Travis, a bespectacled barkeep from Castle City, Colorado, and Grace, a regally beautiful ER doctor from Denver Memorial, wormhole their way through a magical billboard into... a Robert Jordan
novel. Well, sort of. Sure, in Beyond the Pale
, it's a chilling winter--not a sweltering summer--that's gripping the land. And the seals (little stone disks, no less) are weakening on the prison of the Pale King, not the Dark One. But, surprise--Travis finds that he's the first man in centuries to successfully wield the One Power... er, runes
, that is... and is the sole hope of keeping the Pale King at bay.
Beyond the Pale isn't entirely derivative of Jordan's wildly popular Wheel of Time series: if nothing else, Anthony sets himself apart by having things actually happen in his book. Travis and his fellow earthling Grace end up in Eldh after surviving run-ins with the Pale King's servants on Earth. Grace, mistaken for a fairy queen, is quickly shanghaied as a spy for King Boreas, who has just convened a council of Eldh's rulers. After a series of adventures, Travis joins Grace, and the two must tangle with the mysterious Raven's Cult and a bunch of iron-hearted bad guys who are trying to derail the Council of Kings and hasten the PK's return. --Paul Hughes
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From Publishers Weekly
Launching a new fantasy series, Anthony, an erstwhile Forgotten Realms author (Curse of the Shadowmage, etc.), makes use of the classic premise of humans from our mundane world transported to a fantasy milieu; in this case, the travelers are two Coloradans, bartender Travis Wilder and ER physician Grace Beckett. The pair are not wholly surprised at their journey, as the world of Eldh has made several bloody visitations to Colorado already, but the reality of Eldh, full of political intrigues, is still terrifying, despite the protagonists' ability to work magic there. Anthony's pacing is spotty, frequently slow?there is just not enough matter here to justify the sheer mass of words. His characterizations are also uneven, sometimes exceedingly original and moving, other times relying on simplistic fantasy archetypes. He lays down exceptionally exciting action scenes, however, particularly those set in Colorado, as when Travis must escape an onslaught of fierce creatures from Eldh. This novel is only a so-so series kickoff, but if Anthony pumps up the pace and writes to his strengths in future volumes, the series could gain many a fan. Agent, Shawna McCarthy (Danny Baror for foreign rights).
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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