|The Revenge of the Dwarves is the
third instalment in Marcus Heitzs series about the dwarven folk of Girdlegard. A
fourth book has already been published in Herr Heitzs native Germany but its release
in English awaits translation. I shall note in passing that this volume has a different
translator (Sheelagh Alabaster) to books one and two (Sally-Ann Spencer), which may have
had some impact on the English version compared to volumes one and two.
Revenge of the Dwarves is set five years after the events of book 2, The
War of the Dwarves, but follows on that story with only a pause for breath.
Tungdil Goldhand and his friend Boindil Ireheart are called upon to investigate the
appearance of several murderous machines that are killing dwarves for the purposes of
fomenting dissent amongst the dwarves and then to protect the diamonds produced as magic
stores if ever a magus ever rose again in Girdlegard. Along the way in solving these
problems Tungdil is again faced with a continuation of the dwarf on dwarf conflict of book
two, elves who believe the world needs purifying of evil (and only the elves can recognise
that evil) and penetration of Girdlegard by tribes from the lands beyond the mountains.
Unlike War of the Dwarves, which could be read as a standalone
novel, The Revenge of the`Dwarves is not a complete story in
itself. One needs to have read the previous books in the series to get a full
understanding of the characters and the political machinations that unfold around the
action; and the ending is an obvious introduction for book four, where the hanging threads
of this book will be resolved.
If books one and two in this series were about good versus evil, albeit on a grand
scale, then the third book is that same struggle on a personal level which made for
a more interesting read as the conflict was often of a nature that involved the setting
aside of long held views and prejudices something not often encountered in epic
I enjoyed The Revenge of the Dwarves but was annoyed that the
book ended on an obvious set of cliffhangers with so much of the action unresolved. But
this does mean that I want to read book four, if only to find out what happens next as the
impending action looks to be worldspanning in its scope.