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    Review of THE QUEST FOR THE TRILOGY by Mel Odom (see his website)


    TOR, March 2006

    For a thousand years, dwarves, elves, and humans have struggled to recover from their horrible wars against Lord Kharrion and his goblinkin armies, their recovery delayed by the loss of so much of the knowledge their people once held. But that knowledge is not totally lost. A library still exists and its librarians, led by a "dweller" (a hobbit-like halfling), plan to spread literacy again, allowing the many races to recover and gain in strength--possibly just in time to face the recovered goblinkin armies. Unfortunately, book-ignorance is not the only thing that keeps peoples weak. A thousand years before, the armies of dwarf, elf, and human had united to face Lord Kharrion--and were betrayed. Who is responsible for the betrayal remains unknown, with humans and elves blaming the dwarves and the dwarves fighting back. What is needed here, as everywhere, is the truth. At least that's what Librarian Grandmagister Juhg believes.

    The wizzard Craugh is old enough to remember the great battles--and the great betrayals. For generations he's sought the truth about the battle, and the three magical weapons that were united there in an attempt to prevent Kharrion's conquest. He hands Juhg a book written by Juhg's teacher, Wick--a book that tells of Wick's (often unintended) help in finding the lost weapons. The book, however, turns out to be only the first of three--and Juhg sets out on a quest to recover the three books and to complete the quest that Craugh and Wick had begun.

    Author Mel Odom (see more reviews of fantasy by Odom) combines fascinating world-building, sympathetic characters, talking animals, action/adventure, and a solid underlying theme of knowledge vs. ignorance to deliver a superior fantasy. Odom uses the story-within-a-story device, with Juhg (and the reader) reading Wick's story between Juhg's adventures. This technique works because Juhg faces equally pressing dangers as he seeks to resolve questions that even Wick couldn't.

    Although Odom uses all of the standard elements of heroic fantasy (thieves, dragons, orc-like creatures, dwarves, elves, even Hobbit-like beings), THE QUEST FOR THE TRILOGY stands out as an exceptional work. I'm very happy to recommend this story.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 9/03/06

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