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    Review of CHANGER by Jane Lindskold (see her website)

    EOS, December 1998

    Review by Jennifer Vilches

    The coyote Changer returns from the hunt one evening to find his mate and pups killed by ranchers. But Changer is no ordinary coyote; he is one of the immortal anathor and a shape-shifter. Enraged, he takes human form to seek his vengeance. The trail quickly points to another of the anathor, and so he goes to Arthur Pendragon to register his vendetta. Arthur is the king of the Accord, a government of sorts for the eclectic mix of immortals that make up the anathor: shape-shifters, sorcerers, animals and mythic creatures such as yeti and fauns.

    Joining forces, Changer and members of Arthur's court find that the murder of the coyotes is just one facet of a much larger plot. Changer tries to protect his one remaining coyote pup while digging further into the mystery of who instigated the slaughter of his family. In the meantime, Arthur and his court are beset with their own share of difficulties, including pranksters, assassins, human reporters, and political turmoil. The hidden anathor, the ones that cannot pass for human, are increasingly agitating for the existence of the anathor to become public so that they can live in the open. The threads of trouble are woven together deftly; saving the Accord will stretch Changer, Arthur and the others to the limits of their abilities.

    The idea that ancient gods, legends and myths were all sourced from individual immortals is interesting and author Jane Lindskold (see more reviews of novels by Lindskold) does a good job of tying together similar archetypes from several different cultures. Her various incarnations of Arthur Pendragon, the hero king, include King Arthur, Frey of Norse legend, the pharaoh Akhenaton, and Gilgamesh. Linkskold also manages to inject humor into the mix, imagine sasquatches and satyrs chatting over the Internet or the idea that Elvis was also Dionysus.

    I liked this book a lot. The plot grabbed me immediately and the characters are interesting and complex. Even though the characters are immortal, they are by no means portrayed as perfect which makes them easier to identify with. It was easy to cheer on the good guys in their defense of the Accord. But it was also nice that not everything dealt with in terms of pure black and white. There are several shades-of-grey issues dealt with in the book including the needs of the hidden ones and whether or not the anathor should interfere in various current problems such as the destruction of the rain forests.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 5/17/04

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