Bewildering Stories

Lawrence Watt-Evans, The Spriggan Mirror

reviewed by Jerry Wright

The Spriggan Mirror
Author: Lawrence Watt-Evans
Publisher: Ethshar.Com
Location: Online
ISBN: None yet
Price: Contributions

I started enjoying the work of Lawrence Watt-Evans with the publication of The Misenchanted Sword, the first of his Ethshar tales. When With A Single Spell came out, I grabbed it, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Of course, at the time, LWE was writing "paperback originals" and was quite popular. Recently however, he has been published by TOR, and his books come out first in hardback, then paperback. This hasn't been a good thing for the Ethshar series, although his other books (like the Dragon Society books reviewed here) have been very good money makers.

After the failure of Watt-Evan's last book Ithanalin's Restoration to make big money, TOR decided they really didn't want to do any more Ethshar books at this time. So, what to do? The fans at Watt-Evans' website The MisEnchanted Page were heavily in favor of a ninth Ethshar book, and they wanted "The Spriggan Mirror" dealing with the spriggan nuisance created by Tobas in With A Single Spell. So, LWE had a brainstorm. Put the story up in segments, ask for contributions but NOT like Stephen King. No, if he got a hundred dollars a week, he'd put up a chapter a week. Starting with four chapters to get things rolling. So... How's working? In the three weeks I've known about it (almost from the beginning) we know have 6 chapters and he says he's had enough contributions to take it into July.

So how is it? Well, it stands on its own, and if you are an Ethshar fan, you will WANT to read this. The main character is Gresh, who as the only male in a family with 12 magical sisters is the guy who can get whatever you need for your spells. And what Tobas wants him to get is the Spriggan Mirror.

Watt-Evans writes with a light touch and a sure hand. He is funny, and joyous, and a pleasure to read. The Ethshar books, unlike, say Touch By A God or Dragon Venom are humorous fantasy, and just the thing for dessert.

So, this is the first time I've ever reviewed a work in progress, but considering everything, well, this IS Bewildering Stories, now, isn't it?

The Continuing Saga may be read at The Spriggan Experiment. Try it, and the rest of Mr. Watt-Evans' pages.

Copyright © 2005 by Jerry Wright and Bewildering Stories

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