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Sultan Of The Moon And Stars (Orokon) Paperback – 30 Nov 2000
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Tom Arden's The Orokon, his fabulous fantasy quintet of the awesome and the charmingly ludicrous, reaches its third volume withSultan of the Moon and Stars. In the first two volumes The Harlequin's Dance andThe King and Queen of Swords, crippled Jem is given the use of his legs, learns that he is the rightful heir and starts collecting the scattered crystals which will put the world to rights; he also goes to balls, travels with persecuted show people and learns the job of being a hero:
"Jem looked down at the heavy plates, greasy with remnants of salt-pig and mustard.
'Don't mind my friend,' Rajal was saying. 'Our guardian once arranged for him to learn to be a gentleman, but truth to tell--he killed his teacher before the lessons were complete.'
The captain's eyes twinkled. He gestured to the weapons abut the walls that clinked with the sluggish shiftings of the tide. 'With what, me lovely? A cutlas? A claymore?
'Shot him in cold blood."
Now Jem and his friend Rajal, and their not entirely trustworthy patron Lord Empster, followed soon after by Jem's beloved Cata, and her villainous suitor Polty, embark on adventures in a land of burning sands and populous cities, where the crystal they seek is the core of religion and rule. Treachery abounds and wild magic is almost commonplace; we also learn of a princess who is not all there, but not in the usual way. Arden's take on Arabian Nights material is informed by some serious thought about the telling of tales and the Orient of Hollywood; as always with this wonderful baggy monster of an epic, it mixes thrills and ironic humour with delightful camp profusion. --Roz Kaveney --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The third title in Arden¿s flamboyant fantasy series, a swashbuckling quest.See all Product description
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The story takes place in the southern country of Unang-Lia. In Kal-Theron, the capital, the son of Sultan Kaled, young Prince Dea, is put through rites of passage by his tutor Simonides, preparing for his upcoming marriage to Princess Bela Dona, daughter of the Sultan's brother and ruler of the southern city of Qatani, Caliph Oman Elmani. Alas, the Princess has been cursed by Simonides’s brother, the Teller Evitamus, and is shimmering between two half images, Bela Dona and Dona Bela. Only Oman and his Vizier Hasem know about the Princess’s condition. She must be restored to her whole self before the Sultan and Dea arrive.
Continuing his quest to find the five crystals of the Orokon, Jem is travelling with Rajal and Lord Empster to Unang-Lia on Captain Porlo’s ship, the Catayane, when suddenly a ray of green light appears. Jem vanishes… and is replaced by Cata! She will accompany the crew to Qatani and befriend the Princess.
As for Jem, he finds himself teleported to a strange dreamland created by Almoran the enchanter, brother to Simonides and Evitamus.
Other protagonists include Faha Ejo and his band of thieves, a mysterious girl-boy named Amed, and Eli Elo Oli the whoremonger. And of course Polty is still lurking around, looking for Cata.
Even though it wasn’t boring per se, I found this volume a little too long and the story not really heading anywhere for many chapters. I was entertained by the couple of funny references to Arabian Nights, such as a genie in a magic lamp and a flying carpet, but annoyed by the lack of progress in Jem’s quest, which was stalled for about three quarters of the book. So far, I find this series somewhat low on suspense, which probably explains why it takes me so long to read it.
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