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Maalstrom, by Glenn Lazar Roberts
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Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)

Maalstrom, by Glenn Lazar Roberts

Heroic fantasy in the tradition of Robert E. Howard’s Conan and Edgar Rice Burrough’s Martian tales, in an original style reflecting H.P Lovecraft and the great Mervyn Peake of the Gormenghast novels. The location is the alien planet Maalstrom, colonized in the distant past by settlers from Earth whose DNA merged with a local species of hornet. Flores, warlord of the Turlicum Clan, struggles to overcome rivals and resume his ‘rightful’ place in the City of Ven. His plans are interrupted by an invasion by the brutal King Nesos of the foreign city of Neset, and Flores finds himself in Ven’s forbidden Temple where he falls under the spell of the priestess Amina, the most beautiful gila of the Three Valleys. As the plot unfolds, the subtler motivations of Flores and Amina are revealed, as are the secrets of the Temple and the planet Maalstrom itself, including the intricate relationships among the different species of the planet, and between men and women in their insect-like cities, held in place by an elaborate and rigid religion centered on silent winged creatures that fly corpses to a mythical Isle of the Dead.

Maalstrom is a thinking person’s ‘barbarian fiction’. The action is unceasing, the sex torrid, the violence gruesome, and the religion detailed and bizarre. The characters are lurid and unique: the dictator Numsenmur, whose massive fist itches for forced solutions; Crestal, his consort, about whom yellow suns flame like an aureole; the dark Macius, the enigmatic dancer with a stone-like face; and Flores, rational, generous, subsumed with brittle arrogance, and swiftly violent when challenged. The plot and sub-plots are ever-surprising and build powerfully through 120,000 words to a series of climaxes that are guaranteed to surprise down to the last page, the last paragraph, the last sentence. –SiriusReviews.com.

Sirius Reviews

Maalstrom, by Glenn Lazar Roberts, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating
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