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    Review of GODDESS OF THE ICE REALM by David Drake (see his website)

    TOR, September 2003

    Prince Garrick and his in-head partner Carus head for Carcosa for Garrick's coronation, but an evil force threatens Garrick and his entire world. Working through magic, and through the local priests, something threatens Garrick's life directly, and then separates him from his trusted friends. Cashel, with his quarterstaff is teleported to a world where a strange entity threatens everything. Sharina is pulled into a fairy-tale world where a talking axe warns evil trolls of her presence, but then welcomes her as a killing partner. Ilna and the ex-pirate Chalcus are sent to deal with a problem merchants have been having, only to find the same evil magic is working its way in Garrick's kingdom.

    Each of the three major sub-plots works. Although Cashel is pretty one-dimensional as a character (he hits bad things with his quarterstaff and if that doesn't work, he hits them harder), he's pretty likable as a heroic type and his strategy works. Ilna is more complex, and shows important character development. Sharina's quest with her friend the axe is probably the most interesting of the three with the axe, Beard, being the most likable and memorable character in the story. In contrast, Garrick's own adventures serve mainly as a resting point. I certainly found myself wanting to get back to where the real action was.

    Author David Drake (see more reviews of novels by Drake) is best known for his military SF, but he does a better than average job in epic fantasy. Once we get away from Garrick and into the three subplots, GODDESS OF THE ICE REALM really picks up its pace and delivers a diet of action, mayhem, and old-fashioned magic.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 10/12/03

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