Elizabeth Haydon, Author Tor Books $27.95 (448p) ISBN 978-0-312-86751-5
A sequel to Haydon's acclaimed first novel, Rhapsody, this is a novel of modest virtues. Again following the adventures of Rhapsody (the Cymrian Namer) and her friends King Achmed of the Firbolg and the giant Grunthor, the narrative recounts their battles with the demonic F'dor. Although Grunthor is the Child of Earth to whom the title refers, most of the action revolves around Ashe, half of whose soul has been torn away by the F'dor and used to create the monstrous Rakshas. The Rakshas (which, to make things worse, looks exactly like Ashe) is going about killing innocent people and plotting to destabilize the power of local governments. After Rhapsody falls in love with Ashe, she sets out (with the help of Achmed and Grunthor) to kill the Rakshas and to end the F'dor's hold over Ashe. This will clear the way for Ashe to reunite the warring Cymrian factions by becoming Lord Cymrian. As they fight their way to this conclusion, Haydon's three heroes must also protect the Sleeping Child, a mystical creature who's likewise threatened by the F'dor--and Rhapsody must train herself to use her magic sword, which can link her to the element of fire. Although the characters are appealing and Haydon's world intriguing, things there are so complicated that they require an excessive amount of backstory--explanations of what happened in the previous volume and in Cymrian history. Although impressive, these explanations tend to appear at inopportune moments and break the adventure's pace. The romance between Ashe and Rhapsody is, however, charming, and the novel has enough magic, good fights and thrilling love scenes to make it a keeper. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/03/2000
Release date: 07/01/2000
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 736 pages - 978-0-8125-7082-3
Ebook - 448 pages - 978-1-4668-2302-0
MP3 CD - 978-1-5113-1715-3
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