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The Big Yellow Book

Seeing the World from Both Oculars-- a Bananaslug's Journal

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Dave Freer's new novel DRAGON'S RING-- a review
It isn't a secret that Dave Freer and I are friends...as much friends as can be when I only get to see him once every few years, since he lives in South Africa. But I have to tell you that his new novel, Dragon's Ring is one of the best fantasies I've read in years. It is due out soon from Baen Books, but it is available from Webscriptions as an electronic Advanced Reader Copy (e-ARC). Using a variety of mythological sources, especially Norse, but also including Celtic, Hellenic, Hebraic and Arabic, Freer tells the story of a...well, not exactly a world, but rather a constructed place called Tasmarin. And once again, Freer shows why he is one of the most inventive practitioners of fantasy in the world today.

One of the towers that support Tasmarin collapses, and a baby is flung across universes to land on the beach near a fishing village in a land where Dragons rule. Dragons, that is, who used to be servants of human High Mages... but who have killed all the magic-using humans they could find and now treat their humans as talking cattle.

Who is this child, called Meb? Why do the demons, the woodsprites, the alfar, the dvergar, the centaurs and the dragons want her so badly?

And who is Fionn, the little black dragon, and what does he want with Meb?

Why do dragons need to sleep on beds of gold? Why do alfar prefer silver? Why do all the woodsprites act as though they were one? And what is that curious piece of seaweed and pearls that Meb wears on her head?

Dragon's Ring is a tale of innocence lost, and love regained. Freer has once again written a brilliant fantasy that doesn't talk down, doesn't preach, and tells a forthright tale with totally believable characters, whether that character is a merrow or a mountain.

When it comes out, buy it. But don't wait until it comes out...go to Webscriptions and buy it now as the electronic Advanced Reader Copy. And then buy the hardback when it comes out...

This is one of the best books I've read in the last six months. Quick, grab it before it gets away.