A competently written first novel with the familiar plot line of a country boy who follows his destiny to a fabled city,...

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THE WITCH KING

A competently written first novel with the familiar plot line of a country boy who follows his destiny to a fabled city, saves it from destruction, and becomes king. Sent off by old storyteller Granny Fishbone, who tells him that ""the Witch King shall come from the sea and. . .save the city yet destroy it. He is the bearer of the seed, planting the Tree for the City,"" Rob journeys with a wizard, Godfrey, who proves to be a powerful figure at the old king's court. But the City folk, in the thrall of the Spell, believe an alternate myth of the City's origins, a false glorification of a long-ago, evil usurper. In the book's final pages, Robert realizes that he himself is the promised Witch King, invokes the appropriate magic, and, after a violent, dramatic confrontation with David, the evil heir apparent, frees David's sister (Sophie) and thus the whole city from the Spell, espouses Sophie, and goes home to visit his mother. The parallels between the ancient story of the usurper as told in a prologue, its false alternate, and the visions of David--who plans to enthrall the City with the evil Spell--and Robert--who sets the people free--add interest to a routine tale. Except for the final tumultuous action, pacing is slow; characters, though lightly sketched, have an interesting variety. A commendable beginning for Henry.

Pub Date: March 1, 1988

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Orchard/Watts

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1988