Master of the Cauldron, by David Drake

I think David Drake might have access to a time machine.  You see, I’ve written my reviews of his books years after they were published, and yet he has consistently moved to address my concerns.  He doesn’t get it exactly right every time, but he’s clearly heard me and has responded to the points that I make.  He’s even usually fixed things within a book or two.

Master of the Cauldron is the sixth book in the Lord of the Isles series, the last book before the final trilogy which is supposed to wrap up all of the adventures that our heroes have been having.  It continues with the excellent setting which I gushed about in my earlier reviews, still delivering on that sense of diving into a world made up of an Atlantean amalgamation of our past.  In fact, much of it is very familiar.  If you’ve paid attention while reading the previous books, you’ll probably be able to call most of the scenes here as they happen, or at least know the pattern of the flow as you read.  So the question is, do I still like it?   Continue reading


Goddess of the Ice Realm, by David Drake

Once again I have grabbed hold of a David Drake book by the lapels, roughed it up, and shaken it until all the delicious story-bits come out.  Goddess of the Ice Realm continues the formula that David Drake has found so successful previously, returning to his excellently conceived Roman / Greek / Atlantean setting and pitting the heroes against multiple enemies serving one greater terrifying threat.  There are few innovations in this addition to the series, and most of the storylines will feel familiar to those who have read the previous books of the series, but if you like the characters and enjoyed the previous books you’ll almost certainly like this one too.

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Mistress of the Catacombs, by David Drake

Mistress of the Catacombs is the fourth book in David Drake‘s Lord of the Isles series.  Published in 2001, it continues to deliver on the promise of the first few books.  I’m not sure I have new words to describe the delightful admixture of classical influences that form this heady concoction of Roman and Greek culture and technology, Sumerian religion, and ancient Mediterranean magic.  Suffice to say that it comes across with an appropriately Atlantean feel, and *itty bitty spoilers* that the various wanderings through other worlds never break the feeling of the world(s) that Drake has created.  Magic is powerful and scary, and this is made clear not just by the ways in which people react to it but also through the consequences of people’s use of magic.  And more than ever before in this series, Drake makes clear his own thoughts about violence as a solution to your problems.

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Servant of the Dragon, by David Drake

Servant of the Dragon is the third book in the epic fantasy series Lord of the Isles, written by David Drake.  Published in 1999, it is a excellent sequel and addresses the few issues that I previously had with the series while continuing the better traditions of the first two books.  I recommended the series before, I recommend it even more strongly now.  If you want to dive into a fantasy setting built on the sunken ruins of an Atlantean past, constructed from the stones of Sumerian mythology and mortared with Greek and Roman poetry, this is the series for you.

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Queen of Demons, by David Drake

Queen of Demons is the second book in the Lord of the Isles series, printed in 1998.  David Drake continues to show that he knows his craft, with this sequel giving a suitably dramatic follow-up to the beginning of the epic.  This time I wasn’t skeptical at all, and I was right not to be.  That musty scent of genuine historic fantasy setting, cobbled together from the corpses of bits of real history, takes life once more.

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Lord of the Isles, by David Drake

I had always thought of David Drake as a military sci-fi author.  He has a long history of writing exactly that, with Hammer’s Slammers and Northworld being the examples I’m most familiar with.  So when I came across Lord of the Isles while browsing his wikipedia page, I was a little surprised.  A renowned sci-fi author tries his hand at epic fantasy?

I shouldn’t have been skeptical. Continue reading