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Crescent Blues Book ViewsImage:three and a half moon gifFantasy Roc (Paperback), ISBN 0451458052

According to the blurb on the front of Beyond the Blue Moon, "True legends never die." In the case of Prince Rupert and Princess Julia, the Forest Kingdom, (a kingdom in dire straits, natch) hopes this maxim will ring true. Reeling from the assassination of King Harald (Rupert's sleazy brother), attacks from demons and, even worse, the resurrected Inverted Cathedral -- supposedly a gateway into Hell -- the Forest Kingdom cries out for the return of Rupert and Julia.

Book: Simon R. Green, beyond the blue moonIn their desperation, the court of the Forest Kingdom forgets a much more important rule: "Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it." And so when Allen Chance (current champion of the Forest Kingdom) and his faithful companion Chappie (a very large, very mean, very smart-ass magical dog) locate the legendary duo, instead of gleaming armor, shining swords and royal designer garb they get Hawke and Fisher.

Hawke and Fisher, aka Rupert and Julia, currently reside in the cesspool misleadingly called Haven. Considered by Haven's citizenry as the city's most upright, most honest and -- to put it bluntly -- most lethal guard captains, Hawke and Fisher know the worst humanity has to offer. And it shows.

Informed of the circumstances that brought Chance to them, Hawke and Fisher tell the royal messenger to take a hike. They saved the Forest Kingdom once before and ended up banished for their troubles. Chance would like nothing more than to turn and walk away, but his duty dictates that he bring Rupert and Julia home. After much negotiation (and hilarious side commentary by Chappie), the Forest Kingdom's erstwhile royalty finally agree to go back -- but in their new personas of Hawke and Fisher. They'll just hop in, find the assassin, kick a lot of bad-guy butt, then leave. After all, nothing could be as bad as the Blue Moon. Right?

Wrong. The Forest Kingdom gets the aid it demanded and finds that legends can be more -- much, much more -- than people reckon on. And Hawke and Fisher find that things can indeed get much, much worse. At least last time they avoided a side trip to Hell.

Book: Simon R. Green, blue moon risingSimon, you done good with this one. I must admit, I always wanted some resolution to Blue Moon Rising. After all, that book induced my severe addiction to your writing. I loved the secrets within secrets that you scattered like so many new minted pennies throughout Beyond the Blue Moon. Heck, the introduction of Chappie alone does much to atone for what you did to the hero of the Deathstalker series. (Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know you kept telling us what you planned -- but you should've been lying.)

Beyond the Blue Moon is quite simply a must-have for fans of Simon R. Green. In fact, any fantasy fan will find this a fabulous addition to their libraries. Get out there and buy this book, folks, so the man will write more. I need a regular Simon R. Green fix or I get really cranky. Just ask my senior editor.

On second thought, never mind bothering my senior editor -- she already twits me unmercifully about my habits and addictions. Just buy the darn book, OK?

Teri Smith

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