Tor, Oct 2002, 25.95, 412 pp.
A hedonist of the worst order, Indaros Karelios seeks a good time whether he is wenching or drinking. Nothing else really matters to the member of the aristocratic house of Han-Gilen. Daros actually has talent, but chooses to hide his abilities so he could avoid having to attend Mage School. He fears that would cramp his style.
When Daros gets in deep trouble and has to appear before the current Lady of the Gates, the Golden Emperor Merian sees inside to the very essence of Daros. She concludes that the wastrel is a strong but untrained mage. She decides he will be allowed to live but he must be punished. Lady Merian exiles Daros by sending him to her grandfather to receive the training he needs to control his power. Now a student disciple of the mighty Emperor Estarion, Daros soon is alone battling against the growing darkness of evil monsters destroying his world one land at a time. His mentor has been dispatched by one of them to a more mundane orb called earth.
TIDES OF DARKNESS, the latest Avaryan Chronicles, is a tremendous epic fantasy that will send genre readers in search of the previous novels, all wonderful entries. The story line makes the fantastic seem authentic as if Judith Tarr has visited this magical plane in her real life. The growing terror adds to the belief that this realm exists outside of the fertile imagination of the author. Daros, Merian, and Estarion are strong characters inside a powerful plot and that leads to another terrific Tarr tale.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner