Today, I'll talk about another parallel universe trilogy, Barbara Hambly's "Darwath Trilogy". In this story, two people (Rudy and Gil) are drawn into the world of Darwath. Long ago, this world's population was decimated by repeated nighttime attacks by "The Dark", monstrous magical creatures that fly out of their caves at night to feed on the living. Nobody knows why the attacks stopped then, but now, it appears the time has come for them to start again.
The whole population is protected inside a keep that somehow keeps out the Dark. Meanwhile, Rudy starts learning everything he can how magic works because, well, if you found yourself in a world where magic works, wouldn't you want to try your hand at a little wizardry? Gil also joins the battle against the Dark in other ways, and she soon becomes a major factor in a different way. All the while, the Gandalf-stand-in (Ingold) is in the background, helping them both and trying to figure out how to fight off the Dark.
This is a pretty short trilogy and a very quick read. I understand that Hambly has written two subsequent books continuing the storyline, but I haven't read them. I read these books at roughly the same age that I read Feist, and I found the quality comparable. My book snob friends, though, didn't like them. One friend, Chris, was biased against them from the beginning.
He had a rule, he said, that any book since Lord of the Rings that had a title "The (blank) of (blank)" was almost always bad. All three of these fit that description for him ("The Time of the Dark", "The Walls of Air", "The Armies of Daylight"), so I don't think he ever gave it a chance. I will admit, though, that I've read a couple of Hambly's other books (a Star Trek and a Star Wars book) later in life, and it was mixed.
The Trek book was fine as that genre goes, but her Star Wars entry ("Children of the Jedi") was perhaps the worst Star Wars novel I've ever read, and that's saying something.Posted by Observer at December 2, 2004 11:49 AM
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