on 12 January 2006
This book contains two early novels by Tanya Huff and if you are a fan of hers it is interesting to see her style developing as the books progress.
The first novel (Child of the Grove) falls into two main sections, and the first part is a fantasy/mythology story that forms the prelude to the rest of the book. It made me think of Tolkien's Silmarillion - although I found the Huff story more readable.
As the book progresses we start to get hints of Huff's usual style but the book is fairly standard fantasy fare, with a denouement that owes more to chance than to the actions of the characters.
The second novel (The Last Wizard) is altogether more well-formed and the characterisation is more central to the work. I didn't quite believe that anyone could be as easygoing as the two main male characters but it was a pleasant change to see men so kindly depicted in a work by a female author! And there are some interesting and unusual mythical characters introduced to add to the enjoyment.
In this second novel, you can see Huff developing her own style of wry quips between characters. And the finale is well-prepared for and ties up all the loose ends.
If you can bear to read the first novel for the sake of the second this is worth a look. And if you're a Tanya Huff fan you might be very intrigued to see how far she has come.