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    ENCHANTER by Sara Douglass


    TOR, October 2001

    From the north, ice wraiths swarm, threatening to wipe out all of the civilized people of Achar. Within Achar, one man seeks to preserve the ancient ways while his half-brother tries to create a new world based on uniting the three races who have warred for thousands of years. A third half-brother commands the wraiths and even more fearful spawn. Yet the heavy hand of prophesy, and an enchanter dead for thousands of years, weighs down on all of them.

    Axis, bastard child of two races, attempts to fight the enemy from the north while creating a new world. Perhaps spurred on by the prophesy, good fortune follows him, bringing him new recruits, giving him access to enchanter secrets lost for thousands of years, and allowing him to prevail over enemies that seem overwhelming. Yet his own arrogance and his inability to choose between two women, wanting to keep both of them to himself, haunts him.

    In ENCHANTER, author Sara Douglass (see other reviews of novels by this author) continues her WAYFARER REDEMPTION series with Axis's march toward destiny and prophesy. Douglass handicapps herself by making Axis so fundamentally unlikable. Each of the three brothers seems so caught up in their own hatred and ambition, that it is sometimes difficult to remember that Axis is the hero of this story. Despite moments of clunky writing and long passages of exposition, Douglass's world-building skills are strong and she has created an intriguing and 'real' world of magic and power.

    I would have preferred to see more character development and some sense that Axis has learned from what he has gone through. Still, ENCHANTER has its moments of pure magic.

    Two Stars

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