Thursday, January 29, 2009

Fortress Of Frost And Fire - Mercedes Lackey

Fortress Of Frost And Fire
Mercedes Lackey and Ru Emerson
Baen Books
Copyright: 1993

According to the back of the book:

Once A Necromancer
Always A Necromancer
At least that's what all the other elves are telling the young human Gawaine about his master, the Dark Elf Naitachal. Of course Gawaine doesn't believe them; Naitachal has always treated him well and honorably, explaining that though he once was a necromancing Dark Elf, and still has the ebon skin of the breed, he long ago forsook all things black in order to become the first elven Bard.

But though Naitachal means every word he says and though Gawaine has known all along that things might get a little uncomfortable for a human with a Dark Elf master, neither has guessed what temptations the future might hold: for Gawaine to forsake his master and for Naitachal to go back to his old necromancing ways.

This is about the first Mercedes Lackey title I've abandoned. Although the publisher's note on the back says that you don't need to have any knowledge of the Bard's Tale computer game put out by Electronic Arts, in truth, I think you do, if only to make head or tail of the character's back stories. Never having even heard of the game outside of what was written on the cover of this book, I found myself at a disadvantage.

I've never before read a book based on a computer game. I guess you could argue that the X-Wing series by Michael Stackpole and Aaron Allston were based on the games, but to me they spun off of the original Star Wars movies. In some ways, I felt that I was reading a computer game by the point I gave up on the story here, which is disappointing as this was one of the books I'd set for myself for the one reading Challenge I signed up for thus far.

What I found was that each of the characters was very much a 'type'. There's the Dwarf, the lizard-man, the archer, the paladin and the druid, not to mention the warrior. All of them band together to face an evil. It's very much a computer game type plot.

Although the book was somewhat funny, it just didn't grip me enough to finish, and the opportunity has come to pass it along to someone who should appreciate the book more.

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