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Audley, Anselm. Heresy, Book 1.

Pocket Books. 530p. c2001. 0-7434-2739-4. $799. SA

Political and religious issues clash in this novel of noblemen, clan-driven societies, magic, and tyrannical religion. Young Cathan, son of Count Elnibal II, learns of a discovery that will help his clan prosper for many years to come. Before his first official visit to Taneth to inform the clan council about a discovery of iron ore in Lepidor, Cathan's mother provides him with some secret information about the Domain, the religious institution of the land of Aquasilva. Promising not to reveal her words of heresy claiming that other powers are at work beyond Ranthas and his gift of fire, he leaves for Taneth knowing that if anyone finds out about these beliefs, he and his mother will be killed. Befriending a young acolyte who is traveling to the city for training, Cathan discovers that the religious realm is not so different than the political world. When he discovers a plan by the Domain that will lead to their further domination of Aquasilva. Cathan develops a greater understanding of the Domain's stringent hold on the people and of the threat of lost freedoms.

The narrative flows smoothly throughout this novel, first published by author Audley when he was 19 years old. YAs will identify with Cathan, whose worldview widens as he experiences new lands and discovers the truth of the corruption. The danger is palpable as Cathan rebels against the traditional power of the Domain. This impressive debut was selected by Science Fiction Chronicle as a Best of 2001 Selection. A gifted storyteller with a talent for world building, Audley continues his Aquasilva series with the second installment, Inquisition, also currently available. Recommended for those readers looking for epic fantasies--this writer is one to watch! Ginger Armstrong, Prin. Lib. Assoc., County PL., Chesterfield, VA
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Author:Armstrong, Ginger
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Mar 1, 2003
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