April 2004
© 2004 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu
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Medalon - Book One of the Hythrun Chronicles by Jennifer Fallon
Tor HCVR: ISBN 0765309866 PubDate: 04/01/04
Review by Karey Herriman

400 pgs. List price $ 24.95
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Medalon starts with a bang and just keeps on going with very few places to take a breath. It starts almost immediately with a murder and other intrigues and plots go from there. Jennifer Fallon does an excellent job of painting a complex system so that it all comes across simply and clearly.

The Sisters of The Blade are the ruling class and the men of the realm serve as the warrior class who are sworn to uphold the Sisters and keep Medalon free of any heathen influence which, for the sisterhood, is worship of any God.

R’shiel is the daughter of the First Sister and has always felt like a square peg being crammed into a round hole. She is always at odds with her Mother and can never seem to please her, no matter how hard she tries. R’shiel’s half brother, Tarja, is a dutiful son who has worked his way through the ranks of the Defenders and serves there as a Captain. He is also R’shiel’s best friend and confidant. When R’shiel and Tarja disagree with the manipulations and machinations of their Mother to start a Purge ridding the land of God worshipers they must flee for their lives.

They join a band of rebels who worship many Gods and learn that there are people outside of the Citadel, the Sisterhoods Capital City, that do not always follow the ways of the Sisters of the Blade. This is where they hear of a “Demon Child” who has been brought into this world to destroy a God. Since they are atheists they do not put to much stock into the tale until they meet Brak, a Harshini, who forces them to face the most shocking fact of all: R’shiel just maybe the “Demon Child”! The high adventures that take them from there and to the truth are well written and loads of fun. I would class this tale on a level with Robin Hood as it shows that not all people are alike but many of their dreams are. Jennifer Fallon’s characters are rich and full and whether they are nobility, warlord, sailor or salt of the earth they ring true.

This book is a wonderful import from Australia. Jennifer Fallon has included everything that a fantasy epic needs; it has heroes, love, honor and terrible loss.

As I came to the end of Medalon, I kept thinking “Oh, it can’t end now!” Ultimately, of course, it has to, but at least I can look forward to the next installment. SInce the entire trilogy has already been published in Australia, It’s not likely that I’ll forget this story before that happens, but even if I did, this is one book I wouldn’t mind rereading.

© 2004 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu
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