A window into the life of a professional geek, wife and mother (and nonni), stitcher/designer, bibliophile, old-school gamer, and whatever other roles she finds herself in.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Once in a blue moon...

Book Review: Hawk and Fisher series by Simon R. Green

Titles: Blue Moon Rising, Swords of Haven, Guards of Haven, Beyond the Blue Moon
Author: Simon R. Green
Genre: Fantasy
Publication Data: Roc, New York NY. 1991, 1999, 1999, 2000.

Ever have one of those days where it seems like everyone is out to get you?

To Hawk and Fisher, every day is one of those days. In Swords of Haven and Guards of Haven, Hawk and Fisher - husband and wife, and Captains in the Guard - face down villains both natural and supernatural as they try to make a difference in the corrupt port city of Haven. It's not easy when your superiors are on the payroll, and it's not always obvious just who your enemies really are. Politicians, power-crazed magic-users, and snooty aristocrats add to the fun. And the good guys don't always win all the time.

Swords and Guards are omnibus editions of six shorter novels.

Blue Moon Rising and Beyond the Blue Moon bookend the Haven series. Blue Moon Rising chronicles Hawk and Fisher's beginnings as Prince Rupert and Princess Julia. Rupert, the second son of the Forest King, is sent to slay a dragon. But instead of taking the hint and going into exile, he returns - with a dragon and a princess. Mayhem ensues as Rupert and Julia fight both political intrigue and the evil influences brought by the Blue Moon. In Beyond the Blue Moon, Rupert and Julia are recalled to Rupert's homeland, which they had fled to escape their own legend. Returning as Hawk and Fisher, they attempt to discover who murdered the King, while untangling the political web and trying to save the kingdom from evils unleashed by the returning Blue Moon.

While certainly not high literature on par with Tolkien, this was a relatively quick-reading but rather enjoyable series - classic sword and sorcery mixed with gritty realism and a healthy dose of British wit. Hawk/Rupert and Fisher/Julia are sympathetically human - they both have their quirks, and they bicker like many married couples. And they occasionally get their rears kicked, but in general give more than they get. Haven's criminal element, minus the sorcerous aid, would seem right at home in any large city and echoes the darker sides of human nature. And even stock characters have their own personalities and twists.

If you're looking for a quick read, but are tired of crappy pulp fantasy (and believe me, there is a lot!), these novels may be just the thing. Any of them, with the possible exception of Beyond, can be read independently of the others, but the series presents a compelling whole.

No comments: