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Jess Haines

I'm an author, a dreamer, a paperback reader...

Currently reading

Hunter's Moon (Tales of the Sazi, Book 1)
'C. T. Adams', 'Cathy Clamp'
By The Sword (Magic of the Plains) - Greg Costikyan I've long been a fan of Mr. Costikyan's three fantasy novels (I can't speak for his science fiction story, as I haven't read it). Unfortunately, it has been a number of years since he has published any novels, and it doesn't appear that there are any new stories set in the Magic of the Plains or the Cups & Sorcery series forthcoming. This is something to bear in mind while reading this book. It stands on its own just fine, but this is the only book in the Magic of the Plains "series", despite what it says on the cover.

Nijon, the hero of this tale, is not taken seriously by anyone in his tribe. You see, his mother claims to have had an affair with the god Mongoose. Nijon is the only one who really believes his mother's words, though everyone else pays lip service (just in case, since it's not wise to anger the gods, you know). When it is time for him to go forth and become a man, he actually meets his father, and goes on a number of adventures.

This is a fairly short book, and I don't want to ruin the joy of discovering just how clever and funny this story is for anyone who has not read it before. Nijon's adventures are a delight to read. The characterizations in this novel are what truly makes it shine--for example, the testy dragon, Nijon's brother (an actual mongoose), the devious Mika Nashram, the spoiled Princess Nlavi--all described with such a humorous slant that it is impossible not to be charmed by this coming of age adventure.

Fans of humorous sword and sorcery fantasy should enjoy this immensely. I'm still quite unhappy that it (as well as the other series) never had a follow up novel, but when it comes to Mr. Costikyan's work, I'll take whatever I can get!