- Taschenbuch: 340 Seiten
- Verlag: Aspirations Media Inc (1. April 2009)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 098000344X
- ISBN-13: 978-0980003444
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 4.502.938 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Avempartha (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 1. April 2009
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When a destitute young woman hires Royce and Hadrian to help save her remote village, they find themselves once more drawn into the schemes of the wizard Esrahaddon. The two become the only hope for the isolated village plagued by nocturnal attacks. As each night brings death, and each day finds Royce frustrated in his attempts to breech the secrets of an ancient eleven tower, Hadrian tries to help the people of the village defend themselves against the unseen killer. When the church arrives and declares that whoever slays the terror shall be emperor, they soon realise more is at stake than a handful of farms.The Church of Nyphron has decided it is time to establish the New Empire; all that remains is to convince the world they have found the Heir of Novron. Once more, what began as the simple theft of a sword has placed the two thieves at the centre of a firestorm whose outcome could change the world. This fresh, heroic fantasy adventure is the second book of a series told through six self-contained episodes, each complete in their own right.
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But they end up in the thick of things again in "Avempartha," where a seemingly simple mission pits them against an unkillable monster and the increasingly dark machinations of the Novron Church. It's not quite as epic in scale as Michael J. Sullivan's first book, but it adds more depth -- and more enemies -- to his fantasy world, as well as laying the groundwork for some truly nasty complications in the future.
Royce and Hadrian are approached by Thrace, a young girl from the village of Dahlgren, which is being ravaged by an unseen monster. Even though she can't pay them very much, they're interested in the problem because she was sent by a "Mr Haddon," aka the wizard Esrahaddon, whom they haven't seen since they freed him from his nine-hundred-year imprisonment. When the thieves arrive in Dahlgren, they find a broken community haunted by the deaths of loved ones, including Thrace's grief-stricken, very stubborn father.
Esrahaddon soon reveals that the monster is a Gilarabrywn, an unkillable magic creature left over from long-ago wars with the elves. The only way to destroy it is a magic sword INSIDE the tower. Which is on a cliff. Surrounded by a very deep river. With no way in.
But more complications arise when the Novron Church sends representatives to oversee a strange contest -- the person who successfully slays the Gilarabrywn will be considered the Heir of Novron. Of course, it's all a scheme to put a puppet emperor on the throne, under the control of the church. Royce and Hadrian are more concerned about getting the only thing that can slay the monster, which turns out to be a bit more complicated than they expected....
"Avempartha" is built on the foundation of "The Crown Conspiracy" -- while the assassination plot has been foiled, there are still shadowy people who want to manipulate whole countries. The Novron Church is conspiring to create a new empire under their control, the elves are preparing to invade (and nobody knows or cares about it), and old magics are wearing away and causing massive problems. And even though they aren't trying, Royce and Hadrian end up right in the thick of things AGAIN.
It's a sign of Sullivan's skill that he manages to create a story that feels both epic and intimate -- "Avempartha" is basically a story about two guys trying to kill a not-dragon, but it has all these plot threads that stretch across whole kingdoms. And he imbues it with a sense of history, as Esrahaddon laments that a land that once thrived on culture, technology and magic has fallen into stolid ignorance and primitivism. It gives the feeling of a once-great civilization that has decayed, and its history is mostly forgotten.
The story moves somewhat slowly, unwinding slowly as the final clash between the Gilarabrywn and the Riyria guys approaches, and more and more people turn up to cause trouble. Sullivan's prose is robust and well-detailed without being overpowering, and he manages to convey the ethereal majesty of the elves without being too stereotypical about it. And despite the seriousness of the situation, he weaves in some quirky humor (a dramatic heroic confrontation between a knight and the Gilarabrywn... ends with the knight getting anticlimactically flattened).
Problems? The villagers are rather nondescript as a whole, and none of them seem to have basic common sense like "to avoid monsters, everyone gather together." And Thrace is a bit twee and annoying compared to the smart, no-nonsense Arista.
Royce and Hadrian are much the same as they were before -- Hadrian is a swordsman with Leet Skillz and a massive soft spot, and Royce is a mysterious, cynical thief -- but Sullivan hints that they are a lot more than they appear to be. And Esrahaddon gets to take center stage as the wise, inscrutable wizard who has been robbed of most of his power due to the loss of his hands, as well as his ability to feed himself. He plucks at the heartstrings when he grieves for the beautiful civilization that he'll never see again, but it's also clear that he can be incredibly manipulative.
The epic story that began in "Crown Conspiracy" moves to a new arena in "Avempartha," laying the groundwork for more trouble, more political strife, and possibly an invasion or two. On to book three!
I'm still kind of surprised that these books are being republished as 2 in 1's. While that is the version I have, I often dislike how publishers do this. I'm glad I decided to keep the books separate. I felt like there was significant break between the two stories that warranted a separate book. But, the story opens with familiar characters doing what they do best.
I loved that the story mostly revolves around Royce and Hadrian because they really are two of the best characters I've seen in awhile. I find it so uplifting that they will take a job for reasons other than the money. I think the get a kick out of screwy with the rich, so the demand ridiculous prices from them. But, when it comes to a village girl who has been saving her whole life such a miniscule sum, they hardly bat and eye to help her. The journey to the small village will cost more than the girl can give them, but the challenge alone is worth it all.
I was not surprised to find the wizard Ezra hanging out in this remote village. I've learned quickly that nothing in this empire is as it seems. Everything is twisted to present the basic facts and the rest we learn as we go. Esra needs Royce to accomplish the impossible. Turns out what's attacking the small village is a dragon who has been locked up in the Elven tower Avampartha for a really long time (The current events in the kingdom have unlocked the spell that restricts it to the tower). The only way to kill it is with a sword with it's name on it. And of course it's locked in the eleven tower. Forgot to mention this Eleven tower is on a island that the tip of a waterfall. No one knows how to enter it. But, of course that's not the only reason that Ezra wants in the tower. And there's a specific reason why Royce is the man for the job (how did I not see that coming).
I'm curious how the winner of the contest the Church put on will fit into this story. The Church is looking for a puppet and I'm not sure they found the right one. Really looking forward to the next in this series!