E. A. Rappaport has certainly made a commendable foray into fantasy fiction. Foregoing the comedic fantasy tales like those of Robert Asprin or the pun-festooned adventures in Xanth as created by Piers Anthony, Rappaport instead chooses the epic and somber tones established by the likes of Tolkien and Moorcock as his voice for calling fantasy lovers to the world he created. Hinting at the secrets tucked away within magical spheres and the weapons connected to them, he spins a large and sweeping story with classic good versus evil showdowns that catches my attention.
Despite his choice of an epic voice, which always runs the risk of making a story more important than its characters, Rappaport meticulously devotes equal time to each of the many principal characters found therein, giving you a fair chance to choose which character to invest your hopes upon. Are you drawn to wise or wily wizards steeped in the arcane? Perhaps you prefer their naive and enthusiastic apprentices, disciplined but slow in coming to their powers or maybe so talented they eschew the discipline needed to channel their burgeoning skill? Rappaport lays them all out for you in spades: skilled thieves, heroic warriors, and powerful barbarians abound, all properly enfleshed and readily inspiring your imagination. And if all that sounds a bit 'old hat' for you, have Rappaport introduce you to an Arboreal and a 'swamp dragon'!
The young Halia who starts the adventure with her discovery of a mysterious sphere deep in Arboreal lands is soon joined by a handful of adventurers who also seek the secrets of the spheres. Each adventurer's motivations for joining the group is different and complex however, making the group's encounters with numerous creatures full of twists and surprising points of view. The range of locations the group travels to runs the full gamut, as well as a few unique ones: they go from near-sentient Arboreal forests to the graveyard doings of a necromancer, a treasure chamber that shows each character what they don't want to see or know, and a Terun undercity (when cities above ground can be dangerous enough), all the way to a world under the sea. Both characters and locations were created with enough patient attention to all pieces that I found myself willing to commit and see the story through, find out what would befall the adventurers, and learn the fate of the spheres.
Young readers who have cut their fantasy teeth on the likes of Harry Potter but are now willing to try out more 'grown-up' fare will easily devour The Legacy of Ogma and eagerly await the rest of The Weapons Trilogy. I say though that readers of any age who enjoy fantastic worlds, love a good tale, and revel in the pageant of good vs. evil should join the adventurers, discover the Legacy of Ogma, and see where the tale leads them.