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The Last Guardian of Everness by John C.…

The Last Guardian of Everness

by John C. Wright

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It's strange that after recently reading Wright's essay making light of "unicorn" fantasy stories, I would pick up one of his books and find a -you guessed it- unicorn on the cover. Be that as it may, this is Wright stepping away from complex, brain-hurting sci-fi that was The Golden Age trilogy and into the realm of complex, no-less-brain-hurting heroic fantasy. This story is such a weird mix of classic fairy tales, original world building and not-so-veiled commentary on the real world that it keeps you thinking it can't possibly work, the story won't hold together, and yet it does. It's one of those reads that's less about the plot, or even the characters (although both parts are well developed and memorable) and more about taking the journey and seeing where it will take you. My only beef is the massive cliff hanger. Try to have the sequel ready to go or you will be frustrated by the ending. ( )
  MashaK99 | Jun 11, 2013 |
This is a terrific book, if you can get through the first 80 or so pages. Wright throws a lot of confusing information at you in a hurry, but the payoff is worth it, especially if you follow up with the next in the series, "Mists of Everness," a five star book. Wright blends the world's mythologies and science together in a big comprehensive whole and fills out the personalities of the heroes and villains while keeping the action going, a skill few authors have mastered. ( )
  steve33813 | Mar 21, 2010 |
This book is an amazing, epic fantasy, but with an intimate cast of characters. Following three central characters, the plot follows our heroes trying to thwart the attempt of evil beings in the dreaming to break through ancient protections in order to conquer our normal world and bring about a reign of darkness. When you put it that way, it seems cliche. However, this book (the first of a duology) is full of inventiveness and originality.

John C. Wright does not coddle his readers. You have to be paying attention to follow all the plot threads in this novel. You should definitely be up on your European mythology and symbolism. If you've read and understood a good part of Neil Gaiman's Sandman graphic novels, you'll have most of the background you need. "Everness" addresses some of the more hoary fantasy clichés - then subverts them, bringing them within some realm of plausibility. This is not a good book to start with if you are completely new to fantasy, since then you wouldn’t appreciate some of his perfectly aimed pokes at tradition.

All in all the book is enjoyable, serious but not taking itself too seriously. The main characters are not normal people, but they are making their way in our world quite realistically. They don’t know the rules of the game, and are discovering them as they go. Wright keeps the sense of genuine threat and suspense going perfectly. The odds are decidedly against them, and there is great pleasure to be had in turning the page to see how they can keep going. You feel like there is a real chance that they might fail. The end of the book doesn’t pull any punches; it’s a cliff-hanger, and a seemingly very dark place for our heroes. For the first time in quite awhile, I found myself thinking while reading a fantasy book: “Wow, I’m really, really glad I’m not them.”

One other note: if you’ve read and enjoyed the Golden Age science fiction trilogy by the same author, there is a good chance that this will also appeal to you. Similar balancing of light and dark, plot and philosophy and engaging, if not realistic, characters. If you haven’t read that trilogy, you really should. ( )
  Archren | Feb 14, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0812579879, Mass Market Paperback)

The rave reviews for John Wright's science fiction trilogy, The Golden Age, hail his debut as the most important of the new century. Now, in The Last Guardian of Everness, this exciting and innovative writer proves that his talents extend beyond SF, as he offers us a powerful novel of high fantasy set in the modern age.

Young Galen Waylock is the last watchman of the dream-gate beyond which ancient evils wait, hungry for the human world. For a thousand years, Galen's family stood guard, scorned by a world which dismissed the danger as myth. Now, the minions of Darkness stir in the deep, and the long, long watch is over. Galen's patient loyalty seems vindicated.

That loyalty is misplaced. The so-called Power of Light is hostile to modern ideas of human dignity and liberty. No matter who wins the final war between darkness and light, mankind is doomed either to a benevolent dictatorship or a malevolent one. And so Galen makes a third choice: the sleeping Champions of Light are left to sleep. Galen and his companions take the forbidden fairy-weapons themselves. Treason, murder, and disaster follow. The mortals must face the rising Darkness alone.

An ambitious and beautifully written story, The Last Guardian of Everness is an heroic adventure that establishes John Wright as a significant new fantasist. It is just the start of a story that will conclude in the companion volume, Mists of Everness.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:53 -0400)

Young Galen Waylock is the last watchman of the dream-gate beyond which ancient evils wait, hungry for the human world. For a thousand years, Galen's family stood guard, scorned by the world which dismissed the danger as myth. Now, the minions of Darkness stir in the deep, and the long watches are over.… (more)

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