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Once A Hero: A Novel by Michael A. Stackpole
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Once A Hero: A Novel (original 1994; edition 1994)

by Michael A. Stackpole (Author)

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246285,055 (3.65)1
A legends come to life. half a millennium ago Neal Elfward, a legendary human warrior, fought alongside his Eleven friend Aarundel for the freedom of mankind against the tyranny of the sorceress Reithrese empire. But Neal's victory began a genocidal war that cost him dearly. Now the future he hoped for is unraveling. Count Berengar has invited the lovely Geneva, Aarundel's granddaughter, to join in a quest to bring stability to the land. Pressed to accomplish the impossible, Geneva suggests the unthinkable-raising Neal from the dead. But what is true in legend is not always true in reality. A hero from yesteryear may be a hero still, but is Neal the hero they want?… (more)
Member:JoeFieldWriter
Title:Once A Hero: A Novel
Authors:Michael A. Stackpole (Author)
Info:Bantam Spectra (1994), Edition: 1st, 513 pages
Collections:Your library
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Once a Hero by Michael A. Stackpole (1994)

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2011 Review:
Having read this back in my teen years, and reread several times, I have a special place for this book.
The only thing this book suffers from is that it doesn't really hold up as well to rereads. The first time was excellent, then each successive time little things stand out that you glossed over the first time.

I really liked the split view time writing. Typical Stackpole fantasy humor. Made for a great read.


2005 Review:
Still an excellent story, but now that I’m a tiny bit older, and have read more, it isn’t so without blemishes as I thot at first blush.


2002 Review:
excellent, gripping


2001 Review:
very good ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
When I was in my high school and early college years, I was really into the science fiction/fantasy genre. I also overspent my budget on books. I refuse just to give away books that I have purchase, so while this is not really my favorite genre anymore, I am still making my way through the books of my youth. Some of them have pleasantly surprised me, transcending the genre and making me want to read more. This really isn't one of those books.

Once A Hero is the story of Neal Roclawzi - I mean, Neal Elfward - I mean, Neal Custos Sylvani - I mean, the Dun Wolf - a Man born under a triangle of stars, destined to be a hero. The world is being conquered by the Reithrese, an elder long-lived race, and Men are being enslaved. Enter Neal to put together an army, fall in love with an Elf, and take down a nation of sorcerors. Meanwhile, five centuries later, we get to see what the fall out is of all of Neal's exploits. Five centuries has been long enough to undo a lot of good that Neal did. Genevera, the great-grandaughter of Neal's Elf friend goes in search of Neal's sword with the many-times great grandson of the Emperor Neal put in power. At the end, the stories converge in an amazing climax of action ...

... or not really. That was my biggest problem with this story. The entire bit in the present time seems almost ancillary to the greater plot. The plot climaxes and goes towards an ending when there are about 150 lackluster pages to go in the entire novel. The writing is okay, but not great. The storytelling has a lot of the usual cliches found in many of the novels of the genre, but has a few new ones. Overall, this book bored me in the beginning, picked up in the middle, and then kind of bored me again in the end. It wasn't terrible, but I wouldn't run out and buy it.
( )
  elleceetee | Apr 1, 2013 |
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A legends come to life. half a millennium ago Neal Elfward, a legendary human warrior, fought alongside his Eleven friend Aarundel for the freedom of mankind against the tyranny of the sorceress Reithrese empire. But Neal's victory began a genocidal war that cost him dearly. Now the future he hoped for is unraveling. Count Berengar has invited the lovely Geneva, Aarundel's granddaughter, to join in a quest to bring stability to the land. Pressed to accomplish the impossible, Geneva suggests the unthinkable-raising Neal from the dead. But what is true in legend is not always true in reality. A hero from yesteryear may be a hero still, but is Neal the hero they want?

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