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People of the Morning Star: Historical novel blends myth and intrigue

People of the Morning Star by W. Michael Gear & Kathleen O'Neal Gear

People of the Morning Star, by the archaeologist couple Kathleen O'Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear, is pretty interesting once it gets going. It is set in the Native American (Mississippian) settlement of Cahokia, a city located near modern-day St. Louis, whose population in the 1200s would have made it one of the largest cities in the world. In this book, Cahokia is ruled by the Four Winds clan, led by the Morning Star, a god incarnated into the human flesh of Chunkey Boy, a Four Winds clan youth. The social structure of Cahokia is highly stratified; the most favored clans rule the others, with merchants and traders having less status, and "dirt farmers" having the relative status of peasants or serfs.

A threat in the form of a mysterious character named "Bead" enters Cahokia, bent on killing all of the Four Winds nobles, especially Morning Star, in order t... Read More

The Orc King: Welcome return to the Drizzt legend

The Orc King by R.A. Salvatore

Picking up where The Two Swords left off, The Orc King continues the adventures of Drizzt Do’Urden and the Companions of the Hall. King Obould Many-arrows seeks to create a kingdom of orcs, at peace with its neighbors, a thing unheard of in Faerun. Tosun Armgo continues to seek to be a new Drizzt, a dark elf of good character while fighting off the advances of Khaizid’hea the evil sentient sword. And Wulfgar, recently widowed, sets out to find his lost daughter Colson.

R.A. Salvatore has been writing in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting for 20 years, he brought shared world fiction into the mainstream of genre fiction, his novels are sold all over the world, and Drizzt is almost as recognizable a character as Gollum or Captain Kirk.

But for all his accomplishments, it seems that Salvatore cannot get out of a writing rut, when ... Read More