Lawrence Watt-Evans, Author . Tor $27.95 (416p) ISBN 0-765-30007-9

The second book in Watt-Evans's Obsidian Chronicles (after 1999's Dragon Weather) continues the heroic story of orphan, ex-slave and dragonheart Arlian as he seeks revenge against dragonkind for the destruction of his village and the murder of his family. Arlian's dragonheart, gained after accidentally swallowing dragon venom and human blood, makes him immune to disease and seemingly immortal, like the other members of the Dragon Society in the walled city of Manfort. But Arlian has also learned two secrets bound to alter everything the Dragon Society knows. First, after living a thousand years, dragonhearts die giving birth to new dragonhearts; and, second, dragonhearts can be slain by weapons made of obsidian. At the revelations, the Dragon Society splits into two camps, fearing the dragons will restart the deadly war with the humans. The members of the Dragon Society also fear Arlian will kill them, to prevent them from becoming dragons. Arlian doesn't want war any more than anyone else, but he's not about to cease his quest for vengeance. Realizing he must pacify his enemies in the Dragon Society, Arlian decides the only way to do so is to find a way to cure those afflicted with the dragonheart. Although frequently slow and repetitive, the story contains plenty of intrigue and magic. This book is sure to satisfy the author's many fans, as well as lovers of epic fantasy in the tradition of L.E. Modesitt and Terry Goodkind. (Dec. 19)

FYI:Watt-Evans is coauthor, with Esther M. Friesner, of Split Heirs.

Reviewed on: 10/22/2001
Release date: 12/01/2001
Genre: Fiction
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