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April Books

EDIT: Three books this month - completely forgot the first one!

6. Thieves' World edited by Robert Asprin. I found this knackered old copy in the book crossing at the Ritzy (which reminds me - I need to set a book free or whatever it's called next time I go back). I hadn't read Thieves' World since the early 80s when I first started playing D&D and enjoyed rereading tremendously. The stories are reminiscent of Fritz Leiber's Lankhmar tales and Gygax's Gord the Rogue - Sanctuary is a cool city full of interesting characters, many of dubious morals, written by some of the best fantasy writers of the day. Probably the first "shared world" short story collection, it has stood the test of time well.

7. Quiver by Peter Leonard: I think I read this in about three days. A gripping thriller, it reminded me of Carl Hiaasen without the jokes or the environmentalism. The villainous characters are well drawn and interesting but I found the heroine pretty bland. An enjoyable read but not fantastic.

8. The Riven Kingdom by Karen Miller: this, on the other hand, was excellent. I read the first book, Empress, nearly a year ago and enjoyed it. In this second volume, the action moves to the kingdom of Ethrea where the king is dying, leaving only his daughter, Princess Rhian, as heir in a country that won't allow a queen to rule. The princess struggles to escape an arranged marriage to the idiot relative of the scheming Marlan, Church prolate, helped by a motley band including the unlikely-named toymaker Dexterity Jones, Ursa the physick and Zandhakar, the former Hammer of the God from Mijak (and daugher of deranged Empress Hekat). Gripping and entertaining throughout, the book ends with the stage set for an almighty clash between Ethrea and the ruthless empire of Mijak. Great stuff!


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