"Overall a fascinating book"

Enraged, Rhan, a Da'liesh wizard kills his brother, Etan after discovering him raping a young woman. As punishment, he is sentenced to work in a mine with one hand tied behind his back to avoid him being able to use his magic. By the time he's released, his world has changed. A group of aliens called the Daha'et have come to Rhan's world and sickened the Wakhanee, the true gods who keep all of nature in balance. They have come to regain their strength since being cast from their own world with plans of returning to their home when they are strong enough to conquer.

In the meantime, they raise havoc with the weather on Rhan's world and steal the lives of others, particularly the lives of small children to strengthen themselves. Major nasties these!

Rhan joins up with others to fulfill the quest to rescue the Wakhanee and defeat the Daha'et. There is Taoe a simple warrior who had also suffered imprisonment for helping with Etan's death, more a brother to Rhan than the evil Etan. Ahlisha who is part shapeshifter is the girl that Etan had raped. Her dreams of becoming a bard were destroyed when she lost her virginity. She is secretly in love with Rhan. Oh, all right, not so secretly in love with him, but he feels she's still a child. She isn't still a child, at least not to Taoe, or the blind healer, Finnuala, a woman who discovers that she has unexpected interest in the young woman.

And there is Vero, the Masterhand, who comes from the same world as the Daha'et. He couldn't kill his own brother, Orn and so the man and his followers were banished with the hope they would die. Instead they'd come to Rhan's world and so Vero has followed. He joins with Rhan as soon as he's released from the mine, hoping that between Rhan who is the Thoughtmaster and Ahlisha, the Conduit, the evil Vero has released into the universe can be stopped.

Basically, this is a quest book, where the main characters find themselves on a journey, meeting various people, gathering various objects and learning certain information to solve a problem. The romance in the book is slight because Rhan and Ahlisha are generally too busy staying alive to even think about a relationship. This is far more like a traditional fantasy novel than a romance novel.

The world is well drawn, the characters fully developed and the story complex. We have dragons, both good and bad, a dog and small critters that sing, have hands and faces, and yet live in cages like birds. The people's homes have indoor lawns instead of carpeting and they bury their dead at sea, even when they live inland.

Overall, this is a fascinating book.

Reviewed by Janet Miller
Posted December 2, 2002


ebook version - Sept. 2001; ISBN: ISBN 1586083007

Rhan, a murderer himself, seems an unlikely hero. Yet hero he must be. A hero who must put his past behind him and come to the rescue of not only his land but that of another; a past haunted by the death of his wife and the brutal murder of his brother. A murder he committed. How could he look to a future that tasted of love, forgiveness and of acceptance if he could not leave the past? A future that could only happen if he were to be a hero.


The Thoughtmaster's Conduit
by Kerry Orchard

New Concepts Publishing
July 1, 2002
Available: November 17, 2006
ISBN #1586085611
EAN #9781586085612
Trade Size (reprint)
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