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The Amber Enchantress by Troy Denning
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The Amber Enchantress (1992)

by Troy Denning

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This will be the last Darksun book that I review because, to be honest, I did not I continue reading the series after this book, even if I read the book, but I am pretty sure that I did because I wouldn't be writing a review of it if I hadn't. One of the keys to whether I read it or not is generally the date, because around this time I had returned to Highschool and was generally mostly other books, and specifically not reading books related to Dungeons & Dragons (though I still had a friend that would lend them to me, and surprisingly, he still does that).
This is apparently a love story about a woman who is torn between the types of magic she wishes to practice. The Darksun world was created as some post apocalyptic world that arose after some magical Armageddon. As such a bulk of the world is lifeless desert and any life that does exist is generally destroyed by the defilers. There are two types of sorcerer in Athas (the name of the Darksun world), the preservers and the defilers. The preservers seek to use magic sparingly as it is clear that the source of magic comes from life, and misuse of magic destroys life. The defiler is the opposite: they simply do not care. It is needless to say that the sorcerer kings are defilers, and they generally use the life force of their slaves to cast spells.
This is reflective of the world in which we now live. I do not believe the creators of any of the Dungeons and Dragons worlds ever meant them to be allegorical. Howcver, the concept of the post apocalyptic world appeared shortly after World War II since we had invented weapons that could easily send us there. Dungeons and Dragons, though, tends to take us to lands of adventures, and throw magic into them. We have seen this before in Gamma World, and now a more developed world setting hit the shelves.
To me, it is the debate between industrialisation and preservation. Our world, in fact our magic (that being science) throws us into this debate. One could argue that the industrialists, the oil barons, and such like them, are like the sorcerer kings of Athas. They wield tremendous power and the result of their lust for wealth and power is the destruction of the world around us. There are numerous books and documentaries that I can refer you to in that effect, so I won't go into a long diatribe about that here. However we also have the green movement, which are like the preservers in that they seek to use science sparingly, and look for ways to preserve nature and the world in which we live. This, however, has been around for quite a while, but really took off significantly in the late 90s as we came to see the pollution and the destruction that industry was levelling. Once again, I do not believe Dungeons and Dragons was trying to be political, but in a way, not only have they done so with this setting, but it was quite before its time in its allegorical message (not that it was intentional). ( )
  David.Alfred.Sarkies | Feb 14, 2014 |
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The third book of the Prism Pentad features Sadira, the seductive sorceress of The Verdant Passage. Loved by both Rikus and Agis, Sadira is torn between the dark power of sorcery and the use of good magic to protect the planet's fragile ecology.
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