Vassal of El Gloria Oliver

Vassal of El

First Published 2004
??? Pages

ISBN: 1-894869-68-0

Read a Sample Here
Date Read
May 2004
Lesley

Torren has spent most of his adult life working as a mercenary. When he comes across a young woman, Larana, apparently running for her life, pursued by two men, he has no idea what he is getting himself in to. When he finally sees the curious scars on Larana's back he suddenly discovers her true identity and realises that he must return her to her people, The Chosen.

The Chosen are so called because they were chosen as special by the god El and given wings as a sign of their significance. The inhabit strange floating cities that travel over the world, remaining still over each land-based city in turn.

As Torren returns Larana to the capital city the truth about both their identities is revealed. However, shortly after her return Larana is poisoned and left in a coma, unable to wake. Torren, with the help of both the Chosen and the Landers (land-based people) must discover both the identity of the would-be assassin and the particular poison used before it becomes too late to save her.

Vassal of El is a wonderful combination of fantasy story and murder-mystery (ok, to be pedantic, almost-murder-mystery). The two main characters are thrown together when Larana, pursued by two men bent on killing her, turns to Torren to save her. He, of course, realises very quickly who she really is and that she must be returned to he people. However, unlike many such novels, this is far from the crux of the story. The main body of the tale revolves around the attempted murder of Larana and the discovery of the traitor within the midst of the Chosen.

Torren is a character of many dimensions. He is not just a mercenary with a good heart. He has a past that he is forced to live with, one that torments his sleep with vivid nightmares. It would seem that nothing can erase the scars of his childhood, both mental and physical.

The concept of The Chosen is rather refreshing. OK, I have read stories previously that include both winged-angels and man but in the case of the Chosen, the winged beings are not angels. They are a race of people granted wings by their God El, who live in floating cities and rarely travel down to the world of the Landers. They have the same weaknesses and conflicts as "normal" people along with an arrogance borne of their knowledge that they were considered more worthy by god.

Vassal of El is a superb story, both enchanting and exciting. A good example of the high quality writing being published by Zumaya Publications. If there is any justice in the world, both Gloria Oliver and Zumaya should have a great future ahead.

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Synopsis
Torren wanted nothing more than to forget his past and endure the life it had forced upon him. One small, begrudging act of kindness, however, embarks him on a path which will bring him face to face with everything he has so heartily attempted to avoid.

In so doing, events which seemed to have no bearing on his old life now appear to be tangled with his present.

Caught between the world of his birth and that of his present, will Torren be able to set aside his hate and guilt long enough to keep both from utter destruction?