"Fabulous coming of age character driven fantasy"
The continent of Umer is an archipelago with numerous
islands of varying size somewhat isolated by powerful
oceans that isolate people. Rol and his grandfather along
with two other people are isolated from the natives who
fear them until soldiers are sent to kick them off the
island. Rol makes it to a larger island, but his
grandfather dies in the freedom boat trek. However his
grandfather obtained a death pledge from Rol to seek out
and beg for kindness from Michael Psellos.
Psellos the sorcerer owns everything on the island whether
it is the thieves' guild or those in power. He accepts Rol
as his "apprentice" teaching the lad how to accumulate,
use, and abuse authority as absolute power corrupts
absolutely in his hands. Of course Psellos' beautiful
companion and deadliest assassin Rowen teaches the
youngster other skills that a man needs to know.
Geographically paying homage to the delightful classic
Ursula LeGuin's Earthsea trilogy, Paul Kearney provides a
fabulous coming of age character driven fantasy with the
twist that the youth is being trained by the dark side.
Psellos is terrific as he has a bit of mystery about his
origins, which in turn augments the fear and increases his
power. He is a malevolent being who sees humans as so
beneath him they don't matter except in terms of what
individuals can do for him. He is complemented by Rowen, a
warrior siren who can kill as easily as she can kiss.
These are Rol's "benevolent" teachers. This reviewer can't
wait for more Sea Beggar tales starring this unholy trio.
Reviewed by Harriet Klausner
Posted November 1, 2005
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted January 25, 2007