Thursday, May 07, 2009

New This Month: Red Wolf Conspiracy by Robert V.S. Redick

Though he’s been compared to George R.R. Martin and Philip Pullman, I don’t really see it. Other than the obvious, of course: fantasy writers who sell a lot of books. But certainly in Red Wolf Conspiracy (Ballantine) I’m most put in mind of Robin Hobb and her excellent Liveship series.

Whether or not this first book in a projected trilogy is destined to become one of the “classics of epic fantasy” as promised by Redick’s publicists I really couldn’t say. Classics have a way of keeping their own council until the deed is done. But, certainly, Red Wolf Conspiracy is a meaty and enjoyable read. An ancient vessel with a precious cargo: a royal bride who will connect two uneasy monarchies. But there is a conspiracy planned for this voyage and all sorts of trouble set to brew before the 600-year-old Imperial Merchant Ship Chathrand successfully completes her journey.

This is a substantial book and, at times, it is somewhat too dense. Redick’s touch is thorough, but it is not light. Even so, those who enjoy classic fantasy will like this ride and will hope that the next book in this series is not too far behind.

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