Books by Deborah Christian

Released: Dec. 31, 1999

paper 0-312-86516-3 The kick-off of a new fantasy series set in the same world as, but otherwise unrelated to, Kar Kalim (1997). Apprentice Dalin lives with his grand-uncle Granmar, the Truthsayer, high in a cave at Crystal Spires. Then, intruders hurl old Granmar off the cliff and seize his robe of office. Dalin stealthily follows them, but Hanno, the raiders' runemaster, magically blinds and binds him. Finally he's rescued by warrior Arandel, one of a second party (largely indistinguishable from each other and from the first party) arriving to find out why the Truthsayer hasn't visited recently. Arandel and friends agree to help Dalin pursue the malefactors and recover the robe, or Tapestry. Thereafter, an inordinately complicated plot emerges piecemeal. Hanno, scheming to become the king's chief advisor, arranged to dispose of Granmar (he could expose lies despite Hanno's rune-magic) and plans to double-cross his associates. Dalin finds he can commune with trees and rocks, turn into a bear, and unerringly detect falsehoods. Arandel and company need to assemble the Panoply of the Loregiver (the Tapestry, a cup, and a brazier) to prevent wars in their homeland. But when Dalin confronts Hanno and appeals to King Hammankarl, Hanno easily befuddles the king with his magic—and Dalin ends up in a dungeon. Hardworking, with intriguing magics, but pedestrian and poorly thought out. It's becoming ever more difficult to recollect Christian's promising SF debut, Mainline (1996). Read full book review >
KAR KALIM by Deborah Christian
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Aug. 1, 1997

Fantasy venture from the author of Mainline (1996). The mage Inya is Guardian of Moontooth Tower, a magical focus where doors to other realities may be opened. On a more mundane level, Inya must manipulate the members of the Autarchs' Council to preserve the balance of power along the Salt Coast. Then the young and arrogant Murl Amrey arrives, demanding an apprenticeship. Reluctantly, for Murl is powerful but temperamental, Inya agrees, and soon he shares her bed as well as her magic. To curb Murl's impatience, Inya dispatches him to Styrcia to collect a magic crystal. He returns with a flawed specimen; the pair argue, Murl goes back to Styrcia, and Inya slams the portal shut behind him. Later—months for Inya, many years for Murl—now calling himself Kar Kalim, Murl bursts the sealed portal asunder and invades the Salt Coast with armies of beastlike karzdagi and hordes of Mongol-like Breo'la cavalry. With his new, perfect Styrcian crystal, he captures Inya and forces her to do his bidding. Helpless, appalled by Murl's brutality and ruthlessness, Inya must bide her time and await an opportunity to defeat him. Set forth with precision and clarity, and pleasingly detailed, but predictable and one-dimensional: worth a try for fans of Christian's fine debut. Read full book review >
MAINLINE by Deborah Christian
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: June 1, 1996

On planet R'debh, Reva grew up with an unusual psychic talent: She can view, and move among, the various probability-worlds that constitute reality. Since she can appear seemingly out of nowhere, do a deed, and vanish without trace into a nearby timeline, her lucrative adult occupation is that of assassin. As a consequence of her lifestyle, however, Reva has no friends—until, in the course of her work, she meets young, ambitious smuggler Lish, and a bond develops between them. Soon, the mysterious Vask the Fixer attaches himself to the pair by making himself useful in various ways. Like Reva, Vask is a Mutate: His psionic talent enables him to slip out of phase, so he becomes invisible and can even move through solid matter. What Vask never reveals is that he works for Commander Obray of security. Lish gets herself into trouble by triple- crossing a powerful double-crossing criminal associate. Reva's problem, meanwhile, is that she's being pursued by the bodyguard of one of her victims, the seemingly unkillable, huge, red-and-black alien warrior, Yavobo, who's sworn a blood oath of vengeance. Christian's well-articulated, cleverly constructed plot hurtles along at a blistering pace, and those new psi-power wrinkles provide additional gratification: a debut of splendid promise. Read full book review >