- Series: Legends of Ethshar
- Paperback: 160 pages
- Publisher: Wildside Press (October 29, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 143444175X
- ISBN-13: 978-1434441751
- Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.6 x 8.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 32 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,038,168 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Sorcerer's Widow (Legends of Ethshar) Paperback – October 29, 2013
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So, I picked up this book with great interest. This is the only LWE book I've ever given anything less than four stars.
It is a worn story that every Ethshar reader has seen repeated several times. A seemingly bad guy is redeemed by a good hearted, but naive person. No new cannon is revealed, and the characters in this novel are not as memorable as other, great Ethshar protagonists.
That sums it up really. From another author, I would have likely given four stars to it, but for an LWE story, it falls short of expectations.
Fortunately, this book was followed by the much better "Relics of War" novella.
** Spoilers Follow **
The story starts out with two con men looking to make a mark of a sorcerer's widow. They are a cliched team, one brainy and one brawny. The brawny one is not so happy to be living a life of crime, but he relies on the brainy one to make the decisions for the team.
The brainy one turns out to not be so brainy. The brawny one turns out to be brainier than we thought initially.
The sorcerer's widow was trying to accomplish her own con game ... and fails, but there are unicorns and rainbows at the end of the tale.
This book is set in the world of Ethshar , where magic works, but each TYPE of magic works by different rules. This one brings up some information about the magic of Sorcery, which is basically the creation and use of talismans. But the sorcerer himself is dead, so do not expect a really in-depth look at how this type of magic operates. Hopefully another book will come out with a sorcerer as the protagonist.
Lawrence Watt-Evens always does a tremendous job bringing his characters to life, and this gem is no exception. The sorcerer's widow is certainly a strong, pivotal character in the book, but she is not the main character. This is not about moving mountains with magic or flying around in a castle or owning the magic sword that is powerful enough to win the war.
Think of the people who are the most faceless in this world. You may see them for a split second in a story about the squalor and danger in life. A skinny kid runs up, grabs something of limited value off your wagon, runs off and disappears never to be seen again, while the people who have been robbed swear at him and demand that he be found and punished.
This story isn't about that kid either. This story is about the smaller kid who thinks the first one is really, really smart and brave, and helps him out when he can. This is a kid who is coming to realize that he just does not LIKE being a thief, but still idolizes his friend. This is a story about that kid growing up. The attempt to scam the sorcerer's widow is the backdrop for this story.
This is a worthy entry into the world if Ethshar, giving another glimpse into this vibrant world.
It is a good story, with believable characters, keeping true to the Ethshar series. So if it is all that, why disappointed? It seemed to me like the plot in this book is just too simple. This is basically a 160 page short story. After having read the other Ethshar novel, I was expecting more to the plot line.
I will continue to read and re-read the Ethshar novels, and if you have read them, by all means read this one. As I said, it is a good story. Just go into in looking for a light easy to read story. This is not of the complexity of "Single Spell" or "Misenchanted Sword". I will re-read this one as well. Maybe it was just the anticipation, but I was hoping for more.
Will have to hope the next one can satisfy the Ethshar hunger better.
Back in the 80's, his 'Everyman Trust Into Extraordinary Circumstances' was fresh and interesting because of 'extraordinary circumstances'.
Well, in this book we get slow and tedious without extraordinary circumstances. If you wish better versions, read the Vondish Ambassador or The Spell of the Black Dagger.