Sword of Fire and Sea
PYR, Jun 21 2011, $16.00
Fifty years ago Captain Vidarian Rulorat's grandfather signed the Breakwater Agreement that the current High Temple of Kara'zul Fire Priestess Endera demands he adhere to as she needs a watery escort for a young novice at a time when the world magic is waning. Rulorat insists the ancestor’s bargain escorting a Sharlin priestess on a ship is suicide, but when Endera insists and offers compensation of emeralds tied to his life, he agrees though honoring his late ancestor’s commitment is why he accepts the dangerous task.
Traveling through perilous pirate controlled water, Vidarian transports fire priestess Ariadel to her new temple. In pursuit are the deadly telepathic magic practitioners the Vkortha who need to kill Ariadel to prevent her from telling anyone about the taboo rituals that she witnessed the sect perform. Rulorat has his issues too as a descendent of two magical bloodlines which means he will die young from the hybrid genetic illness that confronts all mixed race offspring and the Goddess of Chaos demanding and coveting he free her from her incarceration. The pair realizes they are the focus of much more nastier essences as ugly secrets about his biological family and her priestess family surface threatening to drown both of them.
Sword of Fire and Sea is a terrific seafaring fantasy starring two fascinating protagonists and a strong support cast; most of whom are adversaries to the lead pair. The story line is faster than the speed of life; partially because the Hoffman world is never fully developed except on the High Seas. However, no one will care much; as sub-genre fans will accompany Captain Rulorat and Priestess Ariadel as they head straight south through adventures that rival the Clash of Titans and make Odysseus seem like he was on vacation.