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The Soul Weaver by Carol  Berg
Review by Colleen Cahill
Roc Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 0451460170
Date: 01 February, 2005 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

In epic fantasy, the heroes may have flaws, but it is usually easy to tell the white hats from the black hats. And even when a protagonist seems to fail, his friends will stand by him until the evil plot is overthrown. In The Soul Weaver, the third volume of The Bridge of D?Arnath series, Gerick finds that he is not in such a fortunate position. The bloody murder of a Preceptor of Avonar seems to point to Gerick. After his mother Seri is wounded and near death, Gerick?s father begins to pursue his son, ready to kill the one he blames for all this evil.

Since almost joining forces with the evil Lords of Zhev?Na, Gerick has suffered from nightmares and the distrust of Karon. Gerick himself is unsure of what depravity is within him and how he can overcome it. Tension increases when Karon assigns Radele to watch over his son, or perhaps to spy on Gerick. When Seri is wounded, possible by Gerick when he was under the control of the Lords of Zhev?Na, Karon is ready to kill his son. Half fearing he had attacked Seri, Gerick flees with Paulo, a former friend who is now a hostile companion, to the strange land of the Breach. This is a place literally straight from Gerick?s dreams, or rather his nightmares. Many of the denizens of the Breach believe Gerick is ?The One Who Makes Us Bounded?, a king who will give names to the people and stability to the land. Not that Gerick can just walk to the throne, as there is a challenge he must face before he can bring peace to a realm that seems to focus its chaos around him.

The tale is told from several viewpoints, as were the other volumes of the series, but mostly it is Gerick story and we quickly learn this is a different young man from the whiney, self-centered child that we saw in Guardians Of The Keep. The past does not lie quiet in Gerick, with his nightmares and fears of a corruption that could hurt those he loves. This doubt is echoed in Karon, who eventually condemns Gerick. The boy is left with no champions, as his mother is a nonverbal invalid who is slowing sinking toward death.

The Soul Weaver is not simple, with plots and counterplots that intrigue the reader with surprise twists and turns. The Breach is also a different sort of fantasyland, one that is more like Mordor than the Shire, but filled with people struggling to survive on their own and build a better life. The abrupt appearance of a savior raises questions, as facing the unknown can be more frightening than dealing with a known situation.

While this book provides several climaxes to the larger story arc, this is not the last volume in this series, and Daughter Of Ancients is due out this September. Fans of The Bridge Of D?Arnath will welcome this addition to the saga. If you have not started this, you will want to read the first two books, but I am sure this will lead you try The Soul Weaver.

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