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Cut Steve's Blatherings

Monday, July 11, 2005

Recent Reading

      The "Heirs of Alexandria" fantasy series by Mercedes Lackey, Eric Flint, and David Freer.  It consists of three novels so far, The Shadow of the Lion, A Mankind Witch, and This Rough Magic.  For some reason, the novels were published out of chronological order (Witch is the second chronologically, but the third published, and that just recently).

      They're all very good, and after finishing A Mankind Witch, I decided to read them all over again.  Just as enjoyable on the second or third time through.

      The series is set in an alternate universe in which Hypatia of Alexandria, a neo-Platonist philosopher became a convert to Christianity, and miraculously saved the Library of Alexandria from burning.  (Hypatia is a historical figure, but in real history she didn't convert, and the Library did burn).  Magic works here, and Grand Duchy of Lithuania, nominally ruled by Duke Jagellion, but actually by the Demon Chernobog, is intriguing against the Holy Roman Empire (remember the "Night on Bald Mountain" sequence from Disney's Fantasia?  That's Chernobog torturing the damned souls).  The main characters are Prince Manfred of Brittany, third in line to the throne, and his bodyguard/tutor/nudje Erik Hakkonsen of Iceland and Vinland.

      But there are lots of other characters, not all human, and intrigue, romance, sex, derring-do and general fun.  Very good reading, and I recommend them to anyone who likes this sort of thing.

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