cover image Krispos Rising

Krispos Rising

Harry Turtledove. Del Rey Books, $6.99 (368pp) ISBN 978-0-345-36118-9

Because of rising taxes on his village and the untimely deaths of his parents and sister, young Krispos is forced to leave the family farm and seek his fortune elsewhere. He heads to the imperial city of Videssos, taking with him the magic goldpiece bestowed upon him as a child by the emperor. Krispos first gains employment as a groom for the lecherous Iakovitzes, but the stage is set for what will follow when a noblewoman, Tanilis, has a vision of Krispos as ``Majesty.'' Through Iakovitzes's political connections, Krispos eventually earns the trust of the lighthearted emperor Anthimos, and becomes his chamberlain, but he also earns the distrust of the emperor's uncle, Petronas, who casts a sorcerer's spell on the increasingly influential young man. This is only a temporary setback, however, as Anthimos quashes Petronas's imperial aspirations and sends him packing to a monastery. In this prequel to his Videssos Cycle series , Turtledove provides a thoroughly engrossing adventure about a young farmer, thrown to the wolves in the imperial city, who not only survives but rises above it all. (Feb.)