A Blackbird in Silver: The First Book in the
(Immanion Press, first published in 1986, this edition 2003.)
In addition to publishing new books, Immanion Press also releases some
old favorites in revised editions. Here is the first of Freda Warrington's
popular Blackbird series, freshly polished for the next
This epic fantasy takes place in a world where the mortal Earth intersects
three elemental planes: the White Plane Hrannekh Ol, the Black Plane
Hrunnesh, and the Blue Plane H'tebhmella. Only the Blue Plane and its
inhabitants are at all supportive of human life. Warrington's descriptions
really bring it to life. Plaguing this world is the Serpent M'gulfn,
an embodiment of pure evil. When it leaves its ancient home, it wreaks
destruction on the pastoral land of Forluin.
Thus three heroes -- some more likely than others -- set out to destroy
the reputedly indestructible monster. One is Ashurek of Gorethria, a
formidable warrior with an ugly past; and unlike most stories, in this
one, everybody recognizes him as the most feared and hated man
in the world. The enigmatic one is Medrian of Alaak, survivor of Gorethria's
conquest of her home; she is not only reticent but eerily indifferent
to all but the quest. The third member is Estarinel, who witnessed the
Serpent's attack on Forluin -- and while his compatriots initially think
him gentle to the point of uselessness, he shows some unexpected and
precious skills as the story evolves.
It's amazing how a good storyteller can make essentially unlikable
characters appealing. Ashurek and Medrian are a mess, Estarinel sweet
but so na´ve it's a wonder he survives. They can barely get along ...
yet as time passes, they grow to care for each other as people, not
just a means to the end of slaying the Serpent. They start working out
the knots and tangles of their own lives, not just the wreck of their
world. Watching the characters evolve offers much of the charm in this
A Blackbird in Silver brings together many favorite motifs from
high fantasy, as the author notes in her preface: "The brooding anti-hero,
the gentle race forced to fight for survival, the woman of mystery.
Warriors, sorcerers, demons, weird dimensions. Horses and swords! The
perfect, ultimate, impossible Quest." Yep. It's like walking up to your
favorite ice-cream counter on a hot summer day and declaring, "Make
me one with everything!" Recommended.
Elsewhere in infinity plus: