Darrell Schweitzer's first novel is a powerful tale of Prince Evnos of Iankoros, who seeks to reclaim his bride from the God of Death. Rich with strange sorceries, grim mythologies, and hostile gods, this is a tale of heroism and horror, seeming triumph and subsequent tragedy, and strange turns of fate which none of the characters could possible foresee. It is a modern classic reminiscent of E.R. Eddison, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Lord Dunsany - and yet uniquely the author's own.
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The story of Prospero gone bad
- Katherine "I'm the managing editor of the Fantasy Literature blog. Life's too short to read bad books!"
Unsure what to take away from this story
I found the White Isle to be an uneasy mix of fantasy epic and horror. The language and story form is reminiscent of Phyllis Eisenstein or Ursula LeGuin's more young-adult style, but changes to a graphic description of Dante's Inferno part-way. After a jarring switch of scene, it attempts to switch back, but the reader is left with an impression of a world without hope, and somewhat without internal consistency. I struggled through, hoping that the story might become brighter or more purposeful, but was ultimately disappointed.
occasionally wooden, but did attempt to give life to the story, and used multiple voices for the different characters.