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The Silver Lake by Fiona  Patton
Review by Christine Fisher
DAW Hardcover Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 0756401852
Date: 01 November, 2005 List Price $23.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

Not every young thief gets one-on-one chats about their favorite work hours with the Estavia, the God of Battles, but Brax is a special case.

On the first of three annual nights of chaos beside the shore of Gol-Beyaz, he and two other thieving young street urchins begin an intricate dance of prophecy and will with three of the six Immortal Patrons of Anavatan. While most of the walled city's population is dedicated to one of the six Gods, the actions of the unsworn minority, otherworldly spirits, raiding nomads, and more distant enemies upset Anavatan's complacent hegemony of philosophies and lifestyles.

In The Silver Lake, Patton delivers a fantasy world complete with an engaging range of classes, regions, and accompanying philosophies of life. Her pacing adjusts seamlessly for internal imagery and external action. Her gods and cityscape share distinct similarities to those of Steven Brust's Vlad Taltos series with more than a tinge of the same sense of humor, while the imagery and mood are more reminiscent of The Gift by Patrick O'Leary. Perhaps most impressive, interludes of magical experiences, shifting prophetic possibilities, and Gods are described without detracting from the reader-absorbing plot or the realism of the characters.

The Silver Lake lays the groundwork for a world rich in personality and layers of conflict, promising well-conducted fantasy in the rest of the series.

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