My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Book Description: A thousand years ago, the Navigator possessed thirteen stones touched by Oum’ilah, the God of gods. Over time, these power-ful stones of light were scattered and a prophecy arose declaring that a “child of no man” would gather them again, and he would be given immortality and reign forever as god and king of Kandelaar.
Now, in an age of chaos, the time has come for the prophecy to be fulfilled. Light and darkness have each chosen a champion to claim the legendary stones:
The sorceress of the cult of she-dragon has chosen Drakkor, a warrior and mercenary who travels with bandits and a corrupt stone of darkness.
The Oracle of Oum’ilah has placed his faith in Ashar, a young postulant who is unsure the stones of light even exist.
Meanwhile, miles away, a slave named Ereon Qhuin dreams of freedom. Abandoned at birth, his only possession is a strange stone that he believes is the key to his destiny and freedom.
A mercenary, a postulant, and a slave—which one is truly the child of prophecy? Who will wear the immortal crown?
My thoughts: The key word to this series is "Saga". Kieth Merrill has taken on a huge project. His book is full of complex characters and situations. The plot has subplot after subplot. There are many characters and sometimes it takes a minute from chapter to chapter to figure out which person and situation you are reading about. It would be hard for me to write character names and who goes where, when, how, and why!
In spite of the problems I had transitioning from character and story, I really enjoyed this book. It has been a long time since I've read a book that makes me use my brain to catch up. I appreciated the change of pace.
The basic premise of the story is there are powerful men who want to remain in power, there are others who want the power, and there are a few who are called to rise up, not to get the power because it is their destiny to change.
The land has had great evil come upon it. Two young men, one trained in religion and the other a slave are a force for good. Their God has held them in reserve and given them opportunities to learn so that they can overcome the evil. One needs to find the 13 stones touched by God to restore goodness. The other is a possessor of a stone. It will be interesting to see how their paths cross and how they work together.
The book is violent. It is a war between good and evil. The evil people are very evil and seek dominion by destroying those who get in their way. There is innuendo, concubines, noticing women's figures, etc. I would suggest this book to mature readers.
About the Author: (taken from Deseret Book) Kieth Merrill is a writer, producer and director. He is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Director's Guild of America. Merrill is a two-time Oscar nominee and winner of the Academy Award for his film The Great American Cowboy. Two of his films have been listed in the top 100 independent films of all time. The Evolution of Thomas Hall is his first novel. He and his wife, Dagny, are the parents of eight children and live in the Sierra foothills of Northern California's gold country.