First Lines: The Right Hand of God

One of the things this website still misses, besides a decent layout, is an archive section with my old weblog. If there was one, I could have linked to the posts covering the first two parts in Russell Kirkpatrick’s Fire of Heaven trilogy. So here’s the summary: in Across the Face of the World, the first book, some peasants from a faraway part of some vast realm called Faltha find out that their neighbors are planning to invade them, just like they did two thousand years before. They set out to warn the council in the capital, but before they get there, a lot of stuff happens. In part two, In the Earth Abides the Flame, the company find out that council is corrupt, and some of them set out to find some fabled flaming arrow, to unite the land once again and rise against their enemies as one. As you might expect, while doing that, more stuff happened.

In the last book, The Right Hand of God, even more stuff happened. The company raised an army, march out to meet the enemy, they fight, loose, try to be cunning, don’t succeed at that,  are marched back in defeat to the capital by their new evil overlord, and manage to defeat him with some strange divine magic. All’s well that ends well.

In book two, Kirkpatrick introduced a religious subplot that started to annoy me very quick. As you might expect from the title, that subplot got fleshed out in book three. Basically, the main character turned out to be The Prophesied One Who Accepteth His Task Reluctantly. And this lead to behavior that would make any self-respecting  goth jealous. Yes, it was that annoying.

If you’re able to look past the religiousness (that has many similarities to ye-olde-Christianity) of especially the last two books, I’d say that it’s an entertaining read. But it never gets better than average fantasy stuff either.

Russell Kirkpatrick — The Right Hand of God
Two proud men faced each other over a low stone table.