|Matthew Stover: The Blade of Tyshalle|
Ray Books (Paperback), ISBN 0-345-42144-2
(1890 - 1977)
In the Overworld, elves and humans live and fight daily with gods and death. All of it captured by hidden cameras and televised for the world market. Actors and actresses train to fight and kill before implantation of electronic eyes and ears, then move out to wreak mayhem on the unsuspecting citizens of the Overworld. (Or die themselves if they fail).
Enter Hari Michealson, screen name Caine, superstar of the silver screen and now half paralyzed by his successful attempt to save Pallas Ril from death. Caine, who previously toppled the evil god Ma'elkoth from his throne, must now return and fight to prevent Ma'elkoth from regaining power. In the meantime, Caine married and separated from Pallas Ril before becoming a leading producer at Overworld Studios. Out for revenge, Ma'elkoth kills Pallas Ril and tortures Caine's young daughter in his efforts to regain control of the Overworld. To make matters worse, Ma'elkoth does all this with the help of the Overworld Company, who want to get rid of Caine once and for all.
As far as plots, sub plots, devious political maneuverings and heartless torture goes, Blade of Tyshalle doesn't disappoint. All 724 pages contain that and more. It just takes, well, a little bit of time to unearth it. Readers will find Blade of Tyshalle well-written but slow paced and difficult to digest. The action scenes shine, so too the premise and overall idea, but this reader found it difficult to maintain interest with all the introspection and basically needless prose that did little to further the story. One felt that most of it could have been cut out to decrease the volume and increase reader interest.
This reader finally gave up at page 401 when reading became a chore and not a pleasure. If you enjoy long, drawn out political campaigning with a few action scenes, then Blade of Tyshalle would probably be very good for you. If you like books that move and get to the storyline quickly, then I recommend you give Blade of Tyshalle a miss. This is the kind of book Ambrose Bierce must have been thinking about when he said:
The covers of this book are too far apart.
Ambrose Bierce (1842 - 1914), The Devil's Dictionary
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