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The Breath of God (Tom Doherty Associates Books) Hardcover – December 23, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
The second Opening of the World fantasy novel (after 2007's The Gap) can easily be enjoyed on its own terms. The rise of the Rulers, a powerful group who ride mammoths to war and wield potent magic powers, poses a major threat to the Raumsdalian Empire. Count Hamnet Thyssen, a master warrior, rallies a ragtag mix of magicians, shamans and soldiers against the Rulers, who deal them a crushing defeat. The survivors make a perilous escape over an enormous glacier, where they encounter a band of cannibals and acquire a new shaman, the lovely and skilled Marcovefa. Sparks fly between her and Hamnet as the Rulers threaten further battle. While the prolific Turtledove may be best known for his alternate history works, he demonstrates his versatility and considerable imagination in this fast-paced military fantasy. (Dec.)
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For centuries the Raumsdalian Empire was cut off from the north by great glaciers. Of the region’s people, only the nomadic Bizagots were in the empire’s ken. But melting has opened a gap. Count Hamnet Thyssen, scouting for the legendary Golden Shrine, has found a people calling themselves the Rulers, who regard all other peoples as herd animals. Unfortunately, they are skilled warriors who know magic that neither Bizagot shamans nor imperial wizards can counter. The Rulers have been breaking Bizagot tribes, leaving survivors scattered and hungry. Hamnet tries to get the survivors to work together, which proves nearly impossible, and to learn as much as he can about the Rulers’ magic. He doesn’t get much assistance from his own people, to whom everything beyond the glaciers is so much legendry. The tale’s copious action includes some fascinating sorcerous battles, and Turtledove’s development of Hamnet is captivating. The count, introduced in Beyond the Gap (2007), is a man facing myths become reality and trouble that for now he must deal with virtually alone. Terrific adventure. --Frieda Murray
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Basically the book takes place in either Roman or the Stone age. It seems to be a mix of the two eras. It vaugly follows the Huns incursion into Rome but the evil army rides Mamoths. Most of the tribe of the north seem to be out of 10,000 BC. As usual Turtledove has a more suble and intersting magic I find more appealing than most fantasy.
The characters are itersting and some of the charaters and culturs that are found are very disturbing but intersting. The book is rational and respond to their environment.
The book had what I was looking for and I very much enjoyed and quickly finished it. My only complaint is that I didn't at first realize it was part of a series, and I felt it left me hanging a bit at the end.
The Breath of God is a wind that flows from the great glacier that - up to now, divided the world. Now there is a crack, and the protagonists are going exploring to see what's there. Turtledove as usual paints a great picture of what might have been, and this one is very plausible. The book is good enough that I immediately bought and read the second book in the series. Now, please hurry up with book three.
Most recent customer reviews
The book came to me in a timely fashion and in the condition promised.