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    Review of THE CRIMSON SWORD by Eldon Thompson (see his website)


    Eos, May 2005

    When his country is overrun by a wizard, Jarom learns that he is the true king--hidden away from the negative influence of his father. His mother tasks him with summoning help, freeing the country from the destructive wizard, but Jarom feels unable to accomplish this. Who would believe him. If only he held the legendary Crimson Sword--a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years. With the help of his best friend Allion and young super-fighter Kylac, Jarom seeks long-hidden clues to the sword's location.

    The evil wizard soon has company for evilness, however. Two exploring children awaken Spithaera, the Demon Queen from her centuries-old sleep. Finding the ancient magics which forced her into hiding to be vanished, Spithaera sets forth on a wave of murder and conquest. Even with the crimson sword, Jarom could have little hope in facing the demon and dragonkin armies Spithaera summons into existance.

    Author Eldon Thompson spins an engaging story in his debut novel. The action sequences move quickly, with flashing swords, powerful magic, and mythical quests. Unfortunately, Thompson doesn't resist the temptation to overwrite, resulting in some fairly clunky English. Even more distracting, the long sequences where Jarom doubts his chances, questions his future, and generally worries about things dramatically slow the story and sound way too much like typical teenage self-importance.

    Jarom's love interest, Marisha, takes a traditional role--waiting bravely to be rescued, only to be captured again--and then waiting bravely some more. Beyond her voluptuous figure, it's hard to see what Jarom finds so compelling about the woman.

    THE CRIMSON SWORD is worth reading for the action and the swarms of dragonkin. It will be interesting to see how Thompson matures as an author--the potential is there--if he can add some depth to his characters without bogging down the story.

    Two Stars

    Reviewed 6/18/05

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