The Dragon's Doom: A Band of Four Novel
Tor, 2003 (2003)
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
ou really should read the earlier entries before picking up #4 in the
Band of Four
The Dragon's Doom
. It is set in a lawless land called Aglirta, whose barons are constantly at war. In previous episodes, boy king Raulin Castlecloaks was crowned and the
ow the king's four overdukes '
scour the countryside for barons and wizards who took arms against him
'. The four are: sharp-tongued sorceress Tshamarra Talasorn paired with thief Craer Delnbone, and sorceress '
Lady of Jewels
' Embra Silvertree (who wields a potently magical Dwaer-stone) with her partner, the '
' Hawkril Anharu. Accompanying them is Embra's long estranged father, warcaptain Baron Blackgult.
he story opens with their imprisonment of the powerful '
Master of Bats
', and then steamrollers from one explosive action sequence to another, with a little banter in between. Reading it is rather like being in the middle of an imaginative game of
Dungeons & Dragons
, though the plot is at times elusive.
he bad guys, priests of the
seem to be trying to re-establish their power, and have unleashed an assortment of monsters, including a '
Malady of Madness
' (that makes those who imbibe it turn on each other), shapechangers and a three-headed dragon. Other players include the wizardly Bowdragons of neighboring Arlund, whose fate has long been tied to Aglirta, bard Flaeros Delcamper, and the young king himself.
mongst the chaos of continual skirmishes between the
and an assortment of monsters and villains, Embra reconciles with her father and a new leader of the
priests arises. A
is revealed to match him and to meet his own doom. If you like an action-packed tale with plenty of sword swinging and spell casting, then you'll enjoy this series.
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