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by Andy Boot
Abaddon Books, September 2006
303 pages
ISBN: 1905437021

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Inan is a planet finally at peace, after literally generations have known nothing but war. The politicians have brokered an agreement in which each country has a Mage, a wizard, so any country breaking the peace will be destroyed by the other countries. Of course it canít be that simple.

Simeon is the bodyguard for the Mage of Bethel, Ramus-Bey. He has been chosen for that position by Daliel, a warrior who was a prisoner on the same prison farm that Simeon was on for a while. Dalielís position now is somewhat unclear, but he commands Simeon. Simeon had an affair with one of the guards at the farm, a woman named Jenna. She is now posted on Bethel, where she hopes not to encounter Simeon again.

When a world has been at war as long as Inan has, it is difficult for people to imagine life any other way. This is as true for politicians as it is for warriors. Ramus-Bey is abducted. Is this a straightforward plot by Bethelís old enemy, the country of Varn? Or is it a double-cross by someone in Bethelís government, designed to break the peace and have Bethel come out of the ensuing mess as top dog? Simeon doesnít know. He just knows that he has to find Ramus-Bey and rescue him from his enemies. He has an unwilling ally in Jenna.

There is lots of fighting, some of it magical and some not. There is plenty of soul-searching by Simeon, who thinks (with good reason) that he is perhaps not the right man for the job. There is not a lot of development of the relationship between Jenna and Simeon.

A KIND OF PEACE was slow moving for a book about fighting. Ramus-Beyís interior conflicts about his magic could have been more integral to the plot, since the ending seemed to hinge upon his decision about his magic. A KIND OF PEACE is not a bad book; it just isnít a particularly wonderful book. Barry Sadler did this much better in his Casca the Gladiator series, albeit without the same kind of magic.

Reviewed by P. J. Coldren, August 2007

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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