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  • By Micheal C Planck
    Apr 25, 2008
    "A new genre: fantasy + film noir + cyberpunk" Imagine "The Maltese Falcon," but written in a high-fantasy version of cyber-punk. This book has it all: clever casino heists, Nazis chasing after magic artifacts, double-agents and double-dealing, and a cynical young hero with idealistic goals. Don't get me wrong: it's fantasy, through-and-through, with exotic locales, heroic escapades, gods, dagger-wielding assassins, and magic as thick as butter. But the heart of the novel is film noir. It's a mix I've never seen before, and Korns carries it off brilliantly. The writing is excellent, the plot moves briskly despite its byzantine complexity, and the characters are intelligent adults with mixed motivations and all-too-human flaws. If you like Lawerence Watt Evan's "Esthar" series, you'll love this story. The only thing wrong with this book is that it is languishing at Lulu instead of burning up the charts at Amazon.
  • By Maxianne Grant
    May 14, 2007
    "Enjoyable Escape with a Twist" The Banished City follows in the tradition of Lawrence Watt-Evans in presenting an alternate universe populated by magicians and wizards living in a world where the rules of magic are logically consistent and in many ways analogous to physical technology in our own world. Thus, magical spells are written in "script" which is often described the same way computer code would be in our world, and these spells can be transmitted over “copper rope”, like data over a modem line or network connection. The reader who is even modestly familiar with technology can participate in the inside joke as such concepts are presented as wildly out-of-the-box thinking in a medieval world ruled by wizards and warlords. The Banished City follows the tale of Noro the Quick, a magically-talented but otherwise destitute thief who is drafted by a local gang in the city of Vranipur for an ill-fated raid upon the vaults of the city’s most powerful wizard,... More > Dwarrkun. Noro is intended to be the fall guy for the Fixer’s plot but outwits his press-ganging accomplices and escapes by a hairsbreadth with an incalculable treasure. However, in the process he makes himself a target for a brutal revenge and so must abandon his adopted family in the city and move hundreds of miles away to hide. The story really kicks into gear when Noro, now living incognito using his stolen treasure to disguise himself as an elderly wizard, re-encounters some of the threads of his past and realizes that the way to freedom lies in undertaking yet another hare-brained vault-breaking scheme that only his unique talents can accomplish. The plotting and pacing are excellent and the broad canvas upon which the background scenery is painted is compelling, leaving the reader with the impression that a rich and complex world lies just outside the circle of the narrative. The only rough spot is the complexity of some of the names, which sometimes makes the reader long for a Dramatis Personae or some kind of scorecard to keep track of who's who. But this is easily glossed over, and never actually jolts the reader out of the story. Reading the Banished City is like a visit to foreign country where your tour guide just happens to be in the middle of a car chase -- wild scenery whips by, snatches of foreign songs, sounds, and smells complete the picture. Korns also has a clear grasp of political intrigue, with multiple reversals of fortune keeping the "real" adversaries just around the next corner -- or standing behind you with a knife at your back. I eagerly await further tales from this author’s pen. -- Max Grant< Less
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Product Details

ISBN
9781411651937
Publisher
Lulu.com
Published
February 17, 2007
Language
English
Pages
226
Binding
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
Weight
0.87 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
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