[ Book Review ] Tolkien Came and Took My Love Away

Banewreaker by Jacqueline Carey

When I marched up to the library shelf at the Ca-Ch section, I was ready. I was gonna grab myself something by the prolific Jaqueline Carey, and I was gonna find out what the fuss was about. The first Kushiel books were out, but here was another series, with properly artsy covers. I was going to read something by Carey, and by golly, I did.

The Banewrecker blurb hit all the right keywords. We have a banished, immortal general, scarred by the betrayals of his past and serving the dark lord. We have the kidnapping a elf-ish princess in an attempt to prevent a prophecy from coming to pass. And we have the book pointing its metaphorical finger and saying in a stage whisper, “They’re so gonna get together!”

Satoris: Imagine mixing Megamind's problems with Batman's personality.

The prologue, as a properly high-handed fantasy ought, opens up with an origin myth that explains the powers of all the seven gods (wisdom, love, abundance…):

“Satoris [the main character’s god], once called the Sower, was Third-Born at the juncture of the loins, and in the quickening of the flesh lay his gift.” (10)

Wait, waaaaait? The Satan-character of this story is the god of sex? Come again?

So you can appreciate why I went in expecting fantasy lite (read: romantic farce) with all the trappings of a fantastical world for the sake of an overblown romantic plot–and a few adventures as afterthoughts. Never really having looked into it, I’d decided Banewalker was going to be a bit like Anne Bishop-meets-Sharon-Shinn (neither of whose writings impress me much, but where’s a canary to go to get some luff?).

Well, so much for my assumptions.   Continue reading