Monday, July 28, 2008

King's Shield-Sherwood Smith

King's Shield
Sherwood Smith
Daw, Jul 2008, $25.95
ISBN: 9780756405007

Inda left in self imposed exile as a preadolescent to preclude a monarchy crisis. In the nine years of his absence, his friend Evred became the King instead of Inda’s older brother who was murdered and married to Inda’s sister Hadand. Meanwhile Inda learned naval warfare while spending time with prates and has become a military hero after winning a major sea battle.

Inda accompanied by his beloved Dag Signi, a Venn sorceress, comes home to warn his ruling family that the Venn plan to invade. He is stunned to find Evred as the ruler, but also shocked that he is the heir to Choraed Elgaer and must marry his childhood friend Tdor; both have loved one another, but he also is committed to Signi. However, working through his feelings and what is good for his people are on hold as Evred asks Inda to lead their army. Though a naval expert, Inda agrees even if he feels like a fish out of water.

The third Inda military fantasy (see INDA and THE FOX) is a fabulous thriller, which ironically takes an anti-war stand; as Edwin Starr’s song War asks "what is it good for?” Signi answers with her scornful legalized murder argument. The vivid story line is fast-paced even when chapters are devoted to preparation as Sherwood Smith also responds to the question “What is it good for?” with a resounding "absolutely nothing”. This is an excellent military fantasy that pulls no punches in openly describing the horrors of war on everyone; not hiding the consequences from her readers.

Harriet Klausner

No comments: