June 2004
© 2004 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu
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Medalon by Jennifer Fallon
Review by Antony Wagman
Orbit PPBK: ISBN 1841493260 PubDate: 05/06/04
615 pgs. List price £ 7.99
Buy this book and support SFRevu at  Amazon UK

Tor HRDCVR: ISBN 0765309866 PubDate: 04/01/04
431 pgs. List price $
24.95 UK Equiv
Buy this book and support SFRevu at Amazon US / Amazon UK

Although we took a look at Medalon (See Review) when we got hold of it in the US, the UK crew wanted to have their say as well. Here's Antony Wagman's look at Jennifer Fallon's debut novel. - ed

Jennifer Fallon has introduced herself to the world of fantasy fiction with a roar. Medalon is her first novel and as far as Iím concerned, roll-on the sequels!

In a situation slightly reminiscent of Goodkindís Sisters of Light (see his Sword of Truth series), the Sisters of The Blade are the ruling class of Medalon, a smallish city state sandwiched between mortal enemies. Political intrigues of Machiavellian proportions abound as the Sisters jockey for position on the ruling Council. Medalon follows half-siblings Ríshiel (a novice Sister) and Tarja (a Captain of the Defenders Ė the army of the Sisters) from their positions as children of the First Sister on to becoming outcasts, rebels and general neíer do-gooders. Our hero and heroine end up in charge of a revolution against the Sisters and all they stand for, with a final twist that as usual, Iím not going to spoil for you.

Debut novels often carry their authorís influences like banners held proudly aloft. It may be presumption on my part, but Fallonís favourite along with Goodkind would appear to be David Eddings. The irreverence shown by her characters to the Medalon Gods certainly put me in mind of Sparhawk in Elenium and Tamuli series. And in counterpoint to this there are races who worship to the point of fanaticism those self-same deities, another Eddings signature. But Fallon does, it seems, have a signature all of her own. The persistent capture and torture of Tarja several times during the course of the action managed to feel rather repetitive.

But there are more plaudits to be reserved for Medalon than criticisms. Fallon has created a most plausible fantasy world, an anti-heroine (my favourite kind!), a brave hero and great support cast. One worth particularly worth a mention is a priest so lecherous he might have previously inhabited the pages of an issue of VIZ (which for our US readers, is a highly irreverent, bawdy and very funny adult comic). Medalon is well scripted with the storyline following an interesting path, characters being briefly introduced and reappearing full throttle later on and some great cameo appearances from the Gods (dare I mention that some of these heavenly beings do bear more than a passing resemblance to those of Ö well, you can probably guess!)

I donít want to be harsh on Fallon in pointing out these similarities Ė there are worse writers to be influenced by after all, and in Medalon, the good far outweighs the bad. It is a highly enjoyable yarn and has left me not only ready for the next title in the sequence, but moreover, Iím happy to be adding Fallon to my list of ďmust readĒ authors.

© 2004 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu
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