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The Last Guardian of Everness by John C. Wright
Review by Nicki Lynch
Tor Books Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 0312848714
Date: 04 September, 2004 List Price $25.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

The Last Guardian of Everness is by John C. Wright, whose previous work was an SF trilogy. In a departure from science fiction, this recent work is an epic fantasy set in today?s world.

John C. Wright's stunning debut set in the far future began with The Golden Age. We we followed the series with keen interest and ran an interview with the author in our November 2003 issue (see feature/interview)
The story begins with the youngest member of a family of guardians of a dream-gate, Galen Waylock. He lives with his grandfather, the current of a long line of guardians who live in an old mansion in the wilds of Maine. The physical house is where the guardians dream and is ?the High House at the Shore of the Sea of Unquiet Dark, last bastion of the City Neverending, on the first Sphere this side of Utgard and Nidvellir, where the silver towers of Tirion rise unfallen, below the Deeper Gate, at the center of the four moon?s quarters.? While Galen is in Deep Dreaming, he hears what he believes to be the sea-bell tolling, the long awaited warning of evil breaking through into this world. When his grandfather is skeptical, Galen takes it upon himself to go into Deep Dreaming to find the dream-colt to take him to Tirion to find the founder of the guardian order, Azrael. The First Watcher is there being punished for his betrayal, but he also holds the knowledge Galen needs to defend our world.

Meanwhile, in a hospital also in Maine, Raven Ravenson is watching his beloved wife, Wendy, slowly die. Wendy is the love of Raven?s life, even though she spins wild stories about her family, whom he has never met. Raven is the son of a Russian immigrant who had a magical escape from Russia, so he is familiar with the stories of the magical world. Feeling trapped in the city, he became a forest ranger. He met Wendy running naked though the woods on his watch. He thought at first she was a spirit-woman, but he fell in love with her when he met her. They married and had been very happy until she became ill.

While standing outside her hospital door, Raven hears Wendy talking to someone who tells her she has fairy blood and offers to save her life, at a price. That price being the life of another in her place. When she rejects the offer, Raven tells himself he would agree to those terms, even if his wife will not. The specter who made the offer accepts Raven and tells him to pick the person to die in his wife?s place.

Meanwhile Galen has found the dream-colt and is looking for the First Watcher to learn his secrets, forgetting that someone who has betrayed those who trusted him is not to be trusted a second time.

The Last Guardian Of Everness is the first part of the War of the Dreaming trilogy and looks to be a wonderful epic fantasy. Unlike other epic fantasies, Wright blends the very real world of today with his rich dream world, the two meeting in the myths of central Europe. The background of the dream world unfolds intriguingly, with a wealth of characters and settings. For fans of fantasy who enjoy a rich and textured story that unfolds in twists and turns, The Last Guardian Of Everness will be a wonderful read.

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