasy sequel conventions. Young prince and military genius Inda, forced to turn mercenary after conspirators engineered his exile from Choraed Elgaer, is gathering allies for a sea campaign against the piratical Brotherhood, while the Sierlaef, heir to the kingdom of Iasca Leror, savors Inda’s banishment and plots multiple intrigues. Inda’s attention soon shifts toward the ambitious Venn Empire, which wants to use him as a political pawn, and the increasing role of magic in these complex international conflicts, but home and family are always in his thoughts. Smith deftly stage-manages the wide-ranging plots with brisk pacing, spare yet complex characterizations and a narrative that balances sweeping action and uneasy intimacy. Occasional asides in the voice of later historical scholars are a bit disconcerting, but the device is very lightly applied and further demonstrates the depths of Smith’s world-building. (Aug.)

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