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PERIL’S GATE by Janny Wurts


by Janny Wurts

Pub Date: Jan. 31st, 2002
ISBN: 0-06-105220-5
Publisher: Eos/HarperCollins

Wurts’s immensely complex, monstrously swollen, lyric sword-and-sorcery fantasy series the Wars of Light and Shadow, begun with The Curse of Mistwraith (1994), was planned as a five-volume saga but has since expanded to a projected eight. (This is number six.) One does cavil at the plot’s longueurs and digressions, not to mention all those passages pumped up with excess detail, as justice-seeking Lysaer, the self-taught Prince of Light, seeks the death of his half-brother, Arithon, Master of Shadows. Both face “unimaginable perils” that Wurts has no trouble imagining for these deadly enemies she shoves through the magical Peril’s Gate while driving the wounded Arithon out into storms and winds relentless as a blade’s edge. Both have magical powers and stand to inherit mighty kingdoms. But Arithon, to survive, finds he must unite with the slayer of his royal ancestors, Davien the Betrayer, an enchanter trained by the Fellowship of Sorcerers, who may well kill him.

With a lifespan of 500 years granted the half-brothers, must Wurts unleash still many thousands of pages more before the death of one sibling or their unity into a single being?