A Mankind Witch (Shadow of the Lion) Mass Market Paperback – 27 Feb 2007
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I'll let someone else do the book report. This is a really good book and blends Norse magic, mythology and even history into a well-crafted tale. I expect I will be reading this book many times. In spite of Manfred, Eric, Francesca and the Emperor, this really doesn't fit all that well with the rest of the series (that I have read so far). Which is a very minor cravat.
It's as if all the best parts of the "Shadow of the Lion" series had been condensed into one lovely, involved romp of a book. Not surprising, as (regardless of the order of their names) Dave Freer is the lead author in the series, with the others making the occasional contribution. This proves, once again, that Dave Freer is the best of that bunch. When he can play in the universe on his own, he is beyond compare. My favorite of all the books in the series.
I'd love to see Erik and Manfred (and Francesca!) again - but only if Dave Freer is allowed to handle their escapades solo!
An incredible solo novel in the midst of collaborations with powerhouses Eric Flint and Mercedes Lackey, it is a must read for those who have enjoyed the first two novels in the series as well as for those who haven't but are fans of mythology and/or alternate history.
The only thing wrong with the book is that it ended, which just leaves me wanting more.
What is very cool about this book is the way Freer simply drops us into the Milieu, without any explanation and avoids almost all infodumping throughout the book.
Like the first two novels, it is interesting on a different level if you know enough Original Time Line history to figure out who some of the characters are, like Loyola and his original band of Jesuits in the first two books, or Khaireddin Barbarossa in this one.
Even if you don't know any history, and are reading this book on the level of fantasy, rather than alternate history (both of which it supports famously well) you'll find lots of depth. Freer weaves both the Beowulf and Hamlet stories together to make a real adventure that races like the rapids in a river to its startling conclusion.
Read this book. This is Dave Freer's real breakout solo novel, and he deserves a much wider following.
The Bananaslug. at Baen's Bar
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