Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Grudgebearer-J.F. Lewis

J.F. Lewis
Pyr, Sep 2 2014, $18.00
ISBN 9781616149840

The Eldrennai created the Aern as slave warriors to defend the master race against the Zaur.  Over seemingly endless time, the Eldrennai eventually became freed but also remained Grudgebearers sworn to their oath to protect the Eldrennai.  A truce of sorts was reached between the three races six hundred years ago at the Sundering and every century since they meet at the Grand Compunction to renew the shaky peace.

However, just before the latest conference, an Eldrennai royal Prince Dolvek inanely devastates the pact when the fool opens up an exhibit of sentient Aernese armor.  Accompanied by his daughter on his way to the centennial conference, but angrily aware of the breach due to his link to the ancient armor, Oathkeeper Kholster considers eradicating his former Masters as the viable means of not breaking the vow while reacting to the affront.

The first Grudgebearer science fiction tale is a great drama that looks closely at the relationships between three sentient species; especially the profound effect of long term enslavement on a now somewhat freed race.  The cast representing the three peoples and the armor seem genuine.  Except for unnecessary deities, this is an outstanding opening act.

Harriet Klausner

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