NESFA Members' Reviews

coverWho's Afraid of Beowulf?

by Tom Holt

A book review by Mark L. Olson

September 2001

Who's Afraid of Beowulf? brings back the greatest of the Norse Kings, the man who defeated the greatest of the Northern Sorcerers in the 800s in a battle so terrible that everyone chose to forget it. Since the sorcerer wasn't destroyed, but only forced out of his body for a time, the King and his heroes and their friendly wizard have been buried in an enchanted longship to awaken again when it comes time to fight the Ancient Enemy once more.

The longship is dug up by utility workers and the archeologist who is sent to inspect it gets sucked into the King's Quest, which leads over much of Britain, but finally to an epic confrontation near London.

The Kings Heroes -- a grumbling lot -- provide some of the humor, but the nicest touch, I think, is the two cthonic spirits controlled by the wizard who have spent the last thousand years playing Goblin's Tooth, a fabulously complicated game with elements of Chess, Monopoly, Bridge, Chutes and Ladders, and a dozen other games.


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