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    Review of LAND OF THE WAND by Debora Hill and Sandra Brandenberg

    Volume I of the Lost Myths Saga (see the Lost Myth Saga website)

    Jaqkar, December 2005

    Four people walk into a gift shop in Chicago, touch an artistic wand, and are transported into an alternate dimension--a dimension where the people have hooves and call themselves "daemona" (demons) and are under attack by a beautiful winged race called Anjeles (angels). The four, normal humans, are identified as the savior (a Swedish heavy metal rock star named Marshal Storm) and his assistants (SF author Evan Stone, architect Valaura Bennet, and Burger World waitress Lillian Curtis).

    Although Marshal is identified as the savior, he definitely doesn't want the job. He's a pacifist, and the idea of slaughtering anyone, even a group who torture their captives in misguided attempts to save them, is offensive to him. Valaura, despite being a woman, is a far more deadly opponent in the field. Still, the four realize that the daemona must be protected from the continued attacks. Unfortunately, no one has found a way to communicate with the anjeles and without communication, it seems that the answer can only be the complete extinction of one group or the other.

    As they come to terms with a parallel universe where standard humans don't exist, and the sapient beings are a strange reflection of the Medieval Church's mythology, the Evan and Marshal rely on their Earthly talents--in words and music, in an attempt to communicate with the young anjeles whom Valaura and Lillian manage to capture. But the king of the anjeles doesn't want peace--and his people esteem him as a god. No solution seems feasible. Meanwhile, the four explore the attraction that springs up between them, an attraction somewhat complicated by the competition from the daemona who find both the male and female humans to be highly attractive. Then too, staying a pacifist in the face of people for whom war is a holy calling is extremely difficult.

    Authors Debora Hill and Sandra Brandenberg offer a refreshingly different slant on the familiar story of Earth humans apported to a new world. Instead of mighty warriors intended to bring victory in war, our protagonists are pacifists, who hope to wage peace. This turnaround in the conventions of fantasy is paralleled by the reversal in having demons (with names like Lucifer, Mephistopheles, Lilith, and Beelzebub). If you're looking for a different take on fantasy, you'll want to check out THE LAND OF THE WAND.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 3/24/06

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