THE MARK OF RAN by Paul Kearney


Book One of The Sea Beggars
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Action-packed start to a new fantasy trilogy from the author of the Monarchies of God series.

According to Rol Cortishane’s grandfather, their ancestors, the Weren, were “fallen angels” whose scattered remnants, inordinately and nearly god-like in their powers, are a noble rebuke to the scummy waves of fallen humanity that now lap about the the world of Umer. That’s why a mob of locals kill dear old grandfather and send nascently noble Rol on his odyssey through the swampy tides of mortal mediocrity. Along the way, he holes up in the tower of family friend Michal Psellos, a power-mad debaucher who lords over his fear-filled servants, including Rowen, a beautiful knife-wielding assassin who teaches Rol the ways of stealth and combat. As Psellos’s lust for power increases, so does his desire to use his playthings Rowen and Rol to gather it for him, though love grown in dark and strange places may thwart his plans. Kearney has the supreme confidence of a veteran world-builder; he moves his characters through sweeping vistas with aplomb, naming more places than could be fleshed out in a dozen books and populating his pages with a fierce rogues’ gallery of privateers, thieves, monstrous, marauding Ur-men and ravening empires. Unnecessarily baroque at times and verging towards the feudalistic in its embracing of bloodline destiny, the book has nevertheless hit a strong seam worthy of at least another couple of adventures.

Epically told with style and fiery verve.

Pub Date: Dec. 6th, 2005
ISBN: 0-553-38361-2
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Spectra/Bantam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2005


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