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The Bellinghman
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#20 Julian May: Ironcrown Moon

Julian May: Ironcrown Moon

Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Del Rey (May 1, 1999)
ISBN: 0007123221
Category(ies): Fantasy

This is the second, and far from the last, volume in the Boreal Moon Tale, being the follow-on to Conqueror's Moon. Ever since the Sage of the Pliocene Exile, May has been known for her SF, but this story is more generic fantasy. As such, it's perfectly acceptable, but the world building might be a fairly generic Rough Guide to Fantasyland. However, where it does get interesting is in the magic system, and in the politics.

The PoV character is Snudge (or Deveron, if we're being formal), who is the spy for King Conrig. Conrig is the great, heroic uniter of the kingdoms against the darkness, and he's the champion of the forces of light. Unfortunately, he's also somewhat ruthless, and by the end of this volume, we (and Snudge) can see him as somewhat of a villain, whose only real attraction is that the alternatives are worse. And that's the attraction — we're seeing how power corrupts the character of Conrig, and necessarily that of Snudge too.

A generic fantasy background, but with interesting character development in the foreground.
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