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The War God's Own
by David Weber
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David Weber is best known for his Honor Harrington series of science fiction books, but with Oath of Swords he began a lighthearted fantasy saga centered around Bahzell Bahnakson. Bahzell is the reluctant champion of the War God Tomanak (a.k.a. the Sword of Light, the God of Justice, and Captain-General of the Gods of Light) and a member of the Horse Stealer clan hradani. Being a hradani puts Bahzell on a rung of the social ladder somewhere south of deplorable and just west of offensive, making him an unlikely champion for any god, much less Tomanak.
Although this relationship can be trying at the best of times, it's stretched perilously thin in The War God's Own, where Bahzell is called upon by Tomanak to fight the minions of Sharna, the Dark God. This is a fun, swashbuckling story that moves along nicely, managing to be both entertaining and unassuming at the same time. --Craig Engler
With the sequel to Oath of Swords (1995), the new series by the creator of the popular Honor Harrington yarns has been promoted to hardcover. In it, Bahzell Bahnakson and Brandark, two hradani (i.e., humanoid giants with foxlike ears), take several more steps in their venture to advance Bahzell's father's plans for uniting and civilizing the hradani and the war god Tomanak's plans for opposing the grim, dark god Shama. Along the way, the pair acquire several companions, including a young knight who has to be forcibly cured of prejudice against hradani, and give readers what amounts to a guided tour of a well-realized fantasy world, most of whose elements are genre staples. Still, Weber deftly fleshes out such concepts as the underground cities of the tale's dwarves, the immortality of its elves, the power of its demons to destroy those who summon them (and name-spelling errors be damned), and so on. Even the Scots flavor of hradani speech patterns charms more often than not. Roland Green
From Kirkus Reviews
First hardcover appearance for this sword and sorcery series (Oath of Swords) by Weber (In Enemy Hands, 1997). On Norfressa, both good and evil deities manifest themselves in the flesh and like to meddle in human affairs. Bahzell Bahnakson, a hradani (a huge barbarian warrior with ``foxlike'' ears), is a chosen champion of the (good) war god Tomanak. He and his sidekick Brandark arrive in the city Belhaden as guests of the Order of Tomanak. Talented spoiled-brat Vaijohn, appalled to learn that a hradani calls himself Tomanak's champion, challenges Bahzell. Bahzell drubs Vaijohn; the latter learns his lesson and becomes Bahzell's squire. Bahzell also becomes friends with Kaeritha, the only female champion of Tomanak. They all proceed to Axe Hallow, the capital of the Axeman Empire, and meet the wild wizard Wencit of Rum. It emerges that the evil god Sharna is making trouble in Navahk, part of the hradani homeland, so they head there. On the road they're attacked by warriors in the pay of the dark god. At Dwarvenhame, the dwarf Kilthan pledges his support. Bahzell and Vaijohn battle a centipede-demon summoned by Sharna's priest, after which Tomanak materializes and promotes Vaijohn to champion, too. Finally, theres a skirmish with Sothoii fighters caused by a misunderstandingended when Wencit shows up to straighten things out. Long on chat and backdrop detail, short on action and plot, padded with idiotic badinagenot to mention the lead character's embarrassing stage-Irish accent: numbing and wearisome. -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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