The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps - Kai Ashante Wilson

I'm not sure where to start with this, except by saying that it's a novella rather than a full-length novel, so nobody should be at all surprised that I ran through it in one sitting. I'm also not sure where this idea that The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps will make me think differently about sword-and-sorcery books, because I don't think it quite manages to do that.

 

It's also quite a hard book to summarise, partly because it seems to veer sharply between fantasy (the aforementioned sword-and-sorcery) and science fiction, I guess taking on board the idea that science and magic are just two ways to explain the same kind of phenomena. So our protagonist Demane is using a little of both to try and help the people around him, who are mostly involved with the passage of a trading caravan through the Wildeeps - he has, for example, healing abilities that appear sorcerous but are apparently just the result of some kind of gene tweaking in his past (or that of his ancestor's, I wasn't left being completely sure which).

 

Even for a novella The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps felt a bit bloated at times and there were also parts where the author seemed to have deliberately raided the thesaurus, making it not the easiest read. I'd already read one of his previous stories, which was nominated for a variety of awards, and it didn't really do much for me so I guess the similar response for me to The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps is probably a sign me and Kai Ashante Wilson are not going to get on.