The Company of Glass: Everien: Book One

Valery Leith, Author, Anita G. Dente, Author Spectra Books $13.95 (416p) ISBN 978-0-553-37938-9
Twisting three brittle plot strands together into a trite fantasy quest, this launch novel doesn't bode well for Leith's projected Everien series. King Lerien of the Bear Clan sets out to find his missing army so he can fight off the invading Pharicians, leaving his hysterical High Seer Mhani to try to hold his shapeshifting capital of Jai Khalar together. Mhani's warrior daughter Istar, herself prone to the shakes and vapors, sets out for the Floating Lands to find an ancient Everien Artifact so she can foil the threat of the loathsome, mind-enslaving Sekk. Having lost the crack company he had trained to win a previous Artifact for Jai Kendar's deceased Queen Ysse, Tarquin, formerly Quintar of the Seahawk Clan, chases the White Road to the Floating Lands, hoping to find his company and win back his self-respect. This familiar fiddle-faddle is the vehicle for Leith's setpiece hand-to-sword-to-tooth-and-claw combat scenes, and they are good, but they don't compensate for wooden dialogue, weak flights of imagination and adolescent generalizations about life. Nothing here, especially Leith's villains, the Sekks, and her tacky sex scenes, is convincing enough to suggest the magic crystal stuff of real faerie, which ought to raise the gooseflesh and bid fair to break the heart. This Plexiglas company raises nary a pimple. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/28/1999
Release date: 07/01/1999
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