"This fast-paced novel, full of magical people and mysterious forces, goes beyond pure entertainment to confront many real issues. The characters grapple with prejudice, fear, and the ideas of personal and societal responsibilities."VOYA on Night of Madness
"Remarkably inventive."Kirkus on Dragon Weather
"Combines swashbuckling fantasy with serious themes of self-sacrifice and personal courage in an adventure that belongs in most libraries."Library Journal on The Dragon Society
"Watt-Evans is a veteran tale spinner who has created an epic tale in a world that is as multi-faceted as the scales on a dragon's back. With every step that Arlian takes, Watt-Evans leaves his readers wanting to know what will happen next."Tulsa World on Dragon Weather
Watt-Evans, author of the Obsidian Chronicles (Dragon Venom, etc.), depicts a fantasy world built on a system of checks and balances with real bite in the solid first of a new series. Barokan is ruled by the Wizard Lord, a wizard imbued with the combined magic of many wizards in order to keep them from running roughshod over the land. And to prevent the Wizard Lord from turning evil, there are eight Chosen Heroes imbued with aspects of the Wizard Lord's power so that working together they could defeat a rogue Wizard Lord. Breaker, a youth in the village of Mad Oak, assumes the mantle of the Chosen Swordsman as part of an effort to remove the current Wizard Lord. This is straightforward, old-fashioned sword and sorcery, though a little more philosophical than most. (Mar.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Breaker was an ordinary young man until the Swordsman showed up looking for a replacement. Breaker volunteered, and after months of training and beating the Swordsman in a duel, he became one of the Chosen. The entire world is governed by the Wizard Lord, who commands the weather and elements to preserve a peaceful life in Barokan. His main duty is to keep rogue wizards in check. The Chosen have sworn to keep the Wizard Lord controlled, and to kill him if he turns mad or evil. It has been more than one hundred years since a Wizard Lord has turned evil, so Breaker never thought that he would really have to fight the Wizard Lord. Along with the other seven Chosen, he travels through torrential storms, battling possessed animals until he reaches the Wizard Lord's tower and defeats him there. In the process, he matures and emerges as a leader among the Chosen. Watt-Evans creates a fascinating world in his new trilogy, The Annals of the Chosen, where magic rules and reluctant heroes keep the common man safe. His heroes are complex beings that struggle with the need to do their duty, even though they have sworn to remove the Dark Lord. It is not all glory, and some fail in their duty, but justice is served in the end. Fans of sword-and-sorcery fantasy will enjoy this first volume. They will be eager to read the further adventures of the Chosen. VOYA CODES: 4Q 3P S A/YA (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Will appeal with pushing; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult-marketed book recommended for Young Adults). 2006, Tor, 336p., Ages 15 to Adult.
Deborah L. Dubois
The world of Barokan enjoys prosperity under the benevolent rule of the Wizard Lord, who was answerable only to a group of eight otherwise normal people blessed as "The Chosen" by the elemental spirits. When a country boy named Breaker accepts the opportunity to train with and replace the legendary Swordsman, one of the Chosen, he believes that he need only remain ready to go into action-until the day comes when he must remove a corrupt Wizard Lord. Veteran fantasy author Watt-Evans ("Obsidian Chronicles"; the "Ethshar" series) begins a new series dealing in legendary archetypes and great magics and featuring an ordinary man transformed into a hero by the courage of his convictions and the loyalty of his companions. A good choice for most fantasy and YA collections, this fantasy epic is recommended for most libraries. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
First of a new fantasy series from Watt-Evans (Dragon Venom, 2003, etc.). Barokan is a land of magic spirits, or ler, with whom humans must reach an accommodation, while wizards might use magic to command or enslave them. Mistrusting one another, the wizards select a Wizard Lord to rule them and all Barokan. To constrain the Wizard Lord, the wizards appoint eight Chosen (a Swordsman, an Archer, a Scholar, a Leader, etc.), immune to the Wizard Lord's magic, whose job is to kill evil or mad Wizard Lords. Now old and tired, the Swordsman wishes to appoint his successor, so he comes with some wizards to the bucolic hamlet of Mad Oak. Young barley farmer Breaker volunteers; he's not so sure about the killing part of the job, but reflects that more than a hundred years have passed since a wizard Lord needed killing. As the new Swordsman, Breaker decides to travel. He meets up with the Seer and the Scholar, who bear ominous tidings. The three Chosen journey to the remote village of Stoneslope, where the Wizard Lord spent his childhood, finding the inhabitants-women, infants, everyone-slaughtered. Speaking through the agency of animals, the Wizard Lord cheerfully admits responsibility, his justification being revenge for the vicious bullying and cruelty meted out to him by the villagers. Horrified, the three Chosen decide to consult the rest of their number, and draw up plans to slay the Wizard Lord. Breaker, however, remains unconvinced, and has a pervasive feeling that things are not as they seem. Well handled, with low-key surprises: weighing in somewhere between solid and stolid, without ambition to be anything more.