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Svaha Mass Market Paperback – Nov 1994

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Tor Books; First Printing edition (Nov. 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441790984
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441790982
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 2.5 x 12.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,681,340 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 16 April 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a departure from de Lint's usual mix of present day city life with Native North American myth and legend, this is set in a post-apocalyptic future. It is an excellent story and is thoroughly enjoyable.
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By Jason on 17 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a bit of an oddity, interesting rather than good

It focuses on Gahzee, an American Indian who must leave his Enclave, which is free from the pollution that has wrecked the rest of North America (and the world) to recover some of the Enclave's high technology that has found its way out and into the wasteland.

The outside world is your typical post-apocalyptic wasteland, with Japanese Corporations taking over what is left. And this is where the first of the books problems come in. The Japanese characters are very stereotypical Yakuza, obsessed by personal honour and revenge.

The American Indians too are stereotypical, more 'spiritual' than other people, and not a little bit smug with it.

Finally, for some reason in the book the American Indian Enclaves had a higher technology than the rest of the world. I did wonder if it came from an outside source, but apparently not. It wasn't expalained and just seemed to be there to demonstate that 'native' ways were superior to Western ones.

That said, it was well written, and despite its faults, I'm glad I gave it a try. I just wish he had ironed out some of the faults, and it could have been an excellent book. Still, other people might get more out of this than me.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 19 reviews
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
A mystical sf adventure that works 28 Oct. 2000
By Harriet Klausner - Published on
Format: Paperback
As the twenty-first century is half way through its final decade, the world is a terrible place to live except for the Enclaves. Most of the residents of the planet live in polluted communities ruled totally by money and greed with things turning worse all the time as the world nears collapse under the weight of destruction and devastation and dissolution. On the other hand, the Enclave is a clean environment where the tribes thrive in peace. The powers of the disease ridden environs outside the Enclave blame the problems on the Tribes as a means of diverting accountability by using a convenient scapegoat to silent the masses.
A flyer containing an Enclave technological chip that could help cleanse the world crashes in the outside. Afraid that it will be misused, the Enclavers send Gahzee into the precarious mess to retrieve the chip before the outside world begins encroachment on the Enclaves.
SVAHA is a reprint of the classic tale of Native American magic mingling in a world on the eve of destruction caused by self-interests polluting the environment and the minds of the people. The story line is fast-paced, filled with action, and loaded with fully developed characters representing different sides of the conflict. This novel shows why Charles de Lint has been so highly regarded by fans of science fiction and fantasy for well over a decade. Readers of HIERO'S JOURNEY will fully relish this great tale.

Harriet Klausner
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
A great book! Get it before it disappears again! 18 Jan. 2001
By Julia Walter - Published on
Format: Paperback
I really like de Lint's urban fantasy for its grittiness and despair which exists alongside its hope and beauty. I would call this book science fiction-- it takes place in the future and deals with technology we clearly don't have. It also deals with Native American/ Aboriginal spirituality and Dreamtime. It's a beautiful quest book about creating community in an awful time and place between people who are not terrible and not immediately identifiable as 'community.' I am very glad to see this book is now in print again, it deserves a large audience. I had to wait for years to find a copy, you won't have to.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Not so sure about this. 22 Jan. 2003
By Kieri - Published on
Format: Paperback
I love, love, LOVE de Lint. But Svaha...Svaha left me a little cold. I enjoyed reading it, sure, but it didn't affect me the way his books usually do. Part of the problem, I think, is that I don't think even de Lint knew what he wanted this book to be about. There is an element of Japanese culture, the cliched wastelands, the mandatory Native spirituality...but nothing really tying any of them together. The book revs up an adrenaline high early on, keeps it going, and then just ENDS. In, like, a page, the story reaches its climax and conclusion, and the reader is left thinking, "What? It's DONE?" The story doesn't feel finished to me. There is also the annoying gratuitous character death, which is really atypical for de Lint. He keeps introducing these characters, mostly walking sci-fi charicatures, and then kills them off. Also, there was what I have come to call the "Wyrd Science" problem--the panoramic view of the future, the technology--basically, all the sci-fi stuff just sounded sort of off to me.
Don't get me wrong, here...the writing is pretty damn good, and a bad de Lint is better than a great Nina Kiriki Whatsername any day. But this just didn't quite work for me.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Some of DeLint's best work. 4 July 1998
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Naturally, I am a huge fan of Charles DeLint's work. Svaha, in particular, being among the best due to the darker, semi-apocalyptic landscape of the setting. DeLint is a master of creating magical fantasy in gritty urban worlds. I like the feel of of the abandoned industrial world bearing down of those who once gave life to it. The Enclave also has some intriguing possibilties unexplored by DeLint as yet. Personally, I would like to see a return to this setting, but not as much as I'd like to see Tamson House appear in my front yard.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
An adventure novel with deeper truths 14 Feb. 2000
By Tamara Kilbreth Shaw - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I just finished reading Svaha for perhaps the 6th time. Each time I read it, I get more from the book. While it is a super book to read if you want to experience a post-apocalyptic adventure story, if you read it for that alone, you're missing so much. The mixture of Native American and Japanese cultures, the struggle between honor, duty and the need for change, all of these combine to create a world of teaching.
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