cover image Carnivores of Light and Darkness

Carnivores of Light and Darkness

Alan Dean Foster. Aspect, $22.5 (320pp) ISBN 978-0-446-52132-1

Etjole Ehombe is a warrior of the desert-dwelling Naumkib and a man of honor. When a dying foreigner charges him with saving the Visioness Themaryl, kidnaped by an evil sorcerer called Hymneth the Possessed, Ehombe reluctantly accepts the task, packing up his spear, his sword made of sky-metal and a sack of potions and simples--even though he knows nothing about these strange people or their fight, only that they dwell far to the distant north. Thus opens Book I of Foster's (author of the popular Flinx and Spellsinger novels) new fantasy series. Foster shows off his fertile imagination as Ehombe, a ""simple shepherd,"" matches wits with the various denizens of each new territory he enters. The land is alive with talking animals, magical creatures and a vivid sense of ancient folklore come to life. Along the way, Ehombe picks up a couple of sidekicks: Simna ibn Sind, skilled swordsman and voracious treasure hunter; and the Ahlitah, half-lion, half-cheetah and curious as any cat could be. Although the book lacks any resolution, it is top-drawer Foster, featuring a fast-paced mix of wry humor, high fantasy and amazing new places and creatures. (June)