- Mass Market Paperback: 509 pages
- Publisher: Warner Books (NY) (Dec. 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0446612227
- ISBN-13: 978-0446612227
- Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 2.5 x 17.1 cm
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,277,293 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Mystic Warrior (Bronze Canticles) Mass Market Paperback – 1 Dec 2004
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Mystic Warrior is a tale of three different worlds. All of them occupy the same space, but on a different plane, and communication between these worlds is only possible for certain people through what appear to be dreams. On the faerie world, the inhabitants are under attack from hordes of satyrs and centaurs as their way of life is threatened. On another, goblins scour the countryside looking for ancient machines that can be made to work, especially signs of the old Titans who inhabited the land before goblinkind.
On the human dominated world, Galen is a master ironworker along with the dwarf Cephas, who runs the forge. Each year, the local religion runs what they call an "election," where people who have some form of insanity are magically brought out and taken away. Galen has had objects talking to him for years, but he has managed to avoid being present for the Election and has thus been passed over. Not this year, however. Taken away from his loving wife and his livelihood, he is forced into a war between five dragons who have marshaled their forces for 400 years, fighting insignificant battles over nothing. But Galen discovers that the "insanity" that made him one of the elect is actually a form of magic, a magic linking all the worlds together, allowing one of the faeries, the "winged woman" of his supposed dreams, to aid him. But will he survive long enough to learn what this magic is?
I loved the concept of these three linked worlds, especially when images are taken from one of the worlds and seen by other characters who have no idea how to interpret them. Dwynwyn, who happens to be the winged woman Galen sees, has her own problems in the faerie realm dealing with her people's problems. However, she and Galen are linked in some mysterious way, and they end up helping each other even though they don't understand what it is that they are seeing. The main goblin character, Mimic, is also involved in some other, more obscure way. The other characters never see him, but the war between the mechanical beings that he sets up for his ruler, the Dong Mehaj-Megong, to enjoy bears a striking resemblance to the war that Galen is currently fighting in.
The story takes us along the three storylines, jumping back and forth between them as we see the rise of Mimic from a lowly 4th class engineer to much higher in the goblin social structure. We see Dwynwyn's attempts to safeguard her charge, the princess Aislynn from the onrushing hordes and a forced marriage to cement an alliance that would bring her people to the point of oblivion. The Hickmans slowly start to merge the storylines as the book wears on. At first, each story has its own chapter, using the chapter breaks to jump to something else. As things become more tightly entwined, the breaks are more frenetic, jumping three or four times per chapter and ramping up the tension. This effectively darkens the mood as we come closer to understanding how everything links together. The pacing of the book is really nicely done in that sense.
This caused me to read the last half of the book at an accelerated rate, as I wanted to find out what happened next. Unfortunately, the first part of the book dragged at times. I wasn't as interested in the characters as I could have been, especially Mimic and the Goblins. The Goblin world is given short shrift in the beginning of the book, and thus the scenes that take place there aren't as interesting as the other two worlds. It would have been nice to learn a little bit more about Goblin culture aside from the acquisition of mechanical artifacts and how possession of these is the ultimate status symbol.
The other problem is with some of the characterization. It wasn't necessarily bad, but it wasn't that interesting either. Galen tended to whine a lot right after he was selected, and while that may be understandable in real life, it's not that interesting to read about. Tragget, the Inquisitor of one of the dragon's religions, and the person who saw Galen in his dreams, is a bit more intriguing, but the political fighting within the church just became boring. It picks up when we start to learn the secret behind the religions, especially how all of the dragons interact. After that, the book grabs you and doesn't let you go.
It's a shame that the beginning is such a struggle, as Mystic Warrior would be a first-rate book otherwise, and one I would recommend whole-heartedly. Instead, it's just a very good book. It will be interesting to see where the Hickmans go with this. If the more boring set-up at the beginning of this book becomes necessary in subsequent books, I'll stand corrected. That doesn't mean that it couldn't have been made more appealing, though.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Before going further, I should state that I am, in general, a tremendous fan of Tracy Hickman. Besides his well known "Dragonlance" series (co-authored with Margaret Weiss), I also found his solo novel "The Immortals" to be a tremendous effort. However, I never "clicked" with this novel.
I found Galen, one of the 3-4 protagonists, to be "whiny". I found Mimic to be aptly named (a positive) and insufficiently detailed. Additionally, Dwynnwyn, the faery portent, was (initially) stoically presented. By the end, she's running roughshod (albeit through means not of her own) over the humoursly recalcitrant Xian.
And perhaps that is the gist of it: the book is ~420 pages. It has 3 (again, at least) protagonists, large (easily readable) typeface, and, as a result, none of them are fleshed out. While each viewpoint, ala George RR Martins A Sword of Fire and Ice series, drives the plot forward, there are still great, inexplicable "gaps" in the storyline.
To whit: if Galen is "unaware" of his "mystic power" and "Deep Magic", how does he facilitate the end game (of book 1)?
I suppose, in reading this critique, it may be asked why the book didn't garner "*" versus "***". At least that part is easily explainable:
(a) I like the author(s), and am more than willing to cede at least one extra point for that alone and
(b) the last portion of the book, "Warriors", rised substantially above the muck (but not dreck) that precedes it. A "****" quadrant to conclude the book.
And perhaps that's the summary: Disappoingtly average muck that rises substantially at the end; enough so that I, at the least, will read volume 2.
The concept of three worlds (man, faerie, goblin) is interesting, but hard to pull off. The book relies on dream sequences to set the three heros in motion. In this book the dream sequences are vague enough to not get in the way of things. They work pretty well in revealing th plot. The problem is that worlds of man and faerie work pretty well. The goblin world appears populated with morons and that's being generous.
It was good enough to get to the second book.