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Posted December 9, 2008
terrific fantasy thriller
Scandinavia is home to pagan worship that disturbs their neighbor to the south the true believers of the Holy Roman Empire. Barbary sailor Cair Aidin ship wrecked on the Scandinavian coast has become a thrall to despised Princess Signy, stepsister of King Vortenbras. She is accused of stealing a magical relic that no human should have been able to touch thus everyone except the technologically thinking Cair assumes Signy is a witch. If the relic is not returned to its proper place, Vortenbras and his horde will turn into berserker Vikings destroying Europe. --- Cair loves his mistress Signy and knows she is no thief let alone a killer as proscribed by many. He plans to prove her innocence by rescuing her, finding the lost token and carrying it back to its designated locale. To succeed he needs the help of Brittany Prince Manfred and the royal bodyguard and guide Erik, also seeking the relic. Cair begins his quest entering a realm filled with murdering dwarves, trolls, hags, and other supernatural cretins that Cair refuses to believe exist even as they try to kill him while also eluding the even more lethal agents of the Holy Roman Empire. --- The third Heirs of Alexandria alternate history tale (see THIS ROUGH MAGIC and THE SHADOW OF THE LION) is a terrific fantasy thriller that can stand alone though the previous tales co-written with Mercedes Lackey and Eric Flint are fun to read. The exhilarating mid sixteenth century story line contains a fully developed cast (human and others) who enable readers to accept that the Library of Alexandria did not burn and unlike the hero¿s skepticism, magic being genuine. Cair is terrific as he loves Signy the reason he sets forth on his task while saving an empire or two from berserker Vikings is not his mission. Fans will enjoy the latest tale as Dave Freer keeps the series top quality without the collaboration. --- Harriet KlausnerWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 25, 2007
This book is a great run through of the northern reaches of Europe. We meet witches and kings, princesses and pirates, body guards and demons. This book is solid front to back. We meet Erik and Manfred again, but this story focuses more on Signy, a despised princess and Cair, an even lower slave. The plot in this book is every bit is fully formed as in the other two books in this world where Freer collaborated with Flint and Lackey, but is a decidedly slimmer novel. I loved this book and can't wait to get a few paperbacks to gift to people.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 11, 2005
A pleasant surprise
I honestly wasn't expecting much from this one, didn't really like the cover, and haven't been historically too fond of the author, but once i gave it a try I found it really quite good. The pacing is excellent. The characters area little over the top, but still human (well not exactly, but you know what I mean). The Norse mythology seemed very well researched and was all used appropriately, which I really liked.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 3, 2005
A fun, exciting read that works on many levels
What happens when a skeptical Barbary corsair, a man of science and astronomy, is captured and made a thrall in Norway? What happens when a people who live life full of mythology are confronted with someone who's not afraid of spirits, curses, and otherworldly things, for he doesn't believe in them? What happens when uncanny plots are then put into motion? A Mankind Witch is about the clash of worlds and cultures on many levels, and it's a fun read on many levels. A Mankind Witch is part of the Heirs of Alexandria series, a fantastical alternate history in which magic works, and the famed Library of Alexandria never burned. But don't despair if you haven't read the other very good books in this series, _This Rough Magic_, and _The Shadow of the Lion_. A Mankind Witch stands very well on its own. This book reads very well as a fantastical look at Norse Mythology, complete with Odin, trolls, dwarves, kobolds, elves, and witches. You can't go wrong putting Grieg on the soundtrack and settling in for a good read. Readers who have little or no acquaintance with Norse mythology will very much enjoy this book without needing any deeper knowledge of the history behind it. The book also reads very well as a satirical alternate history. As you recognize different people, you may find yourself snickering uncontrollably. If you read it on both levels, and add in a further level of song and story, this is so very much fun. I'd swear that Mr. Freer used Grieg's _Hall of the Mountain King_ to help him pace the book - it starts quickly, and maintains the tension clear to the finale. I highly recommend this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.