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Lonnie E. Holder - Amazon Top 100 Reviewer

Forging Paradise Cover
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I read The Legacy of Ogma, nominally the opening book in The Weapons Trilogy and The Betrayal Trilogy, and was impressed. The writing was clear and interesting. The story was fascinating. The author describes this book as the second book in The Weapons Trilogy and the first book of The War Trilogy. Actually, this book tells what happened before the events in The Legacy of Ogma. In a way, that is fitting because this book is better than the first.

Something comes from the desert. What comes is a legendary race of creatures, nightmares to scare small children and to cause adults to lay awake at night. They are the Ferfolk. They are stronger and hardier than humans are, with great beasts available to do their bidding. They conquer the first kingdom they encounter within days of entering it. Fortunately, one person escapes to warn the other kingdoms.

Even with the might of the other kingdoms, the weapons of the Teruns, and the power of the Arboreals, defeat of the Ferfolk is far from certain. Even magic appears to have little effect on these creatures. Humankind may have only one chance: the power of Ogma's magic.

Ogma sends five heroes to another dimension to capture the souls of demons in an attempt to create weapons that might change the balance in the impending battle. As with all such quests, the outcome is uncertain. The heroes' journey is full of incredible danger, as they meet creatures for whom common weapons are as toothpicks.

While the heroes attempt to complete their quest, the Ferfolk advance on the next kingdom. The allies must overcome their own fears, prejudices and politics to be able to slow the Ferfolk to give the heroes time. Can the heroes complete their mission in time? Will the heroes be able to return to wield the weapons they create? What might happen if those weapons were to fall into the wrong hands?

One of the things I noted in my review of The Legacy of Ogma is that there were some slow parts as Rappaport explained details necessary to the adventure. Forging Paradise uses other techniques to explain the details, and thus is a much faster paced book. I found myself reading as quickly as possible to learn what was going to happen next and how Rappaport was going to have at least some humans survive to the next book. Indeed, Rappaport wrote this story so well and his editor did such a nice job, that I must compliment Rappaport and his editor on a job well done.

I was thrilled that Rappaport did a very good job of keeping surprises nearly to the end. I was also pleased that Rappaport continued to expand the world he created in The Legacy of Ogma. I am amazed that Rappaport seems to have improved noticeably in his writing between The Legacy of Ogma and this book.

I urge fans of fantasy and sword and sorcery to read both The Legacy of Ogma and this book. I also suspect that fans of Conan may find that this book will hold their interest. What may also interest many is that this book is part of a series that has a very promising beginning since the first book is good, and this book is better. If the author can keep up the quality he has demonstrated thus far, this series will be a winner.

Lonnie E. Holder - Amazon Top 100 Reviewer