The Hammer and the Blade

Paul S. Kemp. Angry Robot, $7.99 mass market (416p) ISBN 978-0-85766-245-3
After raiding the tomb of the Afirion ruler Abn Sur, adventurer Nix Fall and priest Egil decide to retire and settle down as owners of a tavern. Unfortunately, their plans do not take into consideration the wizard Rakon, who magically compels them to rob another Afirion grave and secure an ancient horn that Rakon ostensibly plans to use to cure his two ailing sisters. When one of those sisters manages to get inside Nix’s head, Rakon’s plans are revealed as less than altruistic, and Nix and Egil face a dilemma made more complex by the spell that binds them. The structure of the story has the feeling of a classic Dungeons & Dragons campaign as the heroes and supporting cast cross a wasted plateau in search of the tomb; however, the strong characters, setting, and history turn what could be a cookie-cutter adventure into a gripping tale. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/28/2012
Release date: 06/26/2012
Genre: Fiction
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