291718“There wasn’t any time to wave goodbye”

What a way to end a book.  No matter how you feel about these characters, I doubt anyone would not feel a chill go down their spine at those words.  I know I did.

We follow the journey of a hunchback named Atreus and his ogre companion Yago as they undertake a seemingly impossible journey to make Atreus handsome.

Born a normal babe to wealthy parents, Atreus lost them in a civil revolt.  In order to save his life, the house wizard cast a disguise spell on the babe to pass him off as a baby ogre, and the spell warped his real form.  In a desperate attempt to fix what he perceived as wrong, he spends much of his family wealth trying to find a magical sure until at last he is directed to the church of Sune, goddess of beauty.  Sune seemingly charges Atreus to travel to a long lost valley and retrieve a vial of water for her from a magical spring located there.

So the companions go, suffer a long and arduous journey filled with the usual terrible dangers of slavers, demons, and dishonest men, to find the valley of Langdharma.  Atreus even finds love along the way, only to lose it all to the greed and avarice of another, to say nothing of his blind stubbornness to see what Sune truly meant by sending him on this quest.

 Sune I think set him to the task so he could see for himself that how he perceived himself could affect how others perceived him.  Feel ugly, look ugly essentially.  Ugh and he was so close to his breakthrough too.  But he was more willing to lose the love he had found than to believe that what people had told him all his life really was true: true beauty starts on the inside.

 And it all ends with him going over the ends of a waterfall, seeing his lady love safe in the lee of a riverbank, and there wasn’t even enough time to wave goodbye.

Still more classics coming! Murder in Cormyr by Chet Williamson, first in the Mysteries trilogy next.

291637Tired of the political machinations of his egotistical fellow wizards, Benelaius retires from the College of War Wizards to take up residency in Cormyr, where he lives peacefully until he and his legman, Jasper, are forced to investigate the murder of a messenger from King Azoun. 25,000 first printing.