David Drake made his name in genre fiction with the Hammer's Slammers series of military science fiction about tough future mercenaries, launched in 1979. A versatile writer, he's also published well-received fantasies. Lord of the Isles
opens a massive new saga of clashing swords and spells in an archipelago world. One thousand years beforehand, potent sorcery won a war only for it to backlash and sink the winning island. Now, with magic reaching another millennial peak of power, the world is endangered. Among the players are a king's ghost and two magicians who were present at the ancient disaster (one of them caused it), plus modern wizards, warriors, and unknowing descendants of royalty. Drake skillfully juggles multiple storylines as his engaging characters meet a wild variety of danger: rising and vanishing lands, the reanimated dead (not only human dead), out-of-control sorcery, demons, riots, traps, and other planes of reality including hell itself. The magic comes in several fascinating and often unpleasant flavors. Even likeable characters may die. This story reads well and halts at a satisfying moment of victory rather than at a nail-biting cliffhanger. It doesn't quite achieve epic scale--clearly Drake is keeping major trump cards in reserve for the coming sequels. A promising start. --David Langford, Amazon.co.uk
From Library Journal
Drake, best known for his military sf novels (e.g., Redliners, Baen, 1996), here serves up a fantasy tale with an Arthurian twist.
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