cover image Shadowfall: Book One of the Godslayer Chronicles

Shadowfall: Book One of the Godslayer Chronicles

James Clemens, . . Roc, $24.95 (480pp) ISBN 978-0-451-45994-7

For 4,000 years, the people of the Nine Lands have lived peacefully under the guidance of their hundred gods. When the goddess Meeryn is murdered, the peace is shattered, and Tylar de Noche, a defrocked knight who as sole witness is now sole suspect, must, rather predictably, find the killer and prove himself innocent. Tylar isn't too bright, but fortunately he can turn to Delia, a priestess who conveniently doubles as love interest, and to Rogger, a thief wise to the ways of the criminal underworld. Slogging hither and yon for scraps of clues, the three begin to suspect that the supposedly pacific gods are in fact engaged in an ongoing struggle for power and control. The self-absorption of the gods and the apathetic ignorance of the people form stumbling blocks on Tylar's quest, forcing a slow pace that makes sense in context but is frustrating. Once Clemens (Wit'ch Fire , etc.) understands that what characters do with their knowledge is more interesting than how they get it, things should pick up in future installments. Agents, Russ Galen and Danny Baror. (July)