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Song of the Sword by Edward Willett

Thursday, Feb 24, 2011 at 12:42pm

If you think you know Arthur, Merlin and the Lady of the Lake guess again. Ariane is a troubled teen, starting a new life with her aunt in Regina. A new school would be hard enough, but learning you're a descendant of the Lady of the Lake too?

In Song of the Sword Edward Willett captures the dynamics of the school environment and the destructiveness of bullying well. As an orphan moved around in foster care, Ariane has a sense of the "other" long before her full potential is realized.

Ariane and her sidekick and "knight in shining armour", Wally Knight, must find the shards of Arthur's sword, Excalibur before Merlin can use them to restore his lost power. I especially enjoyed that Merlin was recast as an antagonist, rather than a tired old "wise counselor" archetype.

Rex Major, as the wizard is now known, is a multibillionaire software giant and owner of Excalibur Computer systems. The trickle of magic he has left gives him a great deal of personal charisma and has allowed him to do interesting things in the digital world.

Only Ariane, the new Lady of the Lake, has the power to stop Major--if she can master her gifts in time. She can sense the shards of Excalibur, and must use them to race the clock against Rex Major's vastly superior resources. Ariane and Wally's travels take them from Regina's Lake Wascana, to Hudson Bay, and finally to Yellowknife for the novel's climactic confrontation.

You can't always judge a book by its cover--but in the case of Song of the Sword, you can. Its stunning cover is the door to a unique, clever, and beautifully modern retelling of an old legend.

Categories: Reviews, Staff Pick, SciFi & Fantasy

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Marseguro

- by Edward Willett - Daw Science Fiction (series)

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This Aurora Award-winning science-fiction novel introduces a battle for survival on a distant water world....

After a worldwide disaster strikes Earth, the planet is taken over by a fanatical religious theocracy. Scientist Victor Hansen flees with a staff of non-genetically modified humans and young members of his newly created race, the Selkies, to Marseguro, a distant water world.

But their peace and freedom is threatened when a traitor calls forth a strike force from Earth, and Victor's own grandson, Richard, is with them. What Richard Hansen discovers may alter not only his own destiny, but that of Marseguro and Earth as well.

Lost in Translation

- by Edward Willett

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A thrilling sci-fi novel of communication and learned trust between human and alien

Kathryn was a human empath whose world and life had been destroyed when, as a young child, she watched helplessly as the alien S'sinn slaughtered her parents before her very eyes. Only the Translators, an elite guild of empaths, were able to free her from the trauma and give her a new life.

Jarrikk was a young S'sinn, an unproven warrior who saw his flight mates slaughtered by the humans who sought to colonize his world. Crippled so that he could never fly again, he would have chosen death, but he wasn't allowed a choice. Instead, he too was trained to be a Translator.

As humans and S'sinn find themselves poised on the brink of a war that could not only destroy their own species, but also disrupt the delicate balance of the multiracial Commonwealth, these two Translators--who have every reason to hate one another--must work together to find a common ground and avert catastrophe. But whether their Translators' oath and training can overcome the enemies leagued against them remains to be seen.