The Blood Star

Nicholas Guild, Author Atheneum Books $22.5 (664p) ISBN 978-0-689-11898-2
Shot through with dark, exotic lyricism, Guild's majestic historical epic cuts a wide swath through ancient Assyria, Egypt, Phoenicia, Sicily, Greece. Its narrator-hero, Tiglath Ashur, seen before in The Assyrian , is banished from Nineveh by his hated half-brother, the Assyrian king, partly due to a misunderstanding that is not cleared up until long after the brothers are reconciled. Fleeing the king's assassins, Tiglath encounters formulaic elements of the adventure novel--sudden perils, gory battles, omens, spicy lovemaking. But Guild easily transcends genre conventions. His witty, world-weary hero grows in stature through his quest, deepened by experience and by love for a young Egyptian slave-girl whom he rescues and later marries. This saga serves up a rich, intoxicating feast, interweaving a cultural anthropology of unfamiliar lands and a stoic meditation on mortality, fate, revenge and justice, the ties of love and blood. (July)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
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