Friday, April 16, 2010

Weekly Finds: 4/16/10

The Sword by Bryan Litfin

Received as a review copy from early reviewers.

From the back of the book: Four hundred years after a deadly virus and nuclear war destroyed the modern world, a new and noble civilization emerges.  In this kingdom, called Chiveis, snowcapped mountains provide protection, and fields and livestock provide food.  The people live medieval-style lives, with almost no knowledge of the "ancient" world.  Safe in their natural stronghold, the Chiveisi have everything they need, even their own religion.  Christianity has been forgotten - until a young army scout comes across a strange book.

With that discovery, this work of speculative fiction takes readers on a journey that encompasses adventure, romance, and the revelation of the one true God.  Through compelling narrative and powerful character development, The Sword speaks to God's goodness, his refusal to tolerate sin, man's need to bow before him, and the eternality of his Word.  Fantasy and adventure readers will be hooked by this first book in a forthcoming trilogy.

Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire (ereader Nook) - reading as the sequel to Wicked.

From the electronic overview:  When a witch dies - not as a crone, withered and incapable, but as a woman in her prime, at the height of her passion and prowess - too much is left unsaid.  What might have happened had Elphaba lived?  Of her campaigns in defense of the Animals, of her appetite for justice, of her talent for magic itself, what good might have come?  If every death is a tragedy, the death of a woman in her prime keenly bereaves the whole world.  Ten years after the publication of Wicked, bestselling novelist Gregory Maguire returns to the land of Oz to follow the story of Liir, the adolescent boy left hiding in the shadows of the castle when Dorothy did in the witch.

A decade after the Witch has melted away, the young man Liir is discovered bruised, comatose, and left for dead in a gully.  Shattered in spirit as well as in form, he is tended by the mysterious Candle, a foundling in her own right, until failed campaigns of his childhood bear late, unexpected fruit.

Liir is only one part of the world that Elphaba left behind.  As a boy hardly in his teens, he is asked to help the needy in ways in which he may be unskilled.  Is he Elphaba's son?  Has he power of his own?  Can he liberate Princess Nastoya into a dignified death?  Can he locate his supposed half-sister, Nor, last seen in the shackles in the Wizard's protection?  Can he survive in an Oz little improved since the death of the Wicked Witch of the West?  Can he learn to fly?

In Son of a Witch, Gregory Maguire suggests that the magic we locate in distant, improbably places like Oz is no great than the magic inherent in any hard life lived fully, son of a witch or no.

The Incumbent by Alton Gansky (ereader Nook)

From the electronic overview:  Madison "Maddy" Glenn is the controversial mayor of the beautiful tourist town of Santa Rita, California.  Lisa Truccoli, her friend and treasurer of her last campaign, has been abducted.  The only thing left at the scene of the crime is a shocking clue - a clue with Maddy's name on it.  And the game begins.  She embarks on a desperate hunt for answers, finding more shocking clues in a dangerous game the abductor want to play - with Maddy.

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