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    GUARDIANS OF THE LOST by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman


    EOS, November 2001

    For years, Dominion Lord Gustav has pursued the quixotic quest of recovering the lost human segment of the Sovereign Stone--the mystical stone that gives power to its holder and, when united with the stones held by the other races, creates a direct link to the gods themselves. Now, Gustav has finally discovered a reliable clue, but he is not alone in his search. Dagnarus, prince of the Void, seeks the stone as well. If he recovers it, he can achieve his goal of absolute control over the entire world. Although Dagnarus was frustrated in his attempt to seize power two hundred years earlier (see our review of WELL OF DARKNESS, the previous novel in this series), he has regrouped his forces and prevail even if the power of the stones unites against him. With the stone, Dagnarus is unstoppable.

    A Dominion Lord is a powerful entity, but so are the death knights or Vrykyls that Dagnarus controls. In the conflict that follows, both are badly wounded. Unable to fulfil his quest, Gustav passes off the stone to a pair of young men who must bring the stone to safety across thousands of miles of dangerous territory. Meanwhile, Dagnarus has launched his attack and no one, especially not a pair of young men with an ancient woman, is safe.

    Authors Margaret Weis (see more reviews of novels by Weis) and Tracy Hickman (see more reviews of novels by Hickman) use multiple narrative paths to describe the fates of the two young men (Jessan, a human and Bashae, a pecwae), the Dwarf Wolfram, and the warrior Raven, Jessan's uncle. The relatively small number of intertwined plots allows the reader to stay grounded rather than being overwhelmed with a large number of characters and story lines.

    In GUARDIANS OF THE LOST, the lines between good and evil are more brightly drawn and Dagnarus never becomes a sympathetic character (unlike WELL OF DARKNESS where Dagnarus is a major protagonist). Unlike many 'middle' books in fantasy trilogies, GUARDIANS OF THE LOST is a complete and fascinating narrative with both characterization and world-building to entertain the most critical fan.

    Four Stars

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