Full of cosmic drama and grand enchantments, the late Wilder's last Hylor novel, completed by Reimann (Wind from a Foreign Sky), addresses the same morally and philosophically complex issues of gender, society and self-learning that lifted earlier volumes in the Rulers of Hylor series (A Princess of the Chameln, etc.) above the common run of fantasies. The ambitious daughter of a peasant family struggling in a land of poverty, Gael Maddoc eagerly trains as a mounted soldier when offered the opportunity. She wins the respect of her rank after guiding betrayed charges across an enormous desert. Receiving council from the Shee (aka the Fair Folk), Gael is soon submerged in ancient intrigue. The plot gathers momentum when it becomes clear that she's the legendary, long-awaited Wanderer, "the chosen servant of the light folk." The authors' sparing use of magic helps highlight a naturalistic world of warring kingdoms, treachery and political conflict. Fans of both pastoral and hard-edged fantasy should be well satisfied.
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Gael Maddoc, the daughter of very poor peasants, is offered the chance to become a soldier. After making a reputation by bringing her company safely through a large and dangerous desert, she is recruited by the last of the Shee to be their champion. For Gael is the Wanderer, the paladin of legend for whom the Shee have been waiting. To fully enjoy this good, competently written story--Wilder's final novel of the lands of Hylor--familiarity with Wilder's trilogy The Rulers of Hylor (A Princess of the Chameln , Yorath the Wolf , The Summer's King ) helps but isn't necessary. Wilder died while writing The Wanderer, but Reimann has competently finished it. It ends not with a cliff-hanger but at a stopping point, thereby allowing for further stories set in Hylor by other hands--a prospect about which, provided those future writers keep the continuity within the parameters of classic fantasy, no fantasy reader is likely to complain. Frieda Murray
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