King’s Blood Four

Posted by barb on Jul 25, 2004 in Books |

by Sheri S. Tepper

Life is a game of strategy. Literally, in the world that Tepper has created here. Gamesmen use pawns much as they might be used in chess — they are easily sacrificed in play in favor of a more powerful position. Children of Gamesmen study the game rules for 25 years, and during the last few of those years, their Talent starts to evolve to determine what position they will occupy (king, wizard, healer, etc.).

Fifteen-year-old Peter, still studying in school, finds himself suddenly “in play” during Festival, a time when anything goes. To protect him, the schoolmaster sends Peter and two of his friends to another school far, far away. However, Peter soon discovers that once he’s in play, it’s difficult to get out of the game.

All of Tepper’s skills at weaving a story and creating interesting, sympathetic characters are present in this novel; however, while reading it I felt that her writing just wasn’t as fully developed as in other books I’ve read by her. The book was a bit thin, and I felt that there could have been more development. However, after doing an Internet search, I found that this was, indeed, her first novel. Not bad.

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