Spirit Fox

Mickey Zucker Reichert, Author, Jennifer Wingert, Author, Jennifer Wingert, Joint Author Daw Books $23.95 (464p) ISBN 978-0-88677-806-4
In a rather generic fantasy world, a war among the gods that spread to human beings ended in a declaration of universal peace. Armed forces no longer exist, and even weapons training is considered blasphemous. Human beings link with the spirits of animals, and a female, Kiardra, is destined to link at birth with the spirit of a fox cub. But the cub dies and the orphaned fox spirit flees to its only possible refuge--Kiardra. She grows up inhabited by this spirit, protected by her family from persecution. By the time she is an adult, her land faces invasion by a hostile army, well furnished with potent mages and determined to destroy all the spirit-linked among their enemies. Kiardra winds up playing a vital role in repelling the invasion. The characterization, dialogue and magic scenes are all up to Reichert's previous standard (Beyond Ragnarok, etc.)--this is Wingert's debut--but the authors fail to plausibly develop the underlying premise of religiously enforced pacifism. As a result, a novel in many respects quite well crafted ultimately fails. Reichert has done better, particularly when she has drawn on Norse folklore and myth; presumably she, and hopefully Wingert, will make a stronger showing next time out. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 11/30/1998
Release date: 12/01/1998
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