The Shaman by Christopher Stasheff

 

The Shaman (The Star Stone, Book 1) FantasyThe ShamanChristopher Stasheff; Del Rey 1996WorldCatLucoyo is half-elf, half-human, who has lived with his mother in a human tribe. He is despised by those humans and finally cast out. He decided that all humans can die since none care for him.

Fortunately he meets Ohearn and the Biri men on their quest to Kuru. They take him in, praise his archery skills, and do not care about his ancestry. They are going to free the shaman Manolo from the Kuru soldiers. Manolo is a representative of Lomallin, the god of peace. He is held by servants of Ulahane, the god of evil.

This is a quest of good versus evil. Lomallin and Ulahane are not gods, but elder, stronger mortals called Ulin. They have magical powers and extreme strength. They are equal in their gifts and have not been able to defeat each other, just stay at deadlock. Ohearn and Lucoyo find themselves drawn into the struggle. They find they have major actions to play in their fight for good.

Although this is the first book of The Star Stone series, this book stands alone. It is complete unto itself. I did not expect that, even up to the last few chapters of the book. There is a huge war, then suddenly one side wins (guess which one?) and within a few chapters everything is tidied up and put to rights. All the misguided humans who sided with the wrong Ulin quickly learn to change their mind. In my opinion, this made the book weak.

Stasheff’s fantasy characters are fascinating. The dwergs are rock type beings that usually live underground. Klaja are evil half-humans, half-jackals. Ohearn reminds me of a Viking. There is a living fire creature, a salamander, and many more. The story never quite hit its stride. Their personalities never came alive for me. It is not a bad story, only fair. There is other, better fantasy available.

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