Matthew Woodring Stover is the acclaimed author of two previous fantasy novels, Iron Dawn and Jericho Moon. He is a student of the Degerberg Blend. This jeet kune do concept is a mixture of approximately twenty-five different fighting arts from around the world and forms the basis for Caine's combat style in the novels. He lives in Chicago, Illinois, with artist and writer Robyn Fielder.
After two fantasy novels (Iron Dawn; Jericho Moon), Stover combines fantasy and SF in this vigorous adventure story. Our world has developed a hyper-rigid, occupation-based caste system in which the reading of freedom-based philosophy, from John Locke to Robert A. Heinlein, is punished. For entertainment, people participate vicariously in recorded Adventures from the Overworld, an other-dimensional realm of sword and sorcery with its own repressive government. On Earth, Hari Michaelson is the most popular Actor in Adventures; in Ankhana, with its rich palaces and criminal slums, he is known as Caine, the Blade of Tyshalle, famous assassin and warrior. Tired of killing, Hari agrees to return to the Overworld, driven to save his estranged wife, Pallas Ril‘Actor and sorceress, unable to return to Earth due to a powerful spell‘and ordered by the Studio to kill the tyrant Ma'elKoth. Stover's writing throughout is unoriginal but vivid, and his story is well plotted (though relentlessly violent), with numerous noteworthy secondary characters, from Hari's father to Kierendal, the non-human manager of a vice-den in the Overworld's Alien Town. Hari begins as a stereotyped cold-blooded killer but develops credibly, gaining a sense of moral responsibility and realizing that his true enemies are not on the Overworld but within the Studio that directs his life for its profits. Stover's fans and those who like their fantasy/SF tinged red should enjoy this energetic tale. Author tour. (Aug.)
"DAY OF THE JACKAL MEETS LORD OF THE RINGS . . . A marvelous
conspiracy thriller of worlds within worlds, where no one is
necessarily who or what they seem."
--SIMON R. GREEN
Author of the Deathstalker series
"Vivid . . . Well-plotted . . . [A] vigorous adventure