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Books for Review should be sent to: Don D'Ammassa, 323 Dodge Street, East Providence, RI 02914

 LAST UPDATE  7/16/19

Dragonslayer by Duncan Hamilton, Tor, 2019m $17.99, ISBN 978-1-250-30673-9

Opening volume of a trilogy. The setting is a familiar one to fantasy readers. Dragons are believed to have been extinct for centuries and most of the magic has left the world of Mirabaya. Any wars are distant and the rulers and knights have all become decadent or worse. Their world is about to be upset, however, because a dragon has survived in hibernation, is now awake, and is determined to wreak vengeance against the human race. None of the current crop of warriors can stand against the menace, so the ruler is forced to track down a legendary survivor of a revered order of knights. But unfortunately for the king, the man does not possess the kind of power that is required for the battle. Unfortunately for the man himself, he is bound by his personal code to make the attempt. If you haven't read this general story too many times already, you'll likely find this entertaining because the story line has enduring popular appeal and the writing here is not bad at all. 7/16/19

Citadel of Fear by Francis Stevens, Paperback Library, 1968 (originally published in 1918)   

Two prospectors stumble upon a lost civilization in Mexico that closely resembles that of the Aztecs. After various adventures, one of them escapes. When he returns fifteen years later, the city is in ruins and the inhabitants are gone. But something sinister almost kills his sister and he finds himself pitted against not just a madman with dangerous knowledge but a god incarnate who longs to become the supreme deity. Reminiscent of A.Merritt, this is an imaginative, often very suspenseful story embellished with exotic scenery and events. It was the high point of the authorís short but very impressive career. 7/11/19

The Heart of Hell by Wayne Barlowe, Tor, 2019, $27.99, ISBN 978-0-7653-2456-6

This is the sequel to God's Demon from 2007, in which a revolution takes place in Hell. One of the demon lords emerges triumphant and leads the imprisoned souls to a different kind of afterlife, but that doesn't mean that Hell has ceased to exist. In some ways the demons are relieved to be free of their former duties, but fresh crises arrive and several individual characters find that they are carrying around their own private hells and have not escaped the torment. The book creates a bizarre setting filled with unusual characters. It is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a typical fantasy novel, although it employs some of the same elements. This might even find an audience among those who don't usually enjoy fantasy.7/5/19