"Darrell Schweitzer is a fine writer . . . Not only is he skilled in the exotic use of the best trappings of Fantasy, he employs a disquieting awareness of the dark nooks of the mind and soul. . . .Best of all, Schweitzer is a story-teller, by whose smoky fire one may sit spell-bound." -- Tanith Lee
Darrell Schweitzer has been three-times nominated for the World Fantasy Award, twice for Best Collection, and once for the novella "To Become a Sorcerer," which forms the first four chapters of this book. He is also the author of "The White Isle," "The Shattered Goddess," and nearly 300 short stories, many of which are collected in such volumes as "The Darrell Schweitzer Megapack." An expert on fantastic fiction, who has written books about Lord Dunsany and H.P. Lovecraft, he also co-edited the legendary "Weird Tales" magazine.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This will appeal to weird fiction readers who are looking for Lovecraftian atmosphere in an adventure novel form. This is not Sword & Sorcery, but will appeal to that same crowd (it is very dark¿all sorcery). This will NOT appeal to readers looking for soap-opera fantasy, young-adult fantasy, or a light read. The first three Chapters were amongst the most bizarre, inspiring fantasy bits I have ever read. The pace slows after, but by then I was emotional connected to Sekenre¿s character. Note, it is difficult to string together a series of weird stories into a novel, since the pulp- style of writing is known to be highly dense with description. The genre works well with short stories. H.P. Lovecraft tried with a lengthy novella with ¿The Dream-Quest to Unknown Kadath,¿ which I have yet to complete after three valiant tries (despite my urge to see how the reappearance of the artist Robert Pickman fares). Schweitzer does better here, taking the readers to the ambiguous lands of dreams and death, making us feel as disoriented as his cursed protagonist; at the moment we are about to become totally lost in trippy language, he brings us back to firm footing.The battle scenes are intermittent but very vivid; given the lack of traditional weaponry, readers will be surprised by the brutality. From the book¿s description I thought I would be immersed in traditional Egyptian mythology; not so. Egyptian setting/lore is clearly an inspiration for this, but as Christianity (the Crusades) served as a foundation for Schweitzer¿s ¿We Are All Legends¿, the author rapidly takes the reader beyond these influences. His work is anything but traditional or derivative. The book is ~380pages; I would have given this 5 stars if it could have somehow been reduced to ~300. Sequel: There is a standalone sequel called SEKENRE The Book of the Sorcerer, which I look forward to reading.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It was different and unique. I hated to see the book end, I just wanted it to keep going on and on.