cover image Through the Ice

Through the Ice

Piers Anthony. Underwood-Miller, $25 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-88733-071-1

This is a better than average fantasy begun by Kornwise, then completed by Anthony ( Xanth ) after Kornwise's death. In spite of the enforced one-sidedness of the collaboration, the writing is skillful and seamless; in large part because Anthony was Kornwise's favorite author, whose style he emulated in his first novel. Seth Warner, Rame, Tirsa and Vidav are the Chosen, predicted by prophecy to be the decisive factor in a conflict between a putatively evil sorcerer (named Nefarious) and a greedy and bigoted Empire. Furthermore, the outcome on this plane of Earth affects similar moral conflicts on the other planes of Earth, from which each of the Chosen came when called by the Empire's magic. Sent by the Empire to destroy Nefarious, they wonder if they are a suicide decoy to hide the Empire's real attack. Betrayals and the plights of non-humans under the Empire add to their confusion. Their confrontation with Nefarious reveals final truths in a surprising yet logical plot twist. (Nov.)