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'The Sea of Time' is another satisfying story in the Kencyrath saga

P.C. Hodgell is on the top of her game
Baen Books

The Sea of Time by P.C. Hodgell


P.C. Hodgell is gradually peeling the onion in her long running story of Jame a/k/a Jamethiel Priest-Bane. The question for long time fans is whether to stick with the series and read the latest installment - The Sea of Time, the 7th book in this long running series or abandon it to read something new and fresh. Hodgell, who had to almost self publish some of the early books in this series, when there were no ebooks, has now happily hooked up with Baen Books, which has actively supported her books and this memorable series. Long time fans have to be pleased as new novels are arriving each year.

Hodgell has created a memorable world, but enchants and annoys in equal doses in each of her latest Baen Books. She enchants because Jame is a wonderful character, smart, caring, a fighter, a thief, a hero, but Hodgell annoys because her overall series plot barely advances, the reader and Jame know all kinds of information about the world, the gods, and what is really transpiring that almost every other character has no knowledge and Hodgell frequently revisits situations that she has covered time and time again in prior books.

As long time readers know, and this series started in 1982, Jame, who grew up in evilness,survived because of her adherence to honor. She has now metamorphosized into Nemisis, one of the prophesied three heroes that can save her people from the evilness that threatens them. But the other two necessary heroes, her brother and cousin, either do not know their role, or just have not embraced it. Nonetheless, if you are a fan of this series, despite its flaws, The Sea of Time will be very satisfying.

Jame has now graduated from the military school at Tentir and has been appointed Lordan or heir by her brother, the Highlord. She has been sent south to join the Southern host, at the city of Kothifir, home of the obscenely obese, God-King, Krothen. Kothifir is a city on a giant cliff, built in the clouds in towers filled with unimaginable wealth gained from successful caravans into the dessert. But only Kothifir's rulers know how to get the wealth so the city is frequently at war. Hence it hires Jame's people as guards to protect it.

Here the old gods and the new gods, are like those in Tastigon, the city in which Jame cut her eyeteeth in the first novel in this series "God Stalk" The new pantheon of Gods, the Lady Protectorate, the Lord Merchandy, the Lord Artifice and Krothen, all absorb and gain their power from Jame's God's temple, which emits power on a large enough scale to empower immortality on the new pantheon of gods as well as the old Pantheon, who have made appearances in all of the prior books. But every once in a while the Temple turns off its power and the new pantheon are left powerless.

Again Jame must navigate the past and the present to save the native inhabitants from the ills caused by her God and people's entrance into this world. She dons the garb of the Talisman, her alter ego in "God Stalk", as she tries to learn about the new gods, Krothen's past, the people who live undercliff including Krothen's heir and her enemies. Its a lively scene full of the kind of detail that fans of Hodgell will really appreciate.

Jame, who always has to prove her worth to her people, who are against her because she is a female, the Lordan and a Knorth, will end up traveling back and forth through time in the "The Sea of Time", discovering the secret of Kothifir's wealth, fighting a giant lizard, and face off once again against her evil Uncle Gerridon.

Meanwhile, Torisen will confront the King of the Deep Weald and again face, but not fight his darkest fear.

This is a very good segment of the overall story, but once again, we could wish for a little more Torisen and Kindrie and advancement of the end story.

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