Saturday, January 3, 2009

Eretzel 1: Intro

What can I write about William McGrath's Eretzel that hasn't already been written? Quite a lot, actually: it's still a fairly recent release. For what follows, you may want to refer to my earlier review of Asulon, the first part of this three-part series. You can read Eretzel without Asulon, but it won't make as much sense.

Plot Daniel and friends decide to head for Eretzel, Rachel's homeland, while Nasty Work is afoot elsewhere, especially in Rema (Rome). In addition to Moor, the cynical swordsman, and Simon, the miracle-working priest, we now have the Anakim, seven of Daniel's larger-than-life uncles, and various of Rachel's kin as well. We also add some villains. Lots of them. Several will leave the story in a bag, however.

The story takes up where Asulon left off, on board ship where Daniel is now trying to patch things up following an apocalyptic lover's misunderstanding. We also encounter ample evidence that the Anakim Are Weird. Oh, and there's the preparation for Eretzel proper, which does involve a little exposition. Then we head into Hierosolyma proper, where Daniel meets his greatest fear and challenge: future in-laws.

Well, okay, there are also sword-swinging loonies and others who Don't Play Well With Others, and a false Prophet is setting Eretzel up to be invaded and generally squished like a bug. So Daniel and friends must outwit a truly humungous amount of evil.

Will they succeed? Of course not--at least not without divine assistance in the form of Simon's knowledge of God, a Dante-esque mythic experience Daniel somewhat falls into, and the legendary Sword of Fire.

Along the way we encounter adventures in Heaven and Hell, a dwarven lecture on steel-smithing, and even a subplot about a man torn between being an honorable warrior or a deserter in family life. And there are a few scenes that will probably bug your eyes out a bit, as well as a few good laughs.

Tomorrow we'll look at some of the especially good points of the story.


Frank Creed said...

I've not seen much on the Web about William McGrath's novels, so I am following your review, Stephen.
Like the Terminator, ah'll be back!


Frank the official site of Flashpoint: Book One of the UNDERGROUND

The Polishing Manuscripts until they Shine

Elaine said...

Looking forward to having my eyes bugged out a bit. Elaine

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