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The house of the stag
Baker, Kage
Adult Fiction BAKER

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Culture clashes resound through this multi-layered coming-of-age tale from fantasist Baker (The Anvil of the World). Shaped in movements like a verbal symphony, the novel follows half-demon foundling Gard from a pastoral childhood punctuated with vicious raids by the savage Riders. Gard's willingness to kill in self-defense leads to a career as gladiator and sex slave under the insatiable Lady Pirihine and his training as a powerful mage, all contrasted with and eventually tied into the Gospel-like story of the Star, a John the Baptist-like figure, and the Child, a young girl who becomes a saint. Somehow this unusual and mostly charming mélange of basic fantasy motifs, fair and feral landscapes, and ironic characterizations ranging from gentle to raucous all comes together harmoniously, like extended variations on the theme that achieving adulthood is not for fainthearted sissies. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

The peaceful, primitive Yendri tribe is no match for the Riders who conquered and enslaved them. Only Gard, a half-demon foundling, bears enough anger to fight back but finds himself cast out of the tribe. Captured by mages who rule an underground realm, Gard secretly learns their magic to try to escape and redeem himself in the eyes of his people. Returning to the fantasy world of The Anvil of the World, the author of the popular series about the Company (e.g., The Sons of Heaven) demonstrates her gift for epic storytelling on a compact scale, grand in scope yet touched with small moments of wry humor. Gard's journey from monster to man encompasses every person's struggle to be human and to reconcile the light and dark within himself. Highly recommended for most libraries. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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