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    THE ROVER by Mel Odom

    TOR, August 2001

    The Librarians of Greydawn Moots protect what remains of the world's knowledge. What they don't do is explore the world (except through a book), fight against evil goblins, sail as pirates, or join thief bands. When halfling Edgewick Lamplighter (Wick) is mistaken for a hero, he is kidnapped to become a pirate, and finds himself in the type of adventure he normally only reads about.

    Wick's life turns from bad to worse when he is captured by goblins and turned into a slave (apparently halflings make the best). The choice between being working the mines and battling in the arenas doesn't seem especially good. Still, using the knowledge that he gained by all that reading, a huge amount of luck, and some bravery he never suspected he might have, Wick survives--only to find himself in even worse trouble.

    Author Mel Odom draws on the tradition of post-modern civilization to describe a world where elves, dwarves, goblins, humans, and halflings live uneasilly together. Although Lord Kharrion, the great goblin wizzard, is long dead, the results of his destruction remain behind and at least some of the goblins dream of recreating his empire and finally destroying the other races that they share the world with. Although this concept is fairly standard, Odom builds in layers of myth and history to enrich and add dimensions to his world-building.

    Odom's deft blending of non-stop adventure with a richly realized world make THE ROVER an enjoyable read.

    See more reviews of novels by Mel Odom.

    Four Stars

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