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Nightsword (Starshield)
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Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman are the co-authors of the bestselling DRAGONLANCE and DEATH GATE CYCLE novels.

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Mentally bonded with the legendary Mantle of Kendis-Dai, Earth-born Jeremy Griffiths now joins his companion, the Vestis Merinda Neskat, in a desperate race across the galaxy to discover the long-lost artifact called the Nightsword. Pursued by enemy forces whose alliances shift with the tides of fortune, the pair of interstellar seekers learn that truth and trust are rare commodities in a universe of ever-changing paradigms. Coauthors Weis and Hickman have reached the top of their storytelling form with this latest series, a fast-paced, panoramic blend of space opera and high fantasy that should have a wide readership among both sf and fantasy fans. This sequel to The Mantle of Kendis-Dai (Ballantine, 1997) is strongly recommended for most libraries.

Avast, ye Earthlubbers! Weis and Hickman are launching a new star pirate voyage in their Starshield series, trying to revive characters already sagging in The Mantle of Kendis-Dai. According to their 3000-year-old myth, galactic superhero Kendis-Dai used the Nightsword, a "selective causality device," to force his mystico-scientifc empire into one huge human-dominated quantum zone. Stolen first by arch-villain Lokan and now sought by a motley collection of Earth astronauts, multiracial space pirates and assorted Inquisitors led by Targ, an Oedipal misfit, the Nightsword promises infinite power to its possessor. Merinda Neskat, heroine of this neo-Trekkie saga, lurches from one purportedly fatal encounter to another, plying her wiles alternately on effete U.S. astronaut Jeremy Griffiths and hunky pirate captain Evon Flynn in a predictably eternal triangle. Though Weis and Hickman struggle to make each life-form group speak its own comical variety of English, all characterizations in this exponentially inflated comic book are equally lackluster. When Merinda for the nth time skewers the tepidly malignant Targ, the appropriate reaction is not a bang for the bucks the book costs but a whimper of relief that it's overÄfor the time being. Author tour. (May)

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