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Steward Of Song by Adam Stemple

01/11/2008. Contributed by Sue Davies

Buy Steward Of Song in the USA - or Buy Steward Of Song in the UK

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pub: TOR/Forge. 288 page small hardback. Price: $23.95 (US), $26.95 (CAN). ISBN: 978-0-7653-1630-1.

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Douglas is king of faery. This, after a bloody coup and even bloodier evidence left in Edinburgh for the local police. That will take some time to hose away. From the drug-addled wreck of Singer of Souls, Douglas is more than clean. It took the entire first book to get him here. But now what? Now there's family to consider.

Bridie, sister to Douglas and Scott, invited to Scotland to help investigate the murder of their grandmother, at first cannot believe that Douglas is the murderer. Douglas is well in the frame but he is missing. Bridie's controls her grief and focuses on a sensible police investigation. Being a retired cop from the States, she has too much experience on her back. At the beginning, there is no hint of the supernatural involvement in Bridie's part of the narrative and, at first glance, her story could be any crime procedural.

For Scott, there is much more than a hint of the supernatural. Experiencing his living hell of post-war stress, he is barely able to function in the real world and lives cut off from town in the woods. He finds it necessary to discover the 7-11 when a practically new-born baby is placed on his doorstep.

Babies are one thing and the visions in his head stop him from heading straight to social services. There is a threat to the baby that Scott must prevent and the voice in his head is insistent that he must be the warrior. But can he trust it?

This is a good follow up to 'Singer Of Souls' and bringing in the brother and sister widens the scope of the novel. There are some interesting elements and a clever way of bringing Bridie into the same world as her siblings. It's an action-packed adventure, which skilfully moves from modern expectations to the magic of faery. This is becoming a crowded genre and Stemple will need to keep up the pace in his next offering to satisfy the reader.

Sue Davies

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