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Old 04-05-2010, 09:34 PM   #1
Chriskander
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Review of Axes of Evil

I have done a number of reviews over the years, and would like to publicize those available as inexpensive e-Books. How about it -- Mobile Readers -- take a look at the books that started the movement.

Axes of Evil by Michael Ventrella: Double Dragon Press, February 2010;

http://www.double-dragon-ebooks.com/...=1-55404-725-0

e-Book download – all formats – $5.99

Axes of Evil continues the story that began in Arch Enemies. In this one, Michael Ventrella weaves another of his perplexing tales where it seems his protagonist, the squire but would-be bard Terin Ostler, cannot succeed in solving one problem without betraying another.

Terin is now a squire of Duke Aramis of Ashbury – albeit a very new and unskillful one. His companion squires are Darlissa, the biata, from a race of magic skilled but enigmatic people created by gryphons, and Rendel, a skillful and brave normal human. Terin would much prefer a peaceful life but as in the other story, events seem to swirl around him. He wonders why he keeps being featured in prophesies which all lead to troubles that appear satisfied only by his death. The prophecy in the earlier tale was cryptic in that he was required to fulfill it without ever being able to see its contents – a conundrum deliciously solved in the finale. In this tale he is Bishortu, of whom three conflicting but secret prophecies are told and which he and his companions have to face many dangers to learn.

We meet the three tribes of the Vansir who live in a sparse and rocky land they call the Vansir Reclaim. Each of the chieftains has one of the three magic axes which have kept the tribes separated and at war with one another for many generations. The goblins also live in this inhospitable land – also perpetually at war with the Vansir. As Bishortu, Terin is expected to solve all the problems before the armies of Ashbury arrive to destroy them all.

As the perpetual pacifist, Terin often succeeds through his very reluctance to fight. He believes himself a coward, but is one of those who acts despite his fear. He stoically faces the dangers that keep him and his companions from their goal in a non-stop seqence of action and setback. He collects new friends and supporters by his purity – as well as a new admirer who joins the little band. In the very Taoist manner of succeeding by avoiding to contend, he leads the adventurers to conquer by failing, and to solve the problems by allowing the prophecies to prove themselves.

Four stars.
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Old 04-05-2010, 09:41 PM   #2
JSWolf
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The Axes of Evil are the 5 publishers forcing agency pricing on us.
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