T.S. Robinson
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Get *Battle-Chasers* delivered to your door! Battle-Chasers

T.S. Robinson
Copyright 1999
254 pages
rated 2 of 5 possible stars

It all happens in the course of a single, bloody day and night -- thieves loot the slain, a priest searches for survivors, a sorcerous vampire raises the dead to join her soulless army. The battle-chasers of T.S. Robinson's illustrated debut novel may come from a wide variety of races, may be driven by many different motivations (some good, some evil), but they all have one thing in common: they tirelessly follow the fight. Driven by greed, hate and hope, these allies and enemies grimly walk the blood-soaked ground of the battle's aftermath, looking for glory and revenge.

Few are left alive in the stink and silence following a three-day battle between the Circle of Death and the citizens of Obo. First to rise up from the carnage is the dwarven warrior Ringlerun, whose centuries-long quest is nothing less than the total annihilation of every dragon in the world, a vengeance sworn after the death of his best friend. Trapped under the body of the dragon he slew during battle, he cuts a grisly path to freedom through its body with his beloved battle-axe, only to be confronted with his victim's enraged mate.

Chosser is a mad assassin, a despised man whose mind is not his own. Three disembodied personalities vie for control of their host: MADMAN, the violent, dominant voice without even a vestige of reason; DEMON, a sly, serpentine whisper of lust and selfishness; and PREACHER, the rational voice of caution. The assassin's poisoned blade, wielded desperately by the dwarf, is responsible for the slow death awaiting a great red dragon. A beautiful vampirous sorcerer, whose pet the dragon is, will suffer mad Chosser to live only as long as it takes for him to find the antidote to save the closest thing to a friend she has. The vampire Minghella believes she has the assassin's mind firmly in her control, but she has only managed to subdue the voice of MADMAN. DEMON and PREACHER join forces in Chosser's mind to try to escape Minghella's seductive clutches.

Chawk, the blind albino priest whose sight is borrowed from his companion white owl, comes to the battlefield outside Obo for two reasons. One is to aid as many survivors as he might; the other is to find and try to destroy Minghella before she can raise enough undead for her army to rule the world. The vampire destroyed Chawk's home, leaving him for dead centuries ago when she raised up his fallen fellow priests, and he's followed her silently for years in hopes of ending her unholy hopes. He comes across the Tree of Life, a giant elf whose life goal is to break the Circle of Death. The two join up to find survivors, hoping for the opportunity to realize their quests.

The characters in Battle-Chasers are drawn in broad strokes, given just enough personal history for readers to understand what drives them. Culled from familiar fantasy stock, Robinson's warriors and wizards use powers borrowed from the standard canon of the occult and from the author's acknowledged passion for RPGs. Comic relief is provided by a stubby little Yoda-talking demon who serves an ambitious sorceror. There's a lot of room for world-building left at Battle-Chasers end; the novel's detailed descriptions of a battle's aftermath set the stage as the prologue to a continued story.

Click to learn more about Battle-Chasers at author T.S. Robinson's web site.

© 1999 by Sharon Schulz-Elsing for Curled Up With a Good Book

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