BattleAxe has all the ingredients of such fantasies – magic, battles and intrigue as well as the most evil of people and creatures.
What makes it work so well is that Miss Douglass, a lecturer in early modern European history at Bendigo University, understands her characters and makes them very believable.
Axis is the bastard son of a Princess, who has been taken by a religious order and turned into a fighting machine to protect the kingdom – the so-called BattleAxe.
He commands the best fighting force available, while his evil half brother Borneheld bides his time as WarLord.
A thousand years before these people had driven out the ‘others’ – the winged Icarii and the Avar and burned and destroyed the forests these people loved.
Now a new evil comes from the North and is driving these forbidden people before it and back into the Kingdom of Achar.
Axis has a mission to turn back the evil, but on his way to his destiny finds that he himself is more than he realizes.
This is a cracker of a book and instantly lands Douglass among luminaries like Stephen Donaldson and David Eddings.
©1995 Dennis Neville / The Redland Times. Reviewed by Dennis Neville for the The Redland Times, first published on Friday July 28, 1995.This review originally appeared on Sara Douglass’s website in full.