Saturday, August 30, 2008

City of Jade-Dennis L. McKiernan

City of Jade
Dennis L. McKiernan
Roc, Oct 2008, $23.95
ISBN 9780451462312

Legend talks of a City of Jade hidden in the jungle. Probably more likely myth than a real lost city, as no one has ever returned from the quest of finding this fabled locale though many have tried across Mithgar.

In the Final Year of the Fifth Era, with the Dragonstone War ended when the Black Mage God Gyphon was slain by the elf, passages have opened between realms while wards have been used to close those leading to and from the the creations of the late Dark God. In that seemingly peaceful environment, Elven Captain Aravan learns of the City of Jade and wants to find this precious legend. He brings together a crew of elves, dwarfs, men, and other species to sail into the sunset on the fabled Eroean. Accompanying him on his quest is his beloved mage, Aylis the seer. Even without Aylis’ predictions all of the crew of the Eroean knows the journey will be dangerous and many if any will not return; they volunteer because the lure of adventure is greater than their safety; most are used to a world at war. Few perhaps would have signed on if they knew the dark necromantic sorcerer Nunde seeking vengeance is lurking everywhere they are sailing.

As explained in the “afterword” to this engaging fantasy, the events in the CITY OF JADE occur at the end of SILVER WOLF, BLACK FALCON and the beginning of the RED SLIPPERS: MORE TALES OF MITHGAR anthology. The thriller starts off as more of an interrelated anthology catching up with what has happened to the good, the bad, and the nasty since the demise of the Dark God. Once the crew is set and prepares to sail, the story line converges into an entertaining adventure tale with a fuming vengeful Nunde stalking the Eroean over each horizon. Fans will relish this terrific tweener while new readers should first peruse SILVER WOLF, BLACK FALCON to better comprehend the citations to the war.

Harriet Klausner

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