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Jude Fisher is a psuedonym for Jane Johnson, publishing director of HarperCollins' SF imprint, Voyager. She holds two literature degrees, specialising in Anglo Saxon and Old Icelandic texts, and is also a qualified lecturer. For the last twenty years, Jane has been the publisher of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, and is the author of the official Visual Companions to Peter Jackson's movie trilogy of THE LORD OF THE RINGS.
Banished centuries before with the imprisonment of the gods, the magic continues to return, slowly, to the land of Elda in Fisher's densely plotted sequel to Sorcery Rising (2002). Juggling six major plot lines, the book covers the landscape of Elda from frozen north to volcanic south. In between, the seafaring Eyran islanders try to keep their Viking-like culture from falling under the domination of the more populous, Italianate Kingdom of Istria. Katla Aransen, swordmaker and daughter to Aran Aranson, lord of Rockfall, finds that her ability to commune with the earth forces her to accept a destiny not of her own choosing. Her father, less blessed, tries to make his fortune in an ill-fated expedition to the far north. Meanwhile, avatars of the captive gods move toward the center of the brewing war between Eyra and Istria. In addition to the large and somewhat unwieldy cast, with multiple links among them, Fisher fills the book with historical asides, myths, songs and folklore. But even if certain problems remain unresolved, the plot does advance. Noticeably, characters react according to their cultural backgrounds, providing the kingdoms and peoples with some sense of individuality. Nor are the obvious heroes or villains without both flaws and virtues. If the whole seems too close to romanticized history, it compensates with engaging details and strong female characters. (July 1) FYI: Fisher is also the author of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings Visual Companion. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
On the world of Elda, the rival lands of Eyra and Istria stand once again on the verge of war after many years of peaceful trade. As magic returns to the world, the lives of a former apprentice-turned- murderer; a young woman who can feel the pull of rock and metal; a young nobleman with the ability to read minds; and a woman whose beauty inspires lust in any man who sees her come together in ways that may forever alter the world. Fisher's sequel to Sorcery Rising blends large-scale intrigues with personal accounts of struggle and courage in a complex tale that belongs in most fantasy collections. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.