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A fabulous brand new Eddings standalone fantasy, set in an entirely new magical world.
A bronze-age burglar, armed robber and sometime murderer, our hero Althalus is commissioned to steal a book by a mysterious cloaked stranger named Ghend. Althalus sets off to the House at the End of the World to steal it – after stealing Ghend’s cloak, as well, since winter is coming on. (Althalus is a rogue who can get away with almost anything... maybe with everything!)
At the House at the End of the World, he finds a talking cat... in the same room as the book Ghend described. What he can’t find once he’s in the house is the door by which he entered. Only 2467 years and an ice age later does Althalus re-emerge with the cat, Emmy, in the hood of his (Ghend’s) cloak. By now he can read. He’s read the book and discovered a tool mightier than the blunt instrument he once used to disable his victims. The book was written by the god Deiwos, whose evil brother Daeva is trying to unmake the world. Emmy is in fact their sister and she’s setting out to save the world with Althalus to help her.
No easy task. First there is a quest to unearth the magical knife that will enable Emmy to assemble and command her band of essential helpers: Eliar (young soldier), Andine (leader of a small country), Bheid (black-robed priest), Gher (ten-year old orphan), Leitha (telepath/witch). Their respective commands: lead, obey, illuminate, deceive, listen. Althalus is commanded by the Knife to seek.
Battles follow against Gelta the Queen of Night and the armies of Daeva involving many devious manoeuvres in and out of the House where Doors can be opened (solely by Eliar) to any place at any time. Daeva has his Doors, too. When Daeva can’t win through battle, he tries revolution. When Dweia (Emmy) can’t win any other way, Althalus will persuade her to lie, cheat and steal – reciprocating the lessons in truth, justice and morality Emmy has been giving him for some while.
The existence of the world hangs in the balance and love cannot be guaranteed to triumph in this glorious epic fantasy.
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A single volume, self-contained epic from the modern masters of fantasy. The Redemption of Althalus is set on the grandest scale in an entirely new, magical world.Review:
Althalus was just a thief, and only a good thief by the standards of the backwoods and hick towns where he spent most of his career; a trip to the big cities of the lowlands almost proved disastrous for him, because he could recognise neither real threats nor even more sophisticated forms of wealth. Hired to steal a magic book, he finds himself imprisoned by a talking cat and subjected to the extensive education that will make him leader of humanity's fight back against a death god and his cadre of thugs. Much of what is best in The Redemption of Althalus has to do with the process whereby he recruits his team--a spoiled princess, a witch rescued from the stake, a barbarian warrior and a street urchin with the brain of a great strategist; once the team is in place and their fight back against conquest and sinister magic begins, victory is more or less assured and a matter of watching a thoroughly entertaining process. It is interesting to see Eddings working on a smaller canvas than usual--there is a fundamental niceness to his books that entirely gets its head here, along with an attractive sense of humour.--Roz Kaveney
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Book Description HARPER COLLINS, 2000. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0002247542