Reviewed: November 21, 2003
By: Roger Zelazny and Jane Lindskold
Publisher: Avon Books
325 pages, $9.99
While this isnít the last Roger Zelazny book I will ever review
(Iíve horded a few that I havenít read yet), it is the last new book that
will appear with his name on it, even if it is linked with a collaborator.
Lindskold worked with Roger on two books, the other being Donnerjack,
and both were pretty good reading.
Though he was a science fiction writer, Roger loved to play with
mythology, and shift it over into SF territory if he could. The basic idea
behind this book would be familiar to any devotees of Joss Whedonís television
work, which I mentioned her last week. Imagine that there are other dimensions,
and that they are populated by beings who can manipulate energies in ways
that most of us humans canít.
Kai Wren is one of those beings, a demon if you will, who was
among those banished from the demon home dimension after a war with another
set of beings loosely called gods. Kai was, at one time, the greatest of
the demon warriors, an incredible fighter who once slew one of those gods
in single combat.
Many demons now quietly inhabit the Earth, getting along pretty
well with most of the aboriginal magical beings, and waiting for a chance
to go home. Kai himself has gone into the bottle making business. In fact,
he lives comfortably in one which contains a pocket universe of his own creation.
He hasnít fought a battle in centuries, hasnít wanted to, doesnít even wonder
All that is about to change. Events are about to release the
genie (or djinn, if you prefer) from the bottle.
I read most of this book during a rainy day on the Yukon River,
travelling back and forth between Dawson and Eagle, Alaska. It was a delightful
way to pass the time when I wasnít working on a story about the boat on which
I was travelling.