Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Bechtloff Book Club: Summa Elvetica: A Casuistry of the Elvish Controversy

This is one of the best books you've never heard of. This book takes place in a medieval fantasy world with your typical Lord of the Rings/Dungeons and Dragons type races. The plot is that the human Kingdom is ruled by a type of medieval Catholic Church, and the Pope has sent a delegation of theologians to the Elves Kingdom in an attempt to determine if the Elves have souls. If they do they will attempt to evangelize them, if not they will wage holy war on them.
Our story is told through the perspective of a young scholar in the church, Marcus Valerius as he rides along with the delegation. He uncovers betrayal in their ranks by people hungry for war. The over all plot is pretty standard but certainly enjoyable. This asks some deep theological questions but doesn't attempt to shove any answers down your throat. And most of the characters are fleshed out and interesting. It does have one major flaw, the pacing is terrible. It starts out at a snails pace and then towards the end of the book blows through the rest of the story at lightning speed, almost as if the author was running out of pages. There are a few mini stories in the back that take place in this world that I thought were the most enjoyable parts. I hope the author follows up with more stories set in this world, I could go for a whole book of short stories to be honest.
If your a fan of fantasy you really need to check this out, there isn't a lot of really smart medieval style fantasy being written right now. You can find it pretty cheap on Amazon and it's worth every penny.

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