Sunday, June 25, 2006

I May Not Know Art, But I Know What I Like Department

I’ve just finished reading Legacy of Morevi: Book One of the Arathellean Wars, by Tee Morris. It’s the sequel to Morevi: The Chronicles of Rafe and Askana by Tee Morris and Lisa Lee. Tee Morris is going solo this time, picking up where the story where it left off.

In the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Ireland is the Rift, an anomaly of time and space. On the other side of the Rift is the continent of Naruihm, home to the Realm of Morevi. Rafe Rafton, former privateer to the court of Henry VIII has traded the love of the sea for the love of his life, Askana Moldarin, First Queen of Morevi, and their daughter Ashtari.

However, all is not well in Morevi. Though Rafe has willingly given up his dubious title of pirate captain of the Defiant, being the Queen’s Consort is more difficult for his pride to handle than he expected. Morevi is a kingdom ruled by women who consider men an inferior, but necessary evil. Under the tutelage of the High Regent Dirare, his daughter has adopted the same attitude, treating her own father like a servant, better seen and not heard. Rafe believes the best way to solve this dilemma is to marry Askana. However the reign of Askana Moldarin is still young, and she herself had led the overthrow of the former male dominated regime. The marriage would be a political disaster. In addition, privately, despite her love for Rafe she still harbors some of the prejudice of her people.

Otherwise, life is good, until an emissary for the elves invites Askana, Rafe, and a delegation of the Ladies of the Blood to the Elven capital. There has been a change of leadership among the elves and it is not for the better. Worse, Bayliss, the new captain of the Defiant presents evidence that the Elves have allied themselves with the Spanish.

War is coming to Naruihm and the only way to stop it is for Rafe and Askana to cross the Rift and seek out their old ally, England.

Legacy is filled with swashbuckling adventure, devious court intrigue, unique creatures and enough twists to keep you wondering what’s going to happen next--except for the ending, of course. It is, after all, Book One.

I found Leagcy well-written, entertaining and Rafe and Askana likeable characters with just enough rough edges to keep them human. The history of the Tudor era and Morris’s fictional world combine seamlessly and sometimes one forgets this is a fantasy.

The Elven protagonists are a bit over the top and have the ability to use magic, but the race is as mortal has humans and die just as easily. Many other characters populate the pages within, both good and bad and like life, with their own agendas.

If there are any complaints, it is some of the dialogue. Though totally within character, the long-winded Errol-Flynn-as-Robin-Hood-esque chatter did get tiresome. Ocassionally a character notices a clue that, given the situation, might bear more scrutiny than is given. Finally, Morris seems unable to sense where a chapter should end. I mean come on; a person has to sleep.

These, of course are minor and forgiveable faults.

Legacy of Morevi: Book One of the Arathellean Wars, published by Dragon Moon Press is available in trade paperback and sells for $19.99US/$24.99CDN. If you want to the pre-story, you can listen to Morevi: The Chronicles of Rafe and Askana, as a free downloadable podcast on podiobooks.com

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