Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Book Review: Silverglass

Book Review: 'Silverglass' by J. F. Rivkin
4 / 5 Stars

'Silverglass' (186 pp) was published by Ace Books in September 1986, with cover art by Luis Royo. It's the first volume in the so-called 'Silverglass' tetrology, with the subsequent volumes Web of Wind (1987), Witch of Rhostshyl (1989) and Mistress of Ambiguities (1991). J. F. Rivkin is the pseudonym of the author Jeri Freedman, who has written other fantasy novels under the pen name of 'Ellen Foxxe'.

The cover design for 'Silverglass' is unfortunate, for it gives the impression that the book is an entry in  the 'chick-in-a-chain-mail-bikini' genre, when in reality, the novel is a well-written, frequently humorous treatment of the sword-and-sorcery theme.

Lead character Corson - the D-cupped woman on the book's cover - is a female version of Conan the Barbarian: not too bright, ever ready for a fight, and not very enamored of wizards and witches. But like Conan, Corson is often short of funds, so when Nyctasia, princess of the city of Rhostshyl, has to flee the city for her life, Corson agrees to serve as her bodyguard.

Hardly have Nyctasia and Corson escaped one danger, than others spring up to threaten them. Our duo are forced to make a desperate journey to the far-off land of Hlasven, but getting there will be no easy task..........

'Silverglass' is a quick, fast-paced read, something I never tire of commending in this modern era of 900+ - page fantasy novels. Although the novel is less than 200 pages long, author Rivkin is able to manage a believable cast of characters and settings that have a bit more imagination to them than those that are usually encountered in the sword-and-sorcery literature. The book does have its weakness, in the form of an underwhelming denouement that seems to have been designed more to set up the sequels, than to bring the main storyline to a worthy conclusion.

The verdict ? 'Silverglass' has its merits, and if you are looking for a sword-and-sorcery novel that doesn't require a dramatis personae listing, a glossary, or a map (or series of maps) in order to comprehend what is going on, then this novel is worth picking up.

1 comment:

Timothy S. Brannan said...

I also enjoyed Silverglass (my review from about two years ago). Really looking forward to any reviews you might do for the next three books. I thought the series improved as it went along.