The Unwilling Warlord: #3

Lawrence Watt-Evans, Author, Evans Lawrence Watt, Author Del Rey Books $3.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-345-35413-6
Watt-Evans ( The Misenchanted Sword ) gives fantasy buffs yet another version of the plot favored by Tolkien in which a thoroughly unworthy critter rises to his destiny as the savior of a people. Though predictable in outline, this variant is amiable enough, thanks to the author's appealing colloquial style and deft comic touch. The unwilling warlord of the title, Sterren, is a classic fantasy anti-hero, a tavern gambler and a washout from a warlock apprenticeship with just enough magical power to cheat at dice. The book's most amusing moments involve a pack of sorry magicians--the Keystone Kops of sorcery--that Sterren hires to help him fight off the enemies of his new-found homeland: a levitator who needs a psychic push to take off; a wet-behind-the-ears wizard with a single working spell; and a power-hungry warlock who just can't get the hang of tyranny, and does more good for the peasants in months than the hereditary monarchy had done in centuries. There's just one graphically gory incident to blemish the book's cheerful, picaresque tone. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1989
Release date: 10/01/1989
Mass Market Paperbound - 352 pages - 978-0-8439-5943-7
Open Ebook - 152 pages - 978-1-4344-3686-3
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