cover image Legacy of the Darksword

Legacy of the Darksword

Margaret Weis. Spectra Books, $23.95 (336pp) ISBN 978-0-553-09965-2

Hard as Weis and Hickman try to resuscitate their popular Darksword series (Darksword Adventures, 1988, etc.), this tired rehash never springs to life. Ruthless aliens, the unpronounceable Hch'nyv, are menacing both a near-future Earth dominated by military-industrial Technomancers and the extraterrestrial magical realm of Thimhallen, laid waste by the destruction of the original Darksword. As told by Rueven, a mute amanuensis to the aged wizard Saryon, parties all too familiar to fantasy quests gather to combat the Hch'nyv threat by discovering another Darksword. Newly forged by Prince Joram on Thimhallan and interminably juggled thereafter by nearly everyone else (Queen-in-waiting Eliza; her female knight, Scylla; renegade Enforcer Mosiah), the new Darksword is the target of Chief Technomancer Kevon Smythe, a tool of the Hch'nyv and a villain as insipid as his name. To guard the new Darksword, Weis and Hickman manage to create a realistic and tingle-inducing Dragon of the Night, but not even that great beast can breathe heat or life into this novel's trite characters and moribund plot. (June)