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Child of a Dead God by Barb and J C Hendee

Buy Child of a Dead God by Barb and J C Hendee at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Fantasy
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Loralei Haylock
Reviewed by Loralei Haylock
Summary: Great escapist fantasy, though probably better borrowed than bought. Interesting characters, an epic quest, good baddies – all the right ingredients for a good fantasy yarn.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 592 Date: August 2009
Publisher: Orbit
ISBN: 978-1841497310

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Margiere, half-human, half-vampire, is being drawn south by dreams of an icebound castle. Her quest to discover a mysterious ancient artefact borders on obsession – a dangerous one that threatens the lives of her travelling companions. But little sage, Wynn, will follow her, seeking knowledge for her guild on the long forgotten history of their world, as will Chap and Elven warrior Sgäille, who swore an oath of guardianship to Margiere and Leesil.

Leesil, Margiere's partner, half-human, half-elf, wants to see the quest through, with hopes that what they discover can set their footsteps off the paths their parents intended for them. He wants nothing to do with his 'destiny', dreaming of returning to the tavern he and Margiere own and living simply once again.

Fast on their heels is Welstiel, Margiere's undead half-brother, and his newly created group of 'feral' vampires. He intends to let Margiere lead him to the artefact, which he hopes will rid him of his thirst for blood forever, and take it from her. But he's not the only one with machinations to take the artefact. Most Aged Father, leader of the Elven caste of assassins, to which Sgäille belongs, also desires the artefact, and in his quest to retrieve it, pits elf against elf, unheard of among the caste.

With enemies on all sides, Margiere has to get the artefact to the safety of the Sage Guild. But first, she and her companions have to survive the intense cold of the mountains…

Coming in at book six of a series is a pretty bad plan, and doesn't make this an easy review. I can make no comment as to whether this does justice to the previous instalments, or whether it is a boring rehash of material fans have seen before. However, I can say that, despite missing five large volumes of back story, that I still thoroughly enjoyed it.

There is nothing here that is ground breaking or previously unheard of in this sort of epic fantasy. The praise on the back hails it as 'a mix of Lord of the Rings and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.' If Kevin J Anderson hadn't said it first, I would be saying exactly the same thing. But, this mix of the familiar doesn't have to be a bad thing. Sometimes we don't need new – there's nothing wrong with comfortable escapism.

With a cast of interesting characters, a suitably epic quest, some good baddies, and hints of betrayal and conspiracy, Child of a Dead God has all the right ingredients for a good fantasy yarn. I absolutely ploughed through it while riding round on the London Underground, which is what this sort of book is great for – going somewhere else when you are stuck somewhere you really don't want to be.

Overall, Child of a Dead God left me feeling very much like hunting down the previous books and reading them. But only at my local library, not on Amazon. Buy if you're an established fan, newcomers – this series is certainly worth a look, but I recommend to borrow, not buy.

For more great escapist fantasy, try The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks.

My thanks to the publishers for sending a copy.

Buy Child of a Dead God by Barb and J C Hendee at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Child of a Dead God by Barb and J C Hendee at Amazon.co.uk



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