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Touched By The Gods (Tor Fantasy) Mass Market Paperback – December 15, 1998

3.7 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Malledd was "touched by the gods" when he was born; that is, he emerged from his mother's womb bearing a birthmark indicating he was the chosen champion of the gods, destined to one day defend the Domdur Empire. But the empire has long been at peace, and the gods have ceased dispensing their wisdom to humanity, so Malledd apprentices with his father to learn the trade of smithery. When the evil wizard Rebiri raises an army of the dead while simultaneously undermining Domdur's government from within, Malledd reluctantly comes to realize that he is the one who must rise to the challenge and save Domdur. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

A new epic fantasy from the author of Out of This World (Ballantine, 1994). After being mercilessly teased his whole life for being selected before his birth as the gods' Champion of the Domdur Empire, Malledd, a blacksmith's son, just wants an ordinary smithy's life. When a dark magician gathers evil forces to destroy the empire, Malledd must decide if he will rise to meet his people's expectations of him as their chosen defender. Watt-Evans gracefully presents the tale of a man's denial of his true calling. Recommended for large fantasy collections.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Tor Fantasy
  • Mass Market Paperback: 536 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Fantasy; 1st edition (December 15, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812545958
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812545951
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 1.4 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,737,416 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on January 5, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This isn't the best Watt-Evans book I've ever read. The main heroe just doesn't quite manage to get me interested and I find that the characters are pretty much your standard cast. There's your reluctant heroe, a good noble man doing his best for his country, a wife that wants her husband to stay home, a corrupt noble who doese stupid deals and an evil man fo wants to kill the good guys. To Evans credit he does manage to make an intersting storie out of these characters and it keeps you reading til you've finished the book. I thought the end was just a bit to hollywood for my taste and it sort of brings the book down, but hey some people love these kind of endings. I'd recommand people who haven't read any of his work to read first books like Unwilling Warlord, Cyborg and the Sorcerer, and The misenchanted sword. How ever, if you are a fan already then you should read this book it's worth the time.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I expected something on par with The Misenchanted Sword or The Lure of the Basilisk. Not so. This book is a mixed bag for me. I found the writing clean and enjoyable if somewhat lacking depth. The book is very large yet very little seems to be necessary and much that seems necessary is lacking. Over all a good read but a some what bizarre, melancholy and anticlimactic ending.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The main feature to this book is it's mediocrity. It wasn't bad, but it also wasn't very good. The characters seemed likeable enough, but there were too many of them for any of them to be developed at any depth. The plot was fairly standard high fantasy, complacent, peaceful empire vs evil, dark horde, without any surprises or suspenseful moments. The setting was also pretty average, consisting of small agrarian villages and the big walled city (sort of magical/mythical medieval). Those who really love classic high fantasy, such as David Eddings, might enjoy this. Anyone who is looking for something new and different should try something else.
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By A Customer on November 20, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Touched By The Gods was consistent with its own rules, the characters were developed in an interesting way, and the plot was reasonable within the framework of the world Watt-Evans presented. Plot development was adequately complex without turning into a mystery novel. I enjoyed this book tremendously; my favorite authors are Mercedes Lackey, Andre Norton, C. J. Cherryh, J. V. Jones, and yes, David Eddings. I've enjoyed this book as much as from these other authors.
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By A Customer on February 17, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Some of Watt-Evans books are pretty good, so when I saw this one I picked it up. Big mistake. Did he consciously try to write the most generic story possible? Village blacksmith, disliked by his peers, is "touched by the gods" with supernatural powers, and is fated to go forth and save everyone from an evil power, blah, blah, blah. People, just because you like sci-fi/fantasy doesn't mean every such book is great. The other reviewer was right - go pick up a book by Guy Gavriel Kay ("A Song for . . ."), George R.R. Martin, or even Steven Brust.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The plot is a fairly standard variation of the reluctant hero thrust into great events. Unlike most, Watt-Evans articulates a clear and very human motivation for the hero's reluctance. And unlike almost all others, he is allowed to return to obscurity in the end. The main character's motivations and personality are very believable (though many of the secondary characters remain rather cardboard). His backstory for the history leading to the current conflict is well-developed and internally consistent. Best of all, he reveals the backstory artfully - you always feel that you're reading a story, never an alternative history lesson.

The big draw-back to this book was the ending. The climactic battle scene was short but you expected it to be given the foreshadowing. The happily-ever-after part that came next, though, was far too abrupt. Prior decisions which were the result of long-running intrigue and had mere pages earlier been impossible to set aside are suddenly reversed with no more explanation than "we won". Worse (for me at least), the main character's closing thought is a fixation on his reward of 'a long, long life', a concept that had no connection with his prior motivations or desires. If felt so out of place that it jolted me out of my abiliity to suspend disbelief.

I usually appreciate when an author keeps a work to a single volume and resists the urge for another interminable sequel. In this case, I think the author should have taken the last chapter (or three) and developed it into a subsequent book. Perhaps the ending wouldn't have jarred so badly.
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