Friday, October 30, 2009

Summa Elvetica: A Casuistry of the Elvish Controversy-Theodore Beale

Summa Elvetica: A Casuistry of the Elvish Controversy
Theodore Beale
Marcher Lord, Oct 2009, $12.99
ISBN: 9780982104927

Amorran Church noble scholar Marcus Valerius is part of a delegation traveling from the Republic to Elebrion to end the heated argument between church scholars whether elves have souls. The delegates know how complex the issue will prove without the threat of a holy war lingering depending on their decision, but each plans to do the right thing religiously regardless.

On the trek to the kingdom of the elves, Marcus becomes friends with the scornful Bishop Claudo and Father Aestus, and especially his new dwarf bodyguard. He also enjoys his time spent with the elf accompanying the delegation. In Elebrion, the monarch King Caerwyn throws a welcoming gala, but Marcus soon uncovers a seditious betrayal as he thinks of his Uncle Magnus’ warning before he set forth on the trek.

This is a terrific fantasy that uses the premise of Anatole France’s Penguin Island in a Tolkien like Holy Roman Empire. The story line is mostly told from the viewpoint of the young brilliant yet naive scholar as he learns so much about life and faith in the light of betrayal yet keeps his hope and belief high. Fans will enjoy Marcus’ adventures in the kingdom of the elves.

Harriet Klausner

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