Del Rey, Apr 2004, 24.95, 432 pp.
A thousand years ago, Skilgannon heroically died in battle. Over time the legend of the hero grew to monumental proportions. Now Drenai is under threat of annihilation with no champion arising to stop the dark sorceress Eternal or her joinings of man and beast into one. Desperate for a defender, none have any hope except Landis Kan, who has some doubts but wonders if he can fulfill the ancient prophecy that stated Skilgannon would return when his people were on the brink of disaster.
Landis believes he has found Skilgannon's resting place. He experiments on another set of bones bringing back a churlish individual who Kan writes off as a loser. He next performs the ritual on the remains of Skilgannon, but instead of a Herculean warrior, the reincarnation seems much less than the legend and even Kan questions whether this youngster could save the realm. Skilgannon realizes that not him, but the other experiment is the only chance for the realm to find victory
This Drenai epic sword and sorcery saga can stand alone as a delightful fantasy that points out what time does to heroes. The story line is fast-paced and loaded with action yet characters like Kan and Skilgannon come across as genuine. Though trying to make this book fit into the full saga will need an access database, fans of the series and newcomers will enjoy this fabulous fantasy.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner