The Barnes & Noble Review
Jacqueline Carey, author of the exquisitely erogenous Kushiel's Legacy trilogy (Kushiel's Dart, Kushiel's Chosen, and Kushiel's Avatar) begins a distinct series with Banewreaker, an epic saga about sibling gods waging war against each other across a sundered world and the mortal races they use as pawns in a deadly game of supremacy.
The world of Urulat was created by deities known as the Seven Shapers, who formed numerous magical races of sentient beings to inhabit the realm. But after the god Satoris disobeyed an order from Haomane -- Lord-of-Thought and First Born -- concerning his irresponsible quickening of the race called Man, a great battle ensued pitting Satoris against his six brothers and sisters. The resulting Shapers' War split the world in two and, although none of the gods were destroyed, Satoris was exiled and consequently reviled by mortals as a villainous deity nicknamed Banewreaker, the Sunderer and Bringer-of-Doom.
Eons have passed but signs pointing toward an enigmatic prophecy are becoming undeniably clear. If it is fulfilled and Satoris is destroyed, the sundered world could be made whole once gain and the remaining Shapers could rule over their creations in peace. But Satoris can only be killed by Godslayer, a mystical shard that he possesses and hides away in his Darkhaven fortress.
Like Carey's Kushiel novels, Banewreaker is intense, exotic, poignant, and masterful at delving into the hidden depths of the human condition. Betrayal, treachery, vengeance, impossible quests, and epic battles -- this compelling saga will thrill fans of dark fantasy. Paul Goat Allen
The storytelling gifts Jacqueline Carey displayed in her Kushiel trilogy are abundantly evident here, but the story of The Sundering is quite different. In Banewreaker, the gods themselves wage war. In the struggle among the Seven Shapers, neither the gods nor the races of the world can flourish. Prophecy, honor, and betrayal figure prominently in this deadly, chess-like game. A cosmic battle on a human scale.
Following her well-received Kushiel's Legacy trilogy (Kushiel's Dart, etc.), bestseller Carey takes a daringly different tack in the first of a new epic fantasy series that focuses on seven gods rather than an ingratiating human heroine like the trilogy's Phedre no Delaunay. Readers may be overwhelmed at first by the vast cast of larger-than-life characters, including many exotic creatures, fanged, toothed and winged, but as the gods and their assorted hangers-on behave more like real people than mythic heroes, they gain in sympathy. Haomone, the eldest of the seven gods, and one of his younger brothers, Satoris, who sundered the earth with his sword, are in rebellion. Satoris's primary lieutenant, Tanaros Blacksword, who has lived 1,000 bitter years after killing his unfaithful wife and her lover, his king, endures the irony that he must kidnap but safeguard her beautiful descendant, Cerelinde, who is about to be married. The poignancy of Tanaros's situation is palpable but never overplayed. Also moving is the plight of Lillias, a beautiful sorceress also a millennium old, enamored of Callendor, a colossal dragon. Perhaps nowhere in fiction is a dragon described as remarkably or as lovingly, a creature of unbelievable power yet also of gentle tenderness. This is a memorable beginning to what should be another strong series. Agent, Jane Dystel at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. (Nov. 1) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
After hundreds of years of an uneasy truce, the words of an ancient prophecy begin to glimmer with possibility. This potential forces Satoris, the Sunderer, cast out from the other world Shapers, to defend himself from Haomane's children who seek to destroy Satoris and reunite the world. One by one, the places, races, characters, and creatures that play a role in this vast drama are introduced. As the motives of both parties are challenged and exposed by siege, dragon fire, kidnapping, treachery, and sacrifice, the questions of good and evil, hero and villain grow ever more complicated. Many of Carey's characters are tantalizingly compelling: Cerelinde, the immortal maiden kidnapped from her own wedding; Tanaros, the Sunderer's general still grieving hundreds of years later for the wife and friend who betrayed him; Ushahin, who belongs to no one and walks through dreams with the ease another might walk across a field. The scope of this tale necessitates a slow start. Yet Carey's novel is woven of so many separate strands of plot and character that for a very long while it is difficult to hold the whole billowing tapestry in the mind's eye. Most unfortunate is that the book is only the first half of a projected two-part series, ending abruptly with nearly every character's fate still balanced on a precipice. Fans of densely wrought fantasy might enjoy Carey's creation and wait with excitement for its conclusion in Godslayer (Tor, 2005), volume two of The Sunderling. Readers who prefer more focused tales and tidier endings will be less appreciative. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P S A/YA (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to12; Adult-marketed book recommended for Young Adults). 2004, Tor, 432p., Ages 15 to Adult.
Megan Lynn Isaac
Satoris was one of the seven Shapers who formed the Earth and those in it: humans, elves, trolls, werewolves and dragons. The Shaper's War sundered the Earth, leaving Satoris nursing a wound in his thigh that will not heal in Darkhaven, separated from the rest of the world by a vast sea. He is joined by those who do not "fit" in the regular world: the mad, lame, disenfranchised, betrayed. Together they are facing the prophecy of Satoris's downfall, based upon an elven woman marrying a human man. The beautiful Cereline, Lady of the Ellylon, is kidnapped on her wedding day and taken to Darkhaven. Various other players in the prophecy are attacked and all-out war commences. This is told from various perspectives, mostly those of Satoris's minions. We see that neither side has a true grasp of why they are fighting, only that their Lords will it. Basically, nothing is resolved, but a preview of the sequel, Godslayer, is appended. A heady story with myriad players, lots of action, intrigue, romance, and unusual characters and locations. (The Sundering, Vol. 1). KLIATT Codes: SA--Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2004, Tor, 502p., Ages 15 to adult.
After the Seven Shapers created the world and populated it with their chosen children, dissension drove one of the Shapers to rebel against his brothers and sisters, which caused a war that sundered the world. Satoris, the rebel, dwells in his fortress, unwilling to go to war or to surrender to his brother Haomane, the Lord of Thought. When the servants of Haomane discover a way to destroy Satoris and restore wholeness to the world, Satoris and his chief lieutenant, Tanaros, move to thwart the plot by kidnapping the Lady Cerelinde, whose marriage is crucial to Haomane's victory. Her capture, however, has unexpected repercussions. With "Kushiel's Legacy," Carey established herself as a premier storyteller in the tradition of Tanith Lee, Terry Goodkind, and Storm Constantine. Her latest novel, the first in a new series, features the classic struggle between the forces of light and darkness told from the "other" side. Convincing characters and a feel for myth-making and world building make this a strong addition to most libraries. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
The author of an outstanding fantasy debut trilogy (Kushiel's Avatar, 2003, etc.) kicks off a new adventure set in a Tolkienesque world of contending gods, magic jewels, warring races, dragons, elves, trolls, and what-all. Strife among two of the godlike Seven Shapers-proud Haomane, the eldest, and his younger brother Satoris-broke the world, so now Haomane and his five siblings reside at one end of the Sundering Ocean, Satoris and the various peoples of the world at the other. Haomane's unremitting hostility and power have driven Satoris to Darkhaven, where he lurks underground, cursed as the Father of Lies for causing the sundering. During the struggle, the jewel Souma was shattered and Satoris stabbed in the thigh by a dagger-shaped fragment known as the Godslayer. To keep Godslayer safe, Satoris placed it in the marrow-fire deep beneath Darkhaven. Haomane longs to destroy Satoris but, likewise vulnerable to Godslayer, dares not come himself but works through intermediaries instead. To thwart a prophesy predicting his defeat and the reuniting of the world, Satoris sends his immortal general, Tanaros Blacksword, to kidnap Cerelinde of the immortal Ellylon and thus prevent her marriage to the mortal human king, Aracus Altorus. Simultaneously, Haomane's forces, led by counselor Malthus bearing a powerful fragment of Souma, march towards Darkhaven; among them is a young innocent, the desert-dweller Dani, Bearer of the Water of Life, which, impossibly heavy for anyone but the true bearer to carry, can quench marrow-fire. Often derivative but pleasingly nuanced, peopled with beings neither wholly good nor irredeemably evil: an impressive curtain-raiser for this projected trilogy, even if itweighs a ton and a half.