Monday, June 1, 2009

The Edge of the World by Kevin J Anderson

This is a work of fantasy that quite accurately portrays how little it takes for wars to get started and how noble ambitions don't always come to fruition or end the way it was planned. It's a timely book because it helps point out how stupid and hurtful wars can be, and that they can be more a combination of religious differences, language differences, arrogant leaders and misunderstandings than an actual "cause" that needs to be resolved.

The subtitle of the novel is: An Age of Discovery... A Quest for Glory... A Search for the Ultimate Treasure.

Think of a world, long ago and far away, where people still think you'll fall off the edge of the world if you venture too far out on the ocean, and there are parts of the world still unexplored.

When one arrogant leader challenges a merchant ship, the captain of the ship kills him and they escape. However, it's enough to begin talk of war.

The two leaders understand that war is not a good thing and attempt to meet to sign peace treaties. Then one of the vendors selling to the crowd inadvertently starts a fire outbreak, and the entire site of one town burns down. The people believe it was deliberately set, and take steps for retaliation.

Many die on both sides. Even those trying live quiet lives away from the courts find themselves being attacked on the fishing coasts.

While the war continues, the leaders are trying to find new ways to attack their enemies, explore new lands, and find more resources.

The boats sent out on the sea are attacked by the enemy or by sea serpents. Anyone captured is imprisoned and turned into slave labor (if not killed on the spot).

A black man comes into one city and says he's from the desert. They had not believed anyone could survive trying to cross the desert, but he made it. So the leader and a few others go by balloon and meet the two groups of people who live in the desert area: one stays in the desert, the others live on the sea.

There are bandits preying on anyone travelling. And the palace intrigue is it's own story. Anyone who thinks he can have three wives and not have some squabbling needs to think again.

This is not a "happily ever after" story, but it is realistic and shows that life is very uncertain - especially in times where medical knowledge is lacking and where war is the common theme.

There will be a sequel to this book - there are too many open questions. And it's intrigued me enough, I'll be watching for it.

If you'd like to read this book, email me at and tell me why you'd like AND leave a comment here on the blog. I'll pick a winner in about a week.


MJ said...

This sounds different, I'd love to read it.


Djfshop said...

Hi Joanne. This sounds like a good one. I do enjoy fantasy occasionally. I put a note of your give-away on my blog, too

Confessions of an Overworked Mom said...

Sounds like a great book!