Most helpful positive review
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Unsung hero of Swords and Sorcery
on 24 August 2004
I first bought this book back in the mid eighties and come back to it every couple of years. It opens a ten book series of which number 4 is often praised as the best for its wit etc - but this is my favourite. In common with the later books, the characters are well drawn, the prose is good and the storyline crackles along. The difference is that the underlying themes are more serious and sombre. There is some humour, but not too much and for the most part its about comradeship, the corrupting influence of power and the consequences of betrayal. Add in some almost mystical observations on the human condition and you've got something unique.
This is no ordinary swords and sorcery slash fest then, but the beginning of an awesome epic, a decent novel in its own right and a satisfying read in terms of length and resolution. You will learn to like the characters who are all pretty ordinary joes, shoved into weird situations (well except maybe Phyphor the Wizard of Arl) and you'll hate it when some inevitably come to grief. Read the books - and someone, buy the film rights!