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A Crown of Swords
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The seventh volume of Jordan's bestselling high fantasy series carries on the tradition of colossal, dauntingly complex storytelling established by the previous entries (Lord of Chaos, 1994, etc.). In a richly woven post-holocaust world where magic is normally a woman's monopoly and a man who can use it is a menace, Rand al'Thor, a sheepherder, discovered that he could "channel"; he and his companions have gone on to set their world aflame. Here, Rand is engaged in a fight for control of the weather and of the growing number of men and women who have turned out to be magic-wielders. The narrative employs elements of realism rare in high fantasy, including the sense that innocent bystanders are being mauled in an epic joust of magical giants. There's wit at work here, too, in Jordan's exploration of the possibilities created by women being the magic workers. All this comes at the price of enough characters, institutions, spells, countries and so on to intimidate any reader who hasn't followed Rand's adventures from the beginning‘and the author is still adding complications. A glossary helps, though, and fans of the series will gobble down this generous addition. Major ad/promo; deluxe leather-bound limited edition. (July)

The sequel to Lord of Chaos (LJ 11/15/94)-and a popular series.

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