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Luthien's Gamble
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The battle to free Eriador from the grip of the tyrannical Wizard-King Greensparrow continues in this fitfully rousing sequel to The Sword of Bedwyr. Although the humans, elves and dwarves led by young Luthien Bedwyr, The Crimson Shadow, have retaken the city of Montfort from Greensparrow and have restored the city's ancient name of Caer MacDonald, the battle for freedom has just begun. An army of "cyclopians" led by the vicious Belsen Krieg advances to crush the rebels, who must gain allies from those reluctant to take on dangerous forces. The ancient wizard Brind D'Amou, who sparked recent events with his gift of a magical cape to Luthien, joins the rebels as an adviser and leader. Luthien himself, abetted by followers and comrades, devises brilliant tactics that destroy his immediate enemies and earn him much-needed allies. Salvatore's battle scenes are robust, but his fantasy is dully derivative, and Luthien's meandering about his love life is awful. (Feb.)

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