THE BLACKGOD by J. Gregory Keyes


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Sequel to The Waterborn (1996), Keyes's fantasy about water-gods, magic, and destiny. The Changeling is the god of the River and the city Nhol with its royal family. Though most of the time slumbering, he wakes occasionally to arrange for the breeding of a human whose body he can inhabit. That body is presently occupied also by young Princess Hezhi of Nhol, but she's fled to the horse-warrior Mang, along with her protector, Perkar, and his magic sword, Harka. Hezhi's only hope of long-term survival is to kill the River, but to do this she must reach his source beneath the remote mountain She'leng; offering assistance is the powerful but untrustworthy Blackgod. The River, however, is determined to recapture Hezhi and send forth Ghe, an assassin once slain by Perkar, now reanimated and given magic powers to absorb ghosts and gods. To complicate matters, other parties have their own agendas. Eventually, She'leng is the scene of a mighty but baffling struggle in which various entities die, though some come back to life, and everything is resolved--to the author's satisfaction if not the reader's. An often strikingly imaginative but unedifyingly overcomplicated yarn that could've used a vigorous pruning and a stiff dose of logic; still, Waterborn fans will be jubilant.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1997
Page count: 544pp
Publisher: Del Rey/Ballantine