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5.0 out of 5 starsVery imaginative
Reviewed in the United States on September 24, 2013
Great original story, if a little hard to read. I recommend it to all fantasy ready for a new experience.
5.0 out of 5 starsTechnofiction Review of Rostov Rising
Reviewed in the United States on August 25, 2012
Rostov rising is White's contribution to the fantasy genre - it is technofantasy. This means that the magic and motivations in the stories are internally consistent, and wrapped around a good story filled with interesting characters.
The book is a series of tales centering on Baron Iglacias Rostov, the magic using ruler of the Kalzov valley, located in the Balkans, and taking place as the Renaissance is flowering in Italy. According to White, "Being in this setting lets the Baron interact with many different cultures and ideas. His stories swirl with a mix of Western and Eastern Christian and Muslim Turkish influences. All the while his is also dealing with the primordial magic of this remote valley where nymphs, dryads and many more magical creatures abound, plus he is well versed in natural sciences from getting an education in Florence, and he can travel to various planes of magical existence. It's a mix that makes for some very interesting tales."
In these tales the Baron meets up with some classic fantasy characters.
o In one, he meets Aladdin with his lamp and his genie.
o In another he faces off against a clever old dragon who is stealing beautiful maidens from his valley.
o In another he faces up against a lich who "wants him for dinner." This lich is tough and clever and has even more command of magic than the Baron. What's he to do?
But because internal consistency is so important to White's story telling, when the Baron faces these classic fantasy foes, the story that comes out is completely different! And lots of fun.
Rostov Rising is for those who like fantasy, but want to read stories that have compelling characters and good internal consistency - in Rostov Rising, the bad guys have good reason for doing what they do, too, and it's not something as ho-hum as, "I want to rule the universe! Mwwahahah!"