Touched by the Gods

Lawrence Watt-Evans, Author Tor Books $24.95 (384p) ISBN 978-0-312-86060-8
In a land of a hundred moons, a priest delivers a letter to a skeptical small-town blacksmith declaring his newborn, Malledd, to be the future champion of the Domdur Empire. Growing up apprenticed to his father, Malledd is nagged by his celebrity. Convinced at last of the possible truth of the letter, he leaves wife and child to fight an evil magician who threatens to destroy the empire with troops of the living dead. This story unfolds in 64 short chapters (plus a prologue and epilogue) and through many points of view, expertly articulated. The brooding Rebiri Nazakii, rebel magician, is captivating in his lust for revenge as he consorts with the dark forces. Pretenders to the role of champion abound while Malledd, the true chosen, does his work, yielding the glory to others. The most interesting character, and the only one who undergoes any real development, is the pretender Lord Duzon, a social climber who turns out to have some mettle after all. The pacing is excellent, the epic proportions and strangeness fascinate, but there is some looseness in the plot mechanics. Nothing in the human situation or in the characters themselves is seen to bring about the particular conclusion; rather, all is answered and determined by struggles in a realm with which we have been only peripherally acquainted: that of the gods, whose tokens the human actors are shown to have been. This novel is great fun, with intrigue, adventure, magic and horror, for those who don't mind a story that creates its characters, instead of the other way around. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/29/1997
Release date: 10/01/1997
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 176 pages - 978-0-253-33312-4
Mass Market Paperbound - 536 pages - 978-0-8125-4595-1
Hardcover - 192 pages - 978-0-415-16525-9
Paperback - 192 pages - 978-0-415-55506-7
Ebook - 192 pages - 978-1-317-79842-2
Open Ebook - 192 pages - 978-1-317-79843-9
Paperback - 624 pages - 978-1-61991-000-3
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