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April 06, 1984 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1984-04-06
This is a tabloid page

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


boo '
.... ... .... .. ........... ... ...
...... ..$ ..



Fau ty
By David M. Alexander
Pocket Books
pp. 311, $3.50
By John D. Wolter
W HEN I FIRST looked at the cover
of Fane I had a sneaking
suspicion that I was in for another
mediocre swords &z sorcery novel.
Even the cover suggested this, with the
caption "A wizard's fiendish plot
threatens to enslave the world!" right
above the title. For the most part, I was
The plot contains all of the elements
of an average swords & sorcery novel.
The hero, Grantin, is an apprentice
magician (and not a very good one at
that). The setting is the planet Fane,
where technology (strangely) does not
work, and Magic does. There are two
sides: The Hartfords, the good descen-
dents of the original settlers (Grantin is
one of them), and the Golgols, the nasty

magic ring which he cannot remove,
and he. is forced to flee his uncle, and
everyone else who wants the ring while
he attempts to rid himself of it (and
save the world in the process). In ad-
dition, the Golgols are enslaving a race
of timid, really cute, furry creatures,
who eventually join Grantin's fight to
find and rescure a beautiful maiden and
defeat all of the nasty wizards.
If all this sounds like you've heard it
before, you're not alone. . I am not
trying to say that this story is com-
pletely unoriginal. Nor is it completely
uninteresting. It certainly would not go
on my list of books to avoid at all costs.
However, it lacks anything to set it
apart from other works in its class. It is
simply another swords & sorcery novel
in my mind.
In the beginning of the book, author
Alexander spends a fair amount of time
describing the events when the first set-
tlers came to Fane and discovered that
their machines would no longer work,
but that magic did. It is interesting, ex-
cept for the fact that it has little bearing
on the plot of the story. It appears to be
an attempt by Alexander to justify the
use of such a well-worn explanation for
the existence of magic in a novel.
After this slow start, the book picks
up some momentum. Grantin acquires
the ring, flees home and makes friends
with a native "Fanist." With the aid of
his -friend, Grantin sets off into the
deepest reaches of Golgol territory to
find the woman who gave him the ring
- the only one who can help him
remove it.
Grantin as a character is not par-
ticularly admirable. He is somewhat
lazy, not really clever and not at all in-
terested in the fact that the bad guys

are plotting to take over the entire
planet. He is thrown into his position
against his will, and would rather be
back home sponging off his uncle. It is-
hard to believe that he could have the
determination or perseverence to
achieve the things which he does.
Because of this, it is very hard to feel
more than indifferent towards him 'and
his quest.
The adventures of our hero as he ap-
proaches his goal are anticlimactic.
Alexanders matter-of-fact writing style
doesn't provide much suspense. My in-

terest was lost after I read phrases like
It was their only hopeand somehow
he managed to.. .a couple of times. I
wasn't even excited when the hero
faced the nastiest of the Golgol wizards.
In short, this work may be interesting
to some readers, but the serious fantasy
reader will find that it does not
distinguish itself from the bulk of main-
stream fantasy. I finished the piece
with the feeling that I should have spent
my time better by reading the newest
book in Ann McCaffrey's Pern series.

Coming Attractions

A new book on John Lennon's life is
slated to appear in May. This latest
biography of the famous Beatle is title
Come Together: John Lennon in His
Time, and traces the development of
Lennon's political beliefs and actions,
from his first antiwar statements in
1966 to his years as a feminist
househusband, and recalls how im-
portant these commitments were to
Lennon's conception of himself as a
musician and a person.
Also to appear in May is a new

biography of H.G. Wells. H.G. Wells:
Aspects of a Life differs from all
previous biographies of the English
novelist in that it is written by An-
thony West, H.G.'s own son. (Both
books will be published by Random
Anyone interested 'in doing book
reviews for the Daily should contact
Mark Kulkis at the Arts desk: 763-
0379. - Mark Kulkis


descendents of the criminals who
escaped from the settlers.
The most important antagonist is
Grantin's uncle, who plans to betray the
Hartfords in his quest for power. Gran-
tin accidentally gets hold of a powerful
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A Publication of The Michigan Daih

16 Weekend/Friday, April 6, 1984

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