Monday, August 17, 2015

The Sword of the South by David Weber

Did I miss something? It seems as if there may be at least a short story, perhaps an entire novella, in between War Maid's Choice and this book. Bahzell and Leanna are happily married, running a tavern, with a ten year old daughter, Gwynna, who has a telepathic bond with a dire cat. How time flies!

The fourteen hundred year old schemes of Wencit of Rum are finally coming to fruition, beginning with the appearance of a bedraggled man without a memory, at least of who he is, though his knowledge of geography and swordplay and harpistry seem to be just fine. Wencit knows his true identity, but he refuses to enlighten the poor fellow, who names himself Kenhodan. I suppose if Wencit told him, he'd have to tell us, and spoil the surprise, which truly isn't all that surprising if you've read enough of this sort of thing.

Be that as it may, Kenhodan is the key to the next step in Wencit's plots, which revolve in this episode around the defeat of an evil sorceress, Wulfra, and the recovery of a powerful ancient artifact which she has under her domain, though not necessarily her control. Our mysterious red-headed warrior, Bahzell Bloody Hand, and the ancient wild wizard Wencit (say that three times fast) book passage aboard Brandark's fastest ship for the first leg of their voyage, enduring yet roundly defeating a pirate attack, then journey overland, pursued by Dog Brother assassins, for the remainder of the quest.

Things go about as expected, and the trio manage to deal with every obstacle thrown in their path, including an acid-spitting dragon. It is, of course, quite handy that Bahzell, as a Champion of Tomanak, can magically heal his fellow travelers from all the wounds they suffer in various skirmishes.I don't recall Aragorn being able to pluck out the arrows pincushioning (that's totally a verb) Boromir and lay on hands, but Bahzell is special, dontcha know.

There's a side plot which will probably become important in the 2nd or 3rd book in this final fantasy trilogy of Weber's involving Bahzell and Leanna's daughter, who appears to be slated to be the next incredibly powerful wild wizard, either succeeding or replacing Wencit as appointed guardian of Norfressa.

Predictable, but Weber is always quite readable.

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